Fear of Knowledge, Against Relativism and Constructivism – By Paul Boghossian . Article (PDF Available) in dialectica 63(3) · September with 1, Reads. Fear of Knowledge: Against Relativism and Constructivism. Paul Boghossian. Abstract. Relativist and constructivist conceptions of knowledge have become. : Fear of Knowledge: Against Relativism and Constructivism ( ): Paul Boghossian: Books.

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This sort of self-justification is central to the traditional, Protagoras-inspired debate concerning relativism. In Fear of Knowledge, Paul Boghossian tears these relativist boghossian of knowledge to shreds.

Tidy, accessible and helpful, and while I grant many of the logical contradictions entailed by constructivism and relativism, I’m not sure Boghossian makes a great case in the positive for objectivism. Relativizing the Facts 5.

That critique is powerful and on the whole highly effective. There is a real world out there: Perhaps all this is an irreconcilable paradox. Challenging Reason like challenging any other putative principle amounts to claiming that there is no good non-question-begging reason to accept it.

Fear of Knowledge – Paperback – Paul Boghossian – Oxford University Press

Print edition must be purchased new and sold by Amazon. It is important to remember that Boghossian is not actually advancing this ‘seductively powerful argument’; rather, it is the thesis that is to be followed by its antithesis in Chapter 6 and a synthesis or ‘resolution of the paradox’ in Chapter 7.

If yes, since they themselves can be justified only norm-circularly, that conclusion seems itself to be established not khowledge, but only relatively to those principles, in which case there is no reason for Rorty’s opponent to embrace them; if no, then this relativism is contravened.


Let us look at these in turn. It is blghossian very short read, only around or-so pages of text and so, even if you don’t think that you have the level of proficiency to work through serious analytic philosophy, the book is short enough that you can parse it out and take your time and not feel that the task ahead of you is daunting. Why do so many scholars subscribe to Equal Validity? Boghossian, Fear of Knowledge: First things first, the book is not a bad book.

Fear of Knowledge: Against Relativism and Constructivism – Oxford Scholarship

Instead, he would end up expressing the view that the only absolute facts there are, are facts about what theories different communities accept.

The traditional argument is that the relativist faces a dilemma: The presupposition shows not that the challenge is unintelligible, but rather that it contains within itself the seeds of its own knoeledge in reason’s favor.

Feb 05, Justin Rock rated it it was ok Shelves: How, for example, might we show that Bellarmine is incorrect when he denies that Galileo’s observations justify Copernicanism? It then proceeds to expose the weaknesses and fallacies of each form of relativism, and leaves one quite refreshed by the common sense boghossiam imparts.


This claim is vulnerable to the fact feear it cannot be made without reference to some epistemic system, plus the fact that the general claim cannot be true unless it follows that all particular epistemological justifications are likewise ungrounded.

As works of philosophy go, this one is remarkably readable and short. Boghossian’s contribution is boghlssian most austerely philosophical, focusing on raw argument rather than diagnosis or explaining the motivations for relativism or constructivism. Ultimately, I decided to rate it from my subjective situation, ironically.


Fear of Knowledge: Against Relativism and Constructivism

vear On Plato’s and Boghossian’s view, the fact that makes Smith’s belief absolutely true is the fact that grass is green. Dec 03, Qasim Zafar rated it really liked it Shelves: The book is easy for anyone with a basic understanding of philosophy to follow.

Thus there is a way the world is, which holds knowledve, but is not explained independently of certain contingent facts. The book carefully describes various kinds of relativism, and the arguments put forward to support them. But that cannot yield a justification of the one practice over the other, without begging the question.

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Buy the selected items together This item: Paul Boghossian is at New York University. Appealing to the various explanatory virtues of one theory over those of another, the constructivist can say that one is better than another. Aug 22, Daniel Tovar rated it it was ok Recommends it for: In a way he appers to embrace parts of it, yet stands critical against o This book is lucid and well argued.

Read more Read less. It certainly makes a strong case against constructivism and relativism and it would be interesting to read a short answer by for example Rorty.