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  1.  51
    Goodness and Advice.Judith Jarvis Thomson, Philip Fisher, Martha C. Nussbaum, J. B. Schneewind & Barbara Herrnstein Smith - 2003 - Princeton University Press.
    In my contribution to this volume, I (BHS) comment on on the stultifying rhetoric of contemporary analytic moral theory as illustrated in Judith Jarvis Thomson's Tanner Lectures, with particular reference to Thomson's anxieties about the moral relativism exhibited by college freshman and to her efforts--quite strained, in my view, and inevitably unsuccessful--to demonstrate the existence of objective judgments in matters of morality and taste .
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  2.  15
    Scandalous Knowledge: Science, Truth and the Human.Barbara Herrnstein Smith - 2005 - Duke University Press.
    Chronic and current epistemological controversies, with particular attention to the development of pragmatist/historicist/constructivist reconceptions of knowledge and science in the 20th century and the scandalized responses to them by defenders of more traditional rationalist/objectivist/realist conceptions. Individual chapters deal with complex and confused relations among epistemic skepticism, relativism, and constructivist epistemology ; 20th-century "postmodern" relativism and anti-relativism; Ludwik Fleck and constructivist views of truth, science, and knowledge; attacks on and disavowals of constructivism and/or relativism by established and feminist philosophers; the Science (...)
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  3.  12
    Unloading the Self-Refutation Charge.Barbara Herrnstein Smith - 2019 - Common Knowledge 25 (1-3):76-91.
    The essay is a critical examination of the charge of self-refutation, particularly as leveled by orthodoxy-defending philosophers against those maintaining epistemologically unorthodox, especially relativistic or skeptical, views. (It was originally published in *Common Knowledge* in 1993, and reprinted in the journal's 25th anniversary issue.) Beginning with an analysis of its classic illustration in Plato’s Theaetetus as leveled by Socrates against Protagoras’s “Man is the measure..,” the essay considers various aspects of the charge, including its paradigmatic theatrical staging, its frequent pedagogic (...)
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  4.  40
    Contingencies of Value: Alternative Perspectives for Critical Theory.Barbara Herrnstein SMITH - 1988 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 47 (2):182-184.
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  5.  4
    Belief and Resistance: Dynamics of Contemporary Intellectual Controversy.Barbara Herrnstein Smith - 1997 - Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
    An extended analysis and account of the psychological/social/cognitive dynamics of intellectual controversy. The immediate focus is the recurrent failure of intellectual engagement, in encounters having to do with with truth, knowledge, language, science, and/or objectivity, between, on the one hand, rationalist-realist-objectivist philosophers and/or those they have instructed and, on the other hand, constructivist-pragmatist ("postmodern") theorists and/or those persuaded by their critiques and/or alternative views. Individual chapters examine critiques and defenses of objectivist-rationalist views in law, politics, literary studies, ethics, communication theory, (...)
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  6. Practicing Relativism in the Anthropocene: On Science, Belief, and the Humanities.Barbara Herrnstein Smith - 2018 - London UK: Open Humanities Press.
    Contemporary issues involving knowledge and science examined from a constructivist-pragmatist perspective often labeled "relativism." Individual chapters include a review of the difference between constructivist-pragmatist epistemology and "social constructivism;" an examination of recent writings by Bruno Latour; a critique of computational methods in literary studies; a skeptical look at current efforts to "integrate" the humanities and the natural sciences; and reflections on the social dynamics of belief in relation to denials of climate change and to hopes expressed by environmentalists.
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  7. Natural Reflections: Human Cognition at the Nexus of Science and Religion.Barbara Herrnstein Smith - 2009 - New Haven, CT, USA: Yale University Press.
    A consideration of efforts to explain religion naturalistically, including a range of recent cognitive-evolutionary approaches. The book also examines recent efforts to reconcile natural-scientific accounts of the world with traditional religious teachings.
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  8.  41
    Narrative Versions, Narrative Theories.Barbara Herrnstein Smith - 1980 - Critical Inquiry 7 (1):213-236.
