The evidence for relativism

Synthese 166 (2):375-395 (2009)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to examine the kind of evidence that might be adduced in support of relativist semantics of a kind that have recently been proposed for predicates of personal taste, for epistemic modals, for knowledge attributions and for other cases. I shall concentrate on the case of taste predicates, but what I have to say is easily transposed to the other cases just mentioned. I shall begin by considering in general the question of what kind of evidence can be offered in favour of some semantic theory or framework of semantic theorizing. In other words, I shall begin with the difficult question of the empirical significance of semantic theorizing. In Sect. 2, I outline a relativist semantic theory, and in Sect. 3, I review four types of evidence that might be offered in favour of a relativistic framework. I show that the evidence is not conclusive because a sophisticated form of contextualism can stand up to the evidence. However, the evidence can be taken to support the view that either relativism or the sophisticated form of contextualism is correct

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,140

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
336 (#34,925)

6 months
2 (#297,033)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Max Kölbel
University of Vienna

Citations of this work

The Semantic Significance of Faultless Disagreement.Michele Palmira - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (3):349-371.
Predicates of personal taste: Empirical data.Markus Kneer - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):6455-6471..
How to do things with modals.Matthew Mandelkern - 2020 - Mind and Language 35 (1):115-138.
No Deep Disagreement for New Relativists.Ragnar Francén - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 151 (1):19--37.
Disagreement Without Error.Torfinn Thomesen Huvenes - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S1):143-154.

View all 71 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Studies in the Way of Words.Herbert Paul Grice - 1989 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Philosophical Papers.David Kellogg Lewis - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
Themes From Kaplan.Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.) - 1989 - Oxford University Press.
Index, context, and content.David K. Lewis - 1980 - In Stig Kanger & Sven Öhman (eds.), Philosophy and Grammar. Reidel. pp. 79-100.

View all 32 references / Add more references