Relativism about Truth Itself: Haphazard Thoughts about the Very Idea

Crispin James Garth Wright

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The setting of relativistic ideas about truth in the general style of semantic-theoretic apparatus pioneered by Lewis, Kaplan, and others has persuaded many that they should at least be taken seriously as competition in the space of explanatory linguistic theory, a type of view which, properly formulated, may offer an at least coherent — and indeed, in the view of some, a superior — account of certain salient linguistic data manifest in, for example, discourse about epistemic modals, knowledge, and about matters of taste and value, and may also offer the prospect of a coherent regimentation of the Aristotelian ‘Open Future’ (along with, perhaps, the Dummettian ‘anti-real’ past). This chapter enters a reminder of certain underlying, more purely philosophical issues about relativism — about its metaphysical coherence, its metasemantic obligations, and about the apparent limitations of the kind of local linguistic evidence which contemporary proponents have adduced in its favour — of which there is a risk that its apparent rehabilitation in rigorous semantic dress may encourage neglect.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRelative Truth
EditorsManuel Garcia-Carpintero, Max Kolbel
Place of PublicationNew York, NY, USA
PublisherOxford University Press
Pages157-186
Number of pages30
ISBN (Print)0199234957 , 978-0199234950
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2008

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Keywords

  • relativism
  • truth
  • protagoreanism
  • contextualism
  • representationality
  • context of assessment

Cite this

Wright, C. J. G. (2008). Relativism about Truth Itself: Haphazard Thoughts about the Very Idea. In M. Garcia-Carpintero, & M. Kolbel (Eds.), Relative Truth (pp. 157-186). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199234950.003.0007