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A Companion to Relativism

Steven D. Hales (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4051-9021-3
680 pages
January 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to Relativism (1405190213) cover image
A Companion to Relativism presents original contributions from leading scholars that address the latest thinking on the role of relativism in the philosophy of language, epistemology, ethics, philosophy of science, logic, and metaphysics.
  • Features original contributions from many of the leading figures working on various aspects of relativism
  • Presents a substantial, broad range of current thinking about relativism
  • Addresses relativism from many of the major subfields of philosophy, including philosophy of language, epistemology, ethics, philosophy of science, logic, and metaphysics
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Notes on Contributors.



Part I Characterizing Relativism.

1 Global Relativism and Self-Refutation (Max Kölbel).

2 Relativism Requires Alternatives, Not Disagreement or Relative Truth (Carol Rovane).

3 Three Kinds of Relativism (Paul Boghossian).

4 Varieties of Relativism and the Reach of Reasons (Michael Krausz).

Part II Truth and Language.

5 Truth Relativism and Truth Pluralism (Michael P. Lynch).

6 The Many Relativisms: Index, Context, and Beyond (Dan López de Sa).

7 Variation in Intuitions about Reference and Ontological Disagreements (Edouard Machery).

8 Centered Worlds and the Content of Perception (Berit Brogaard).

9 Conceptual Relativism (Kenneth A. Taylor).

10 The Limits of Relativism in the Late Wittgenstein (Patricia Hanna and Bernard Harrison).

Part III Epistemic Relativism.

11 Epistemological Relativism: Arguments Pro and Con (Harvey Siegel).

12 Relativism About Epistemic Modals (Andy Egan).

13 Relativism and Confi rmation Theory (Igor Douven).

14 Epistemic Relativism, Epistemic Incommensurability, and Wittgensteinian Epistemology (Duncan Pritchard).

15 Relativism and Contextualism (Patrick Rysiew).

Part IV Moral Relativism.

16 Relativism in Contemporary Liberal Political Philosophy (Graham M. Long).

17 Secularism, Liberalism, and Relativism (Akeel Bilgrami).

18 Moral Relativism and Moral Psychology (Christian B. Miller).

19 Bare Bones Moral Realism and the Objections from Relativism (Mark Balaguer).

20 Virtue Ethics and Moral Relativism (Christopher W. Gowans).

21 Relativist Explanations of Interpersonal and Group Disagreement (David B. Wong).

Part V Relativism in the Philosophy of Science.

22 Relativism and the Sociology of Scientifi c Knowledge (David Bloor).

23 Incommensurability and Theory Change (Howard Sankey).

24 Thomas Kuhn’s Relativistic Legacy (Alexander Bird).

25 Anti-Realism and Relativism (Christopher Norris).

Part VI Logical, Mathematical, and Ontological Relativism.

26 Horror Contradictionis (Johan Van Benthem).

27 Varieties of Pluralism and Relativism for Logic (Stewart Shapiro).

28 Relativism in Set Theory and Mathematics (Otávio Bueno).

29 Putnam’s Model-Theoretic Argument (Maximilian de Gaynesford).

30 Quine’s Ontological Relativity (Gary L. Hardcastle).

31 Carving Up a Reality in Which There are no Joints (Crawford L. Elder).


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Steven D. Hales is Professor of Philosophy at Bloomsburg University, Pennsylvania. He is the author of Relativism and the Foundations of Philosophy (2006) and the co-author of Nietzsche’s Perspectivism (2000). He was recently Visiting Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Philosophy, School for Advanced Study, University of London, and is the author of numerous articles on relativism in journals such as Mind, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, and Synthese.
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"A survey of relativist ideas in all areas of philosophy, by an impressive line-up of contributors well-versed in the debates behind their current revival."
François Recanati, Institut Jean-Nicod, Paris

"Himself a substantial contributor to the area, Steve Hales has now put together an excellent companion for those who wish to enter it. The topography is highly varied, and this resource maps it all with high definition."
Ernest Sosa, Rutgers University

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