Full Text

60. Relativism

JAMES W. McALLISTER


Subject Philosophy

Key-Topics relativism, science

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631230205.2001.00063.x


Extract

Relativism about a property P is the thesis that any statement of the form “Entity E has P ” is ill formed, while statements of the form “ E has P relative to S ” are well formed, and true for appropriate E and S. Relativism about P therefore entails the claim that P is a relation rather than a one-place predicate. In the principal forms of relativism, the variable S ranges over cultures, world views, conceptual schemes, practices, disciplines, paradigms, styles, standpoints, or goals. Innumerably many forms of relativism are entirely unobjectionable. An obvious example is relativism about the property “utility,” since a tool or instrument is useful only relative to a particular goal. Even relativism about the merits of conceptual systems and taxonomic schemes is reasonably uncontentious, since practically everyone finds different concepts and taxonomies preferable in different circumstances. Among more controversial forms of relativism, the following are those of greatest interest in philosophy of science. Relativism about truth, or epistemological relativism, is the thesis that propositions have truth-value not absolutely, but only from a particular standpoint, and that in general a proposition has different truth-values from different standpoints. Unrestricted relativism about truth - that is, a relativism that counts its own statement among the propositions ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:

 

     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.


[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top