Relativism, Particularism and Reflective Equilibrium
Assoc. Prof. Howard Sankey (University of Melbourne)

July 26, 2012, 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Department of Philosophy, University of Melbourne

Moot Court Room
Old Quad Building, University of Melbourne

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On my analysis, the basic argument for epistemic relativism derives from the problem of the criterion that stems from ancient Pyrrhonian scepticism. Because epistemic relativism depends upon a sceptical strategy, it is possible to respond to relativism on the basis of an anti-sceptical strategy. I argue that the particularist response to scepticism proposed by Roderick Chisholm may be combined with a naturalistic and reliabilist conception of epistemic warrant as the basis for a satisfactory response to epistemic relativism. In this paper, I both outline this particularist response to relativism, and set the approach in contrast with reflective equilibrium approaches in epistemology. I also briefly explore the connection between the particularist response to relativism and G.E. Moore’s defence of an external world.

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