Boghossian's Refutation of Relativism

in International Journal for the Study of Skepticism
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In Fear of Knowledge, Paul Boghossian presents a series of arguments against epistemic relativism and constructivism, doctrines that he considers to have exerted an overly unjustified influence over the human and social sciences in the past two decades. In the presentation of his arguments, Boghossian charts out a terrain that closely identifies relativism with skepticism. Yet, the relationship between the two does not seem to be a simple matter of entailment or implication. The purpose of this paper is to clarify the landscape surrounding relativism and skepticism and thereby to highlight their difference(s). The implications of such a clarification will include illustrating (1) that some arguments thought to be against relativism are actually against skepticism, (2) that there are very different ways of understanding the relationship between relativism and skepticism, and (3) that a commitment to either relativism or skepticism does not entail commitment to the other. The overall objective is to show that Boghossian's conception of the terrain is incorrect and to offer an explanation for this pervasive misconception about the connection between relativism and skepticism.

Boghossian's Refutation of Relativism

in International Journal for the Study of Skepticism


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