10 April 2016

Philosophy paper

I’ve just published a philosophy paper, “Relativism Defended,” in Cogent Arts & Humanities, an online journal. The URL is http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23311983.2016.1166685.
Here’s the “Public Interest Statement” (a Cogent requirement) for the article:
Relativism—the view that different people can have conflicting accurate representations of (i.e. beliefs about) the world—is a position with few friends in the philosophical establishment. But the argument for such relativism is straightforward, proceeding in easy steps from premises about human psychology that have widespread acceptance. Moreover, the standard arguments deployed against relativism—that it is internally inconsistent, that it doesn’t distinguish between accurate and inaccurate representations, or that it doesn’t allow us to question other people’s views—seem wrongheaded. Being a relativist does not mean that you get to believe whatever you like. Rather, relativism gives us a way to understand why we often don’t agree, and how we might resolve belief conflict.

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