- Copertina flessibile: 160 pagine
- Editore: Clarendon Press (7 dicembre 2007)
- Lingua: Inglese
- ISBN-10: 0199230412
- ISBN-13: 978-0199230419
- Peso di spedizione: 231 g
- Posizione nella classifica Bestseller di Amazon: n. 176.829 in Libri in altre lingue (Visualizza i Top 100 nella categoria Libri in altre lingue)
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Fear of Knowledge: Against Relativism and Constructivism (Inglese) Copertina flessibile – 7 dic 2007
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If only Boghossian's eminently reasonable book were required reading for every freshman considering entrance into the humanities... (Ars Disputandi)
...lucid and effective ... (Times Literary Supplement)
This is a great book for a seminar or discussion group. And its about time that someone wrote it. Happily, it was someone with Boghossians clarity, verve, and panache. (Graham Priest, Review of Metaphysics)
...this is an important book that should be widely read. (Philosophers' Magazine)
This is a book that can be read in an afternoon and thought about for a lifetime. (Wall Street Journal)
...a tour de force: subtle and originalbut accessible enough to be read by anyone with an interest in the subject. (Wall Street Journal)
In both subject matter and execution, this book promises to become a small classic of philosophical analysis. (Choice)
For all its sophistication and erudition, the writing is remarkably clear, free of specialized jargon, and accessible to nonspecialist readers. (Choice)
...the book does a fine job of assessing in brief compass the sort of relativism/constructivism advocated by Rorty and his fellow travelers, and Boghossian's sophisticated and careful arguments against that Rortian view are often ingenious and invariably telling. (Harvey Siegel, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 25/07/07)
Boghossian has written an excellent book ... it contains relentless exposures of confusion, falsehood, and incoherence. (John R. Searle, New York Review of Books)
Paul Boghossian is at New York University.
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The book distinguishes three kinds of relativism. Different societies might construct different worlds, they might different views of evidence, or they might have different views of rational explanation. Boghossian disposes of each of these in turn.
Why read it? First, it tries very hard to be easy to understand, and to presume nothing. It mostly succeeds, but you do need to know what philosophers mean by "logic" (page 126 - it's not what ordinary people mean by that word) and "modus ponens" (page 72). These were the only two slip-ups I could find though, and everything else is very clearly explained. Be warned though, you do need to concentrate. At college level, this is an easy book; but that's at college level.
Second, it's careful and sophisticated. It doesn't make fun of relativism (some books do), or sneer. One common reply to relativism is that the relativist must presume that he, the relativist, can understand and explain the multiple social perspectives. So he must exempt himself from depending upon his own social perspective. But this exemption is really saying that relativism is false, and we can escape from our own social perspective. Boghossian replies to this on behalf of his relativist opponent, when it would have been easy for him to add it to his list of replies.
It is *very* difficult to write a book with both these advantages. This is a real achievement. It would make an excellent introductory text in epistemology (theory of knowledge). It explains the basics of the topic using an interesting debate. If Boghossian is right, we'd have to change many of our attitudes.
The book carefully describes various kinds of relativism, and the arguments put forward to support them. It then proceeds to expose the weaknesses and fallacies of each form of relativism, and leaves one quite refreshed by the common sense it imparts.
I particularly recommend the book for undergrads. It will allow them to recognise snake-oil and flim-flam when they see it. For anyone in the sciences, or those interested in the question of whether there is a real world out there, this is an important addition to your library.