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Fear of Knowledge: Against Relativism and Constructivism

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Fear of Knowledge: Against Relativism and Constructivism Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Relativist and constructivist conceptions of truth and knowledge have become orthodoxy in vast stretches of the academic world in recent times. In his long-awaited first book, Paul Boghossian critically examines such views and exposes their fundamental flaws.

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 the world is that is independent of human opinion; and that we are capable of arriving at beliefs about how it is that are 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 philosophy has uncovered 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.

Synopsis:

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.

Synopsis:

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 and binding on anyone capable to appreciating the relevant evidence, regardless of their social or cultural perspective.

"This is a book that can be read in an afternoon and thought about for a lifetime. 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. The result is one of the most readable works in philosophy in recent years."

--Wall Street Journal

About the Author

"The book offers a sustained critique of a particular, postmodern-flavored, Rorty-inspired version of relativism/constructivism. That critique is powerful and on the whole highly effective."--Nortre Dame Philosophical Review

"Lucid and effective...For those prepared to follow its careful and sensible arguments, Fear of Knowledge should be a welcome addition to the literature."--Simon Blackburn, Times Literary Supplement

"This is a book that can be read in an afternoon and thought about for a lifetime."--Wall Street Journal

"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. The result is one of the most readable works in philosophy in recent years."--Wall Street Journal

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. The Social Construction of Knowledge

3. Constructing the Facts

4. Relativizing the Facts

5. Epistemic Relativism Defended

6. Epistemic Relativism Rejected

7. The Paradox Resolved

8. Epistemic Reasons and the Explanation of Belief

Epilogue

Product Details

ISBN:
9780199230419
Author:
Boghossian, Paul
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Author:
Boghossian, Paul A.
Author:
null, Paul
Subject:
General
Subject:
Epistemology
Subject:
History & Surveys - Modern
Subject:
Philosophy-Epistemology
Subject:
Philosophy : General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20071231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
160
Dimensions:
5.500 x 8.100 in 0.625 lb

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Related Subjects

Humanities » Philosophy » General

Fear of Knowledge: Against Relativism and Constructivism New Trade Paper
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$36.75 In Stock
Product details 160 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780199230419 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , 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.
"Synopsis" by , 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 and binding on anyone capable to appreciating the relevant evidence, regardless of their social or cultural perspective.

"This is a book that can be read in an afternoon and thought about for a lifetime. 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. The result is one of the most readable works in philosophy in recent years."

--Wall Street Journal

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