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A Companion to Relativism

Steven D. Hales (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4443-9248-7
648 pages
March 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to Relativism (1444392484) 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 viii

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

Part I Characterizing Relativism 9

1 Global Relativism and Self-Refutation 11
Max Kölbel

2 Relativism Requires Alternatives, Not Disagreement or Relative Truth 31
Carol Rovane

3 Three Kinds of Relativism 53
Paul Boghossian

4 Varieties of Relativism and the Reach of Reasons 70
Michael Krausz

Part II Truth and Language 85

5 Truth Relativism and Truth Pluralism 87
Michael P. Lynch

6 The Many Relativisms: Index, Context, and Beyond 102
Dan López de Sa

7 Variation in Intuitions about Reference and Ontological Disagreements 118
Edouard Machery

8 Centered Worlds and the Content of Perception 137
Berit Brogaard

9 Conceptual Relativism 159
Kenneth A. Taylor

10 The Limits of Relativism in the Late Wittgenstein 179
Patricia Hanna and Bernard Harrison

Part III Epistemic Relativism 199

11 Epistemological Relativism: Arguments Pro and Con 201
Harvey Siegel

12 Relativism About Epistemic Modals 219
Andy Egan

13 Relativism and Confi rmation Theory 242
Igor Douven

14 Epistemic Relativism, Epistemic Incommensurability, and Wittgensteinian Epistemology 266
Duncan Pritchard

15 Relativism and Contextualism 286
Patrick Rysiew

Part IV Moral Relativism 307

16 Relativism in Contemporary Liberal Political Philosophy 309
Graham M. Long

17 Secularism, Liberalism, and Relativism 326
Akeel Bilgrami

18 Moral Relativism and Moral Psychology 346
Christian B. Miller

19 Bare Bones Moral Realism and the Objections from Relativism 368
Mark Balaguer

20 Virtue Ethics and Moral Relativism 391
Christopher W. Gowans

21 Relativist Explanations of Interpersonal and Group Disagreement 411
David B. Wong

Part V Relativism in the Philosophy of Science 431

22 Relativism and the Sociology of Scientifi c Knowledge 433
David Bloor

23 Incommensurability and Theory Change 456
Howard Sankey

24 Thomas Kuhn’s Relativistic Legacy 475
Alexander Bird

25 Anti-Realism and Relativism 489
Christopher Norris

Part VI Logical, Mathematical, and Ontological Relativism 509

26 Horror Contradictionis 511
Johan Van Benthem

27 Varieties of Pluralism and Relativism for Logic 526
Stewart Shapiro

28 Relativism in Set Theory and Mathematics 553
Otávio Bueno

29 Putnam’s Model-Theoretic Argument 569
Maximilian de Gaynesford

30 Quine’s Ontological Relativity 588
Gary L. Hardcastle

31 Carving Up a Reality in Which There are no Joints 604
Crawford L. Elder

Index 621

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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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