1st Edition

Relativism and Reality A Contemporary Introduction

By Robert Kirk Copyright 1999
    202 Pages
    by Routledge

    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    Our thoughts about the world are clearly influenced by such things as point of view, temperament, past experience and culture. However, some thinkers go much further and argue that everything that exists depends on us, arguing that 'even reality is relative'. Can we accept such a claim in the face of events such as floods and other natural disasters or events seemingly beyond our control? 'Realists' argue that reality is independent of out thinking. 'Relativists' disagree, arguing that what there is depends on our point of view. Which is right?
    Robert Kirk provides a crystal clear account of this debate from the Greek philosophers to Wittgenstein and Rorty. Along the way, he unpacks some of the more complicated issues surrounding ideas of objectivity, subjectivity, pragmatism and realism essential for those beginning any study of philosphy.

    Chapter 1 Introduction; Chapter 2 Truth; Chapter 3 Relative to Us?; Chapter 4 Words and World: Wittgenstein; Chapter 5 Words and World: Quine; Chapter 6 Language-Games V. Realism; Chapter 7 Foundations for Knowledge?; Chapter 8 Dummett’s Anti-Realism; Chapter 9 Rorty’s ‘Postmodern’ Pragmatism; Chapter 10 Science and the World of Everyday Life; Chapter 11 A Strong Realism;


    Robert Kirk is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Nottingham.

    'Robert Kirk's short, readable, and engaging book provides an excellent introduction to the considerations that motivate relativism and the reasons they are not convincing' - Philosophical Review