Relativism Defended

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
I argue for a type of relativism that allows different people to have conflicting accurate representations of the world. This is contrary to the view of most Anglo-American philosophers, who would, with Paul Boghossian in Fear of Knowledge, deny that “there are many radically different, yet ‘equally valid’ ways of knowing the world.” My argument is not a metaphysical argument about the ultimate nature of the outside world, but a psychological argument about the mental processes of representation. The argument starts from a few principles of naïve (or folk) psychology, but is later extended to apply to mechanisms that do not have a “psychology.” Finally, I briefly discuss the anti-relativist impulse in philosophy, with particular reference to Boghossian’s example of non-scientific beliefs regarding Lakota origins. I argue that both we and the Lakotas have good reason to reject such beliefs while still remaining relativists. Being a relativist does not mean that you get to believe whatever you like.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
DARRD
Upload history
Archival date: 2017-12-08
View other versions
Added to PP index
2017-12-08

Total views
115 ( #31,360 of 51,208 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
32 ( #18,182 of 51,208 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.