Search results for: the-specter-of-relativism

The Specter of Relativism

Author : Lawrence Kennedy Schmidt
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Specter of Relativism addresses the timely topic of relativism from the perspective of Gadamer's hermeneutics. This collection of essays explores several of the key issues in contemporary philosophy--the nature of truth, the model of conversation, and the possibility of an ethics in postmodern conditions--in the context of the work of Gadamer. Although centered on Gadamer and including the first English translation of one of his essays, the volume does not narrowly define or defend the approach of philosophical hermeneutics; the contributors present a broad range of views, in some cases championing a Gadamerian perspective, in others challenging it.


Author : Michael Krausz
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The essays in this volume grapple with one of the most intriguing, enduring, and far-reaching philosophical problems of our age. Relativism comes in many varieties. It is often defined as the belief that truth, goodness, or beauty is relative& mdash;relative, that is, to some context or frame of reference& mdash;and that no absolute standards can adjudicate between competing reference frames. This anthology captures the significance and range of relativistic doctrines, rehearsing their virtues and vices and reflecting a spectrum of attitudes toward relativism. Invoking diverse philosophical orientations, these doctrines concern conceptions of relativism in relation to pluralism and moral relativism; facts and conceptual schemes; realism and objectivity; solidarity and rationality; universalism and foundationalism; and feminism and poststructuralism. The thirty-three essays in this book include nine original works and many classical articles.

The Emergence of Relativism

Author : Martin Kusch
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Debates over relativism are as old as philosophy itself. Since the late nineteenth century, relativism has also been a controversial topic in many of the social and cultural sciences. And yet, relativism has not been a central topic of research in the history of philosophy or the history of the social sciences. This collection seeks to remedy this situation by studying the emergence of modern forms of relativism as they unfolded in the German lands during the "long nineteenth century"—from the Enlightenment to National Socialism. It focuses on relativist and anti-relativist ideas and arguments in four contexts: history, science, epistemology, and politics. The Emergence of Relativism will be of interest to those studying nineteenth- and twentieth-century philosophy, German idealism, and history and philosophy of science, as well as those in related disciplines such as sociology and anthropology.

Modern Criticism

Author : Christopher Rollason
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This Anthology Assembles Sixteen Essays On Different Aspects Of Modern Criticism, By Some Of The Best Scholars From Six Countries And Four Continents. The Essays, Variously, Examine A Range Of Theoretical Perspectives, Point Up Key Issues In The Area Of Postcolonial Literary Studies, Or Open Up New Interdisciplinary Perspectives For The Future Of Criticism.Among The Critical Schools And Approaches Expounded By The Distinguished Contributors Are Postmodernism, Reader-Response Theory, Postcolonial Theory, Psychoanalytic Criticism, Feminist Criticism And Marxist Criticism. The Concluding Essays Bring The Critical Debate Right Up-To-Date By Suggesting New Critical Paths For The Internet Age.The Contributors Included Such Reputed Experts, From India And Abroad, As T. Ravichandran, Nouri Gana, Prakash Chandra Pradhan, N. Raveendran, Gangadhar Gadgil, Anthonia Kalu, Mala Pandurang, Subhendu Mund, Dámaso Javier Vicente Blanco, And Virgílio Augusto Fernandes Almeida. This Rich And Diverse Volume Will Prove An Invaluable Source Of Reference And Stimulus For Further Thought, For Students And Scholars Alike.

Faith and Freedom

Author : David B. Burrell
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In this book, David Burrell, one of the foremost philosophical theologians in the English-speaking world, presents the best of his work on creation and human freedom. A collection of writings by one of the foremost philosophers of religion in the English-speaking world. Brings together in one volume the best of David Burrell’s work on creation and human freedom from the last twenty years. Dismantles the ‘libertarian’ approach to freedom underlying Western political and economic systems. Engages with Islam, Judaism and Christianity, and with modern and pre-modern systems of thought. The author is noted for his rigorous approach, his wry humor, his intellectual subtlety and his generous spirit.


Author : Maria Baghramian
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Relativism, an ancient philosophical doctrine, is once again a topic of heated debate. In this book, Maria Baghramian and Annalisa Coliva present the recent arguments for and against various forms of relativism. The first two chapters introduce the conceptual and historical contours of relativism. These are followed by critical investigations of relativism about truth, conceptual relativism, epistemic relativism, and moral relativism. The concluding chapter asks whether it is possible to make sense of relativism as a philosophical thesis. The book introduces readers to the main types of relativism and the arguments in their favor. It also goes beyond the expository material to engage in more detailed critical responses to the key positions and authors under discussion. Including chapter summaries, suggestions for further reading, and a glossary, Relativism is essential reading for students of philosophy as well as those in related disciplines where relativism is studied, such as anthropology, sociology, and politics.

