BOGHOSSIAN FEAR OF KNOWLEDGE PDF

Fear of Knowledge starts out as an engaging, breezy critique of relativism and constructivism. Initial appearances prove deceptive; while Boghossian's discussion remains engaging, it quickly moves to a very high level of careful and rigorous argumentation, and stays at that level throughout. Focusing to a considerable extent on the work of Richard Rorty, Boghossian carefully articulates the target relativist and constructivist views and the arguments for and against them, on the way to equally careful statements of the views and the arguments for them that he favors. That critique is powerful and on the whole highly effective. But the focus on Rorty, and Boghossian's intention to write a short, uncluttered and accessible book -- both of which are sensible and well-motivated -- lead the discussion away from consideration of highly relevant literature.

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Relativist and constructivist conceptions of knowledge have become orthodoxy in vast stretches of the academic world in recent times. This book critically examines such views and argues that they are fundamentally flawed. The book focuses on three different ways of reading the claim that knowledge is socially constructed, one about facts and two about justification.

All three are rejected. The intuitive, common sense view is that there is a way things are that is independent of human opinion, and that we are capable of arriving at belief about how things are that is objectively reasonable, and The intuitive, common sense view is that there is a way things are that is independent of human opinion, and that we are capable of arriving at belief about how things are that is objectively reasonable, and is 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 has uncovered powerful reasons for rejecting them. Keywords: relativism , constructivism , knowledge , truth , justification , rationality , science , Rorty , Kuhn. Forgot password? Don't have an account? All Rights Reserved. OSO version 0. University Press Scholarship Online. Sign in. Not registered? Sign up. Publications Pages Publications Pages. Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Fear of Knowledge: Against Relativism and Constructivism Paul Boghossian Abstract Relativist and constructivist conceptions of knowledge have become orthodoxy in vast stretches of the academic world in recent times.

More Relativist and constructivist conceptions of knowledge have become orthodoxy in vast stretches of the academic world in recent times. Authors Affiliations are at time of print publication. Print Email Share This. Show Summary Details. Subscriber Login Email Address.

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Fear of Knowledge

Now in paperback--"One of the most readable works in philosophy in recent years" Wall Street Journal --a compact, devastating attack on relativism and constructivism. The idea that science is just one more way of knowing the world and that there are other, radically different, yet equally valid ways, has taken deep root in academia. In Fear of Knowledge, Paul Boghossian tears these relativist theories of knowledge to shreds. He argues forcefully for the intuitive, common-sense view--that the world exists independent of human opinion and that there is a way to arrive at beliefs about the world that are objectively reasonable to anyone capable of appreciating the relevant evidence, regardless of their social or cultural perspective. This short, lucid, witty book shows that philosophy provides rock-solid support for common sense against the relativists; it is provocative reading throughout the discipline and beyond. His analysis is something of a tour de force: subtle and original enough to attract the attention of professional philosophers but accessible enough to be read by anyone with an interest in the subject.

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Fear of Knowledge: Against Relativism and Constructivism

Relativist and constructivist conceptions of knowledge have become orthodoxy in vast stretches of the academic world in recent times. This book critically examines such views and argues that they are fundamentally flawed. The book focuses on three different ways of reading the claim that knowledge is socially constructed, one about facts and two about justification. All three are rejected.

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