    . . . I should like to review and summarize the preceding general points: 1. For any particular narrative, there is no single basically basic story subsisting beneath it but, rather, an unlimited number of other narratives that can be constructed in response to it or perceived as related to it.2. Among the narratives that can be constructed in response to a given narrative are not only those that we commonly refer to as "versions" of it but also those retellings (...)
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  9.  49
    Unloading the Self-Refutation Charge.Barbara Herrnstein Smith - 1996 - In Roger T. Ames & Wimal Dissanayake (eds.), Self and Deception: A Cross-Cultural Philosophical Enquiry. Albany: SUNY Press.
    A critical examination of the charge of self-refutation, particularly as leveled by orthodoxy-defending philosophers against those maintaining epistemologically unorthodox, especially relativistic or skeptical, views. Beginning with an analysis of its classic illustration in Plato’s *Theaetetus* as leveled against Protagoras’s “Man is the measure ...,” I consider various aspects of the charge, including logical, rhetorical, pedagogic, affective, and cognitive.
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  10.  37
    On the Origin of Objects. Brian Cantwell Smith.Barbara Herrnstein Smith - 1998 - Isis 89 (4):772-773.
  11.  35
    Introduction: Contexts for a Comparative Relativism.Casper Bruun Jensen, Barbara Herrnstein Smith, G. E. R. Lloyd, Martin Holbraad, Andreas Roepstorff, Isabelle Stengers, Helen Verran, Steven D. Brown, Brit Ross Winthereik, Marilyn Strathern, Bruce Kapferer, Annemarie Mol, Morten Axel Pedersen, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Matei Candea, Debbora Battaglia & Roy Wagner - 2011 - Common Knowledge 17 (1):1-12.
    This introduction to the Common Knowledge symposium titled “Comparative Relativism” outlines a variety of intellectual contexts where placing the unlikely companion terms comparison and relativism in conjunction offers analytical purchase. If comparison, in the most general sense, involves the investigation of discrete contexts in order to elucidate their similarities and differences, then relativism, as a tendency, stance, or working method, usually involves the assumption that contexts exhibit, or may exhibit, radically different, incomparable, or incommensurable traits. Comparative studies are required to (...)
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  12. Relativism, Today and Yesterday.Barbara Herrnstein Smith - 2007 - Common Knowledge 13 (2-3):227-249.
    An analysis of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger's statements regarding relativism in his 2005 homily to the conclave meeting to elect the new pope in the context of the charge of "relativism" in 20th-century philosophy. Parts of this essay are adapted from Barbara Herrnstein Smith,"Pre-Post-Modern Relativism," in *Scandalous Knowledge: Science, Truth and the Human* (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2005; Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2006), 18 – 45.
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  13.  30
    Poetic Closure: A Study of How Poems End.Barbara Herrnstein Smith - 1970 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 29 (2):270-270.
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  14.  60
    Scientizing the Humanities.Barbara Herrnstein Smith - 2016 - Common Knowledge 22 (3):353-372.
    Advocates of literary Darwinism, cognitive cultural studies, neuroaesthetics, digital humanities, and other such hybrid fields now seek explicitly to make the aims and methods of one or another humanities discipline approximate more closely the aims and methods of science, and at their most visionary, they urge as well the overall integration of the humanities and natural sciences. This essay indicates some major considerations—historical, conceptual, and pragmatic—that may be useful for assessing these efforts and predicting their future. Arguments promoting integration often (...)
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  15. Cutting-Edge Equivocation: Conceptual Moves and Rhetorical Strategies in Contemporary Anti-Epistemology".Barbara Herrnstein Smith - 2002 - South Atlantic Quarterly 101 (1):187-212.
