Relativism 2: Semantic Content

Philosophy Compass 10 (1):52–67 (2015)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

In the pair of articles of which this is the second, I present a set of problems and philosophical proposals that have in recent years been associated with the term “relativism”. These problems are related to the question of how we should represent thought and speech about certain topics. The main issue is whether we should model such mental states or linguistic acts as involving representational contents that are absolutely correct or incorrect, or whether, alternatively, their correctness should be thought of as varying with some (more or less surprising) factor. In the first article, “Relativism 1: Representational Content”, I discussed the general issue of relativism about representational content. I argued for the conciliatory view that both relativist and absoutist conceptions of representational content can be legitimate. In the present continuation, I look in more detail at a special case of the general issue, namely the question of whether semantic contents, i.e. the contents assigned to linguistic utterances in the semantics of natural language, should be construed in an absolutist or in a relativist way.

Analytics

Added to PP
2014-11-03

Downloads
617 (#15,356)

6 months
25 (#47,766)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Max Kölbel
University of Vienna

Citations of this work

Relativism.Maria Baghramian & Adam J. Carter - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Absolutely tasty: an examination of predicates of personal taste and faultless disagreement.Jeremy Wyatt - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (3):252-280.
Convergence, Community, and Force in Aesthetic Discourse.Nick Riggle - 2021 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 8 (47).
Relativism.Chris Swoyer - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Aesthetic judge-dependence and expertise.Max Kölbel - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (6):589-617.

View all 13 citations / Add more citations