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Relativism and Progress.

Reason Papers 2007, Fall, 29

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I wish to defend a kind of relativism. Relativism is often caricatured as the view that there are no factual or moral truths of the matter; what's "true for me" doesn't have to be "true for you." A relativist, so it is said, can believe whatever he or she likes. The result is a slackness of thought and morals. Moreover, it is often charged that relativism is self-contradictory, because it must allow that realism can be "true for realists." Again, it is argued that relativism is unable to explain the obvious growth in human knowledge over the years. Finally, it is often suggested that in these troubled times, relativism can offer no convincing explanation of the superiority (both moral and material) of the open societies of the West to the closed societies of the Middle East. I shall argue that all of these arguments are misconceived. In particular, relativists can defend particular moral positions, can make cross-cultural comparisons, and can criticize alien cultures. Indeed, relativism is a philosophy with a particular world-view that favors tolerant open societies, and has a convincing analysis of the causes of their superiority. But before I deal with the misconceptions, I shall advance a positive argument for relativism.

Relativism and Progress.
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  • 2,99 €
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Religion & Spirituality
  • Published: 22 September 2007
  • Publisher: Reason Papers
  • Print Length: 31 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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