Philosophy After Objectivity: Making Sense in Perspective

Paperback | September 1, 1999

byPaul K. Moser

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Since the beginning of philosophy, philosophers have sought objective knowledge: knowledge of things whose existence does not depend on one's conceiving of them. This book uses lessons from debates over objective knowledge to characterize the kinds of reasons pertinent to philosophical andother theoretical views. It argues that we cannot meet skeptics' typical demands for nonquestion-begging support for claims to objective truth, and that therefore we should not regard our supporting reasons as resistant to skeptical challenges. One key lesson is that a constructive, explanatoryapproach to philosophy must change the subject from skeptic-resistant reasons to perspectival reasons arising from variable semantic commitments and instrumental, purpose-relative considerations. The book lays foundations for such a reorientation of philosophy, treating fundamental methodologicalissues in ontology, epistemology, the theory of meaning, the philosophy of mind, and the theory of practical rationality. It explains how certain perennial debates in philosophy rest not on genuine disagreement, but on conceptual diversity: talk about different matters. The book shows howacknowledgment of conceptual diversity can resolve a range of traditional disputes in philosophy. It also explains why philosophers need not anchor their discipline in the physicalism of the natural sciences.

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Since the beginning of philosophy, philosophers have sought objective knowledge: knowledge of things whose existence does not depend on one's conceiving of them. This book uses lessons from debates over objective knowledge to characterize the kinds of reasons pertinent to philosophical andother theoretical views. It argues that we cann...

Paul K. Moser is at Loyola University of Chicago.

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Format:PaperbackPublished:September 1, 1999Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195130944

ISBN - 13:9780195130942

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Objectivity and Relativity in Philosophy1. Ontology, Evidence, and Philosophical Questions2. Justification, Meta-Epistemology, and Meaning3. Meaning, Interpretation, and Analyticity4. Reasons, Truth, and Relativism5. Physicalism, Action, and ExplanationAppendix: Charity, Interpretation, and Truth

Editorial Reviews

"With this work, Paul Moser's philosophy appears to have taken a quite significant and decidedly postmodern turn....This book is an excellent and wide-ranging work that tackles deep issues in metaphilosophy, and brings to certain `postmodern' themes the precision and clarity of an outstandinganalytic philosopher."--The Philosophical Review