Philosophical Relativity

Philosophical Relativity

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In this short volume (first published in 1984), Peter Unger questions the objective answers that have have been given to traditional problems in philosopy. He casts doubt on the generally unquestioned view that fundamental questionspertaining to meaning and existence have direct solutions, arguing that by their very nature they remain ultimiately unanswerable. He suggests that the answers to these questions must be viewed in terms of a general philosophical and semantic relativily, proposing that truth cannot be arrived at in absolute sense but rather with relative degrees of precision. Written with unusual clarity, Philosophical Relativity, is provocative, highly readable and ambitious in more

Product details

  • Paperback | 142 pages
  • 155.4 x 238.8 x 10.4mm | 222.26g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 019515553X
  • 9780195155532
  • 2,020,979

Review quote

"Current debates about contextualism in epistemology begin with Philosophical Relativity, where Unger gives the term 'contextualism' the meaning that, in many philosophical circles, it enjoys today, and gives the position designated by the term its first serious and systematic treatment. Few are likely to accept Unger's 'relativistic' conclusion that the advantages and disadvantages of contextualism and its rival, invariantism, balance out in such a way that there simply is no fact of the matter which is the correct theory, but all who want to think seriously about the issue should confront the challenging arguments in this seminal book."-Keith DeRose, Yale University "In his last book, Peter Unger set out to persuade us of a thorough-going skepticism; in the present one, he sets out to persuade us that it is fundamentally indeterminate whether (for example) the thorough-going skeptic of the person of common sense is right. But even if this is his newest doctrinal anarchism, there is nothing anarchic about the style of Philosophical Relativity. The argument is well-organized, and the exposition is lucid. Nor is there anything bombastic in Unger's medium to match his would-be devastating message; the reader is coaxed along gently but persistently."-Jennifer Hornsby, University of London "First-rate philosophy, philosophy as it ought to be done."-Gilbert Harman, Princeton University "This is an intelligent and highly original critique, clearly and even gracefully written, with a refreshing absence of pedantry."-Sir Peter Strawson, Oxford University "OUP has done well to reissue Peter Unger's books in epistemology, both Ignorance and Philosophical Relativity. Unger follows the argument to great depth, wherever it may lead, and the reader who follows along will be amply rewarded, which shows how impressively fresh and relevant this work remains after all these years."-Ernest Sosa, Brown Universityshow more

About Peter Unger

Peter Unger is Professor of Philosophy at New York University. He is the author of Ignorance (OUP 1975, 2002), Identity, Consciousness, and Value (OUP 1990), and Living High and Letting Die (1996)show more

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