    An examination of conceptually and rhetorically equivocating positions among academic philosophers and other theorists who are sympathetic to constructivist epistemological developments but unwilling to relinquish key aspects of traditional understandings of truth and knowledge and/or anxious to avoid charges of relativism. A major problem with the resulting hybrid formulations is that, seeking, as they often claim, to “steer a course between Scylla and Charybdis” and being composed of essentially incompatible elements, they can do little theoretical work. While the personal-intellectual and (...)
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  16.  12
    On the Margins of Discourse.Barbara Herrnstein Smith - 1975 - Critical Inquiry 1 (4):769-798.
    Asked to define poetry, one is likely to reply with a sigh, a shrug, a look of exasperation or even one of contempt, indicating not only that the question is oppressive but that anyone who asks it must be something of a fool, a pest, or a vulgarian. Though these uncongenial reactions may be interpreted as the signs of intellectual embarrassment, they are, I think, quite justified. For the nature of definition and the particular historical fortunes of the term poetry (...)
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  17.  11
    On the Margins of Discourse: The Relation of Literature to Language.Barbara Herrnstein Smith - 1979 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 38 (2):205-206.
  18. Reply to an Analytic Philosopher.Barbara Herrnstein Smith - 2002 - South Atlantic Quarterly 101 (1):229-242.
    I reply here to an article by philosopher Paul Boghossian in which my article "Cutting-Edge Equivocation: Conceptual Moves and Rhetorical Strategies in Contemporary Anti-Epistemology" (Smith, *SAQ* 2002) provides him with an occasion for a supposed exposure and refutation of the alleged illogic of the "unpalatable relativism" of what Boghossian, at some distance from his topic, (mis)understands as the "constructivism" of contemporary sociology of science.
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  19.  13
    Contingencies of Value.Barbara Herrnstein Smith - 1983 - Critical Inquiry 10 (1):1-35.
    One of the major effects of prohibiting or inhibiting explicit evaluation is to forestall the exhibition and obviate the possible acknowledgment of divergent systems of value and thus to ratify, by default, established evaluative authority. It is worth noting that in none of the debates of the forties and fifties was the traditional academic canon itself questioned, and that where evaluative authority was not ringingly affirmed, asserted, or self-justified, it was simply assumed. Thus Frye himself could speak almost in one (...)
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  20. Animal Relatives, Difficult Relations.Barbara Herrnstein Smith - 2004 - Differences 15 (1):1-20.
    The essay considers two sets of interrelated difficulties that follow from our kinship to animals: those that arise chronically from our individual psychologically complex and often ambivalent relations to animals, and those that reflect the intellectually and ideologically criss-crossed connections among the various discourses currently concerned with those relations, including the movement for animal rights, ecological ethics, posthumanist theory, and such fields as primatology and evolutionary psychology. I begin with some general observations on classification and then turn to the increasingly (...)
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  21. Cognitively Unnatural Science?Barbara Herrnstein Smith - 2012 - In Simen Andersen Øyen & Tone Lund-Olsen (eds.), Sacred Science?: On Science and its Interrelations with Religious Worldviews. Wageningen Academic Publishers.
    A critique of dubious contrasts between "science" and "religion" drawn on the basis of cognitive-evolutionary accounts of human psychology, e.g.,. the claim that religious concepts are “likely” and “natural” for the human mind whereas scientific thinking is “rare” and “unnatural.” Initially made by biologist Lewis Wolpert in *The Unnatural Nature of Science* (1993) and anthropologist Pascal Boyer in *Religion Explained: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought* (2001), they are developed at length by philosopher R. N. McCauley in a*Why Religion is (...)
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  22.  84
    Review of Steven Shapin, The Scientific Life. [REVIEW]Barbara Herrnstein Smith - 2009 - London Review of Books 31 (3):10-12.
  23.  44
    An Inquiry Into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns. [REVIEW]Barbara Herrnstein Smith - 2014 - Common Knowledge 20 (3):491-493.
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  24.  12
    The Chimera of Relativism a Tragicomedy.Barbara Herrnstein Smith - 2011 - Common Knowledge 17 (1):13-26.
