Relativism

New York: Routledge. Edited by Annalisa Coliva (2004)
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Abstract

Beginning with a historical overview of relativism, from Pythagoras in ancient Greece to Derrida and postmodernism, Maria Baghramian explores the resurgence of relativism throughout the history of philosophy. She then turns to the arguments for and against the many subdivisions of relativism, including Kuhn and Feyerabend's ideas of relativism in science, Rorty's relativism about truth, and the conceptual relativism of Quine and Putnam. Baghramian questions whether moral relativism leads to moral indifference or even nihilism, and whether feminist epistemology's concerns about the very notion of objectivity can be considered a form of relativism. She concludes the relativism debate by assessing the recent criticisms such as Quine's argument from translation and Davidson's claim that even the motivations behind relativism are unintelligible. Finding these criticisms lacking, Baghramian proposes a moderate form of pluralism which addresses the legitimate worries that give rise to relativism without incurring charges of nihilism or anarchy.

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Maria Baghramian
University College Dublin

Citations of this work

Relativism.Maria Baghramian & Adam J. Carter - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Deep disagreement and hinge epistemology.Chris Ranalli - 2020 - Synthese 197 (11):4975-5007.
Relativism.Maria Baghramian & J. Adam Carter - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:1-60.

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