Who s Afraid of Relativism The Church and Postmodern Culture

Author : James K. A. Smith
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Following his successful Who's Afraid of Postmodernism? leading Christian philosopher James K. A. Smith introduces the philosophical sources behind postliberal theology. Offering a provocative analysis of relativism, Smith provides an introduction to the key voices of pragmatism: Ludwig Wittgenstein, Richard Rorty, and Robert Brandom. Many Christians view relativism as the antithesis of absolute truth and take it to be the antithesis of the gospel. Smith argues that this reaction is a symptom of a deeper theological problem: an inability to honor the contingency and dependence of our creaturehood. Appreciating our created finitude as the condition under which we know (and were made to know) should compel us to appreciate the contingency of our knowledge without sliding into arbitrariness. Saying "It depends" is not the equivalent of saying "It's not true" or "I don't know." It is simply to recognize the conditions of our knowledge as finite, created, social beings. Pragmatism, says Smith, helps us recover a fundamental Christian appreciation of the contingency of creaturehood. This addition to an acclaimed series engages key thinkers in modern philosophy with a view to ministry and addresses the challenge of relativism in a creative, original way.

Relativism in Contemporary American Philosophy

Author : Timothy M. Mosteller
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Relativism about knowledge or truth has always provoked the ire of philosophers. Ever since Protagoras declared in antiquity that "man is the measure of all things", relativism has been repeatedly attacked. Recently, however, Alasdair MacIntyre has observed that "relativism ... is one of those doctrines that have by now been refuted a number of times too often." Along with MacIntyre, Hilary Putnam and Richard Rorty have also argued that while relativism may be problematic, there are valuable insights in it that philosophers need to take notice of. This book sorts out exactly what those relativistic insights are, and where they are to be found within the works of these three leading late-twentieth-century American philosophers. Timothy Mosteller begins with a review of the major traditional definitions of relativism and the classical arguments against it. He then examines twentieth-century accounts and defenses of relativism and points out that each account faces problems similar to those of the traditional versions. The book continues with substantial treatments of the views of MacIntyre, Putnam and Rorty on relativism, with each thinker robustly engaging the opinions of the others. Mosteller concludes the book by developing an alternative approach to relativism about knowledge, which recognizes that while there may be no single 'global' criterion for all knowledge claims, there can be 'local' standards for settling particular disputes in such a way as to avoid the traditional hazards of relativism.

Victorian Relativity

Author : Christopher Herbert
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One of the articles of faith of twentieth-century intellectual history is that the theory of relativity in physics sprang in its essentials from the unaided genius of Albert Einstein; another is that scientific relativity is unconnected to ethical, cultural, or epistemological relativisms. Victorian Relativity challenges these assumptions, unearthing a forgotten tradition of avant-garde speculation that took as its guiding principle "the negation of the absolute" and set itself under the militant banner of "relativity." Christopher Herbert shows that the idea of relativity produced revolutionary changes in one field after another in the nineteenth century. Surveying a long line of thinkers including Herbert Spencer, Charles Darwin, Alexander Bain, W. K. Clifford, W. S. Jevons, Karl Pearson, James Frazer, and Einstein himself, Victorian Relativity argues that the early relativity movement was bound closely to motives of political and cultural reform and, in particular, to radical critiques of the ideology of authoritarianism. Recuperating relativity from those who treat it as synonymous with nihilism, Herbert portrays it as the basis of some of our crucial intellectual and ethical traditions.

Reconstructing Christian Theology

Author : Rebecca S. Chopp
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Christian theology needs to be reconstructed in light of recent and momentous intellectual changes, social revolutions, and steep pedagogical challenges. That is the conviction of many of North America's leading theologians whose close collaboration over several years bring us this exciting volume. Reconstructing Christian Theology introduces theology in such a way that readers can discern the relevance of historical materials, pose theological questions, and begin to think theologically for themselves. Further, like other projects of the Workgroup on Constructive Theology, this volume stems from a deep desire to model a credible, creative, and engaged contemporary theology. So each chapter tackles major Christian teaching, juxtaposes it with a significant social or cultural challenge, and then reconstructs each in light of the other. The result is an innovative and compelling way to learn how theology can contribute to rethinking the most pressing issues of our day.