    In this contribution to the Common Knowledge symposium “Comparative Relativisim,” Smith argues that relativism is a chimera, half straw man, half red herring. Over the past century, she shows, objections to the supposed position so named have typically involved either crucially improper paraphrases of general observations of the variability and contingency of human perceptions, interpretations, and judgments or dismaying inferences gratuitously drawn from such observations. More recently, the label relativism has been elicited by the display, especially by anthropologists or historians, (...)
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  25. Mathematics, Science, and Postclassical Theory.Barbara Herrnstein Smith & Arkady Plotnitsky - 1999 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 189 (1):93-95.
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  26. The Unquiet Judge Relativism and Legal/Political Agency.Barbara Herrnstein Smith - 1990 - Faculty of Law, University of Toronto.
     
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  27. Relativism, Objectivity, and Law.Robin West & Barbara Herrnstein Smith - 1990 - Faculty of Law, University of Toronto.
  28.  37
    Chinese Comparisons and Questionable Acts.Barbara Herrnstein Smith - 2011 - Common Knowledge 17 (1):42-47.
    In this response to comments on my article, “The Chimera of Relativism,” in the same issue of *Common Knowledge* , by cognitive neuroscientist Andreas Roepstorff, classicist G. E. R. Lloyd, and anthropologist Martin Holbraad, I illustrate and reinforce Lloyd's cautions regarding the hazards of intercultural—here, Chinese-Western—comparisons in studies of culture and cognition. Examination of a foundational study in East-West cultural/cognitive differences cited by Roepstorff indicates extensive conceptual and methodological problems in that tradition of research. Although Holbraad champions a more radical (...)
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  29.  4
    Review of Bruno Latour, *An Inquiry Into Modes of Existence". [REVIEW]Barbara Herrnstein Smith - 2014 - Common Knowledge 20 (3):491-493.
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  30.  20
    Belief and Resistance: A Symmetrical Account.Barbara Herrnstein Smith - 1991 - Critical Inquiry 18 (1):125-139.
    Questions of evidence—including the idea, still central to what could be called informal epistemology, that our beliefs and claims are duly corrected by our encounters with autonomously resistant objects —are inevitably caught up in views of how beliefs, generally, are produced, maintained, and transformed. In recent years, substantially new accounts of these cognitive dynamics—and, with them, more or less novel conceptions of what we might mean by “beliefs”—have been emerging from various nonphilosophical fields as well as from within disciplinary epistemology. (...)
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  31.  9
    The New Party of Order? Coalition Politics in the AcademyDoing What Comes Naturally: Change, Rhetoric and Theory in Literary and Legal Studies"Us and Them: On the Philosophical Bases of Political Criticism"Contingencies of Value: Alternative Perspectives for Critical Theory. [REVIEW]Madhava Prasad, Stanley Fish, S. P. Mohanty & Barbara Herrnstein Smith - 1992 - Diacritics 22 (1):34.
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  32.  6
    Reviews-Belief and Resistance: Dynamics of Intellectual Controversy.Barbara Herrnstein Smith & Noretta Koertge - 1999 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50 (3):508-513.
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  33. The Unquiet Judge: Activism Without Objectivism in Law and Politics.Barbara Herrnstein Smith - 1994 - In Allan Megill (ed.), Rethinking Objectivity. Duke University Press.
     
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  34.  59
    Literature, as Performance, Fiction, and Art.Barbara Herrnstein Smith - 1970 - Journal of Philosophy 67 (16):553-563.
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  35.  9
    Comment (on Judith Jarvis Thomson).Barbara Herrnstein Smith - 2003 - In Goodness and Advice. Princeton University Press. pp. 132-144.
    A commentary on the rhetoric of contemporary analytic moral theory as illustrated in Judith Jarvis Thomson's 1999 Tanner Lectures on Human Values ("Goodness and Advice"), with particular reference to Thomson's anxieties about the rejection of claims of objective judgements by college freshman and to her effort to demonstrate the existence of such judgments in matters of morality and taste.
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