Fear of Knowledge: Against Relativism and Constructivism

Paperback | October 15, 2007

byPaul Boghossian

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The academic world has been plagued in recent years by scepticism about truth and knowledge. Paul Boghossian, in his long-awaited first book, sweeps away relativist claims that there is no such thing as objective truth or knowledge, but only truth or knowledge from a particular perspective. Hedemonstrates clearly that such claims don't even make sense. Boghossian focuses on three different ways of reading the claim that knowledge is socially constructed - one as a thesis about truth and two about justification. And he rejects all three. The intuitive, common-sense view is that there is a way things are that is independent of human opinion, andthat we are capable of arriving at belief about how things are that is objectively reasonable, binding on anyone capable of appreciating the relevant evidence regardless of their social or cultural perspective. Difficult as these notions may be, it is a mistake to think that recent philosophy hasuncovered powerful reasons for rejecting them. This short, lucid, witty book shows that philosophy provides rock-solid support for common sense against the relativists; it will prove provocative reading throughout the discipline and beyond.

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The academic world has been plagued in recent years by scepticism about truth and knowledge. Paul Boghossian, in his long-awaited first book, sweeps away relativist claims that there is no such thing as objective truth or knowledge, but only truth or knowledge from a particular perspective. Hedemonstrates clearly that such claims don't...

Paul Boghossian is at New York University.

other books by Paul Boghossian

Format:PaperbackDimensions:148 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.35 inPublished:October 15, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199230412

ISBN - 13:9780199230419

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. The Social Construction of Knowledge3. Constructing the Facts4. Relativizing the Facts5. Epistemic Relativism Defended6. Epistemic Relativism Rejected7. The Paradox Resolved8. Epistemic Reasons and the Explanation of BeliefEpilogue

Editorial Reviews

`The idea that knowledge is socially constructed has become a commonplace in some fields of academic thought. In this short and splendid book, Boghossian (New York Univ.) makes this idea the subject of both sympathetic examination and devastating criticism. . . . For all its sophistication anderudition, the writing is remarkably clear, free of specialized jargon, and accessible to nonspecialist readers. In both subject matter and execution, this book promises to become a small classic of philosophical analysis.'Choice