Relativism: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover


1st Edition

By Maria Baghramian, Annalisa Coliva


304 pages

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'It's all relative'. In a world of increasing cultural diversity, it can seem that everything is indeed relative. But should we concede that there is no such thing as right and wrong, and no objective truth? Can we reconcile relativism and pluralism? How many relativisms are there, and can they be united in a common framework?

Relativism explores these important questions and many more, surveying the many different brands of relativism and evaluating arguments for and against them.

Beginning with a brief history of relativism, Maria Baghramian and Annalisa Coliva use the three headings of framework, conceptual and semantic or 'new' relativism to explore the following important topics:

  • motivating and defining relativism
  • conceptual relativism
  • factual relativism
  • relativism and truth
  • relativism, knowledge and justification
  • ethical relativism.

Including chapter summaries, suggestions for further reading and a glossary, Relativism is essential reading for students of philosophy as well as those in related disciplines where relativism is studied, such as anthropology, sociology and politics.

Table of Contents


1. The What and Why of Relativism

2. A Brief History of a Complex Idea

3. Relativizing Truth

4. Relativizing Conceptual Schemes

5. Relativizing the World

6. Relativizing Science

7. Relativizing Justification

8. How to Formulate Epistemic Relativism

9. Relativizing Moral Values

10. Questioning Relativism.



About the Authors

Maria Baghramian is a Professor in the School of Philosophy at University College Dublin, Ireland.

Annalisa Coliva is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Irvine, USA.

About the Series

New Problems of Philosophy

New Problems of Philosophy

Series Editor: José Luis Bermúdez, Texas A&M University

'Routledge's New Problems of Philosophy series has a most impressive line-up of topical volumes aimed at upper-level undergraduate and graduate students in philosophy and at others with interests in cutting edge philosophical work. The authors are influential figures in their respective fields and notably adept at synthesizing and explaining intricate topics fairly and comprehensively.' - John Heil, Monash University, Australia, and Washington University, St Louis, USA

'This is an outstanding collection of volumes. The topics are well chosen and the authors are outstanding. They will be fine texts in a wide range of courses.' - Stephen Stich, Rutgers University, USA

The New Problems of Philosophy series provides accessible and engaging surveys of the most important problems in contemporary philosophy. Each book examines a topic or theme that has emerged on the philosophical landscape in recent years, or that is a longstanding problem refreshed in light of recent work in philosophy and related disciplines. Clearly explaining the nature of the problem at hand and assessing attempts to answer it, books in the series are excellent starting-points for undergraduate and graduate students wishing to study a single topic in depth. They will also be essential reading for professional philosophers. Additional features include chapter summaries, further reading, and a glossary of technical terms.

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