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date: 18 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The word “relativism” has been applied to many different positions in philosophy. This chapter focuses on a contemporary version of relativism. According to this version of relativism, truth is relative, and not just in the familiar sense that sentences that contain indexicals can have different truth-values relative to different contexts. The chapter describes some ways in which this idea has been developed. For instance, it matters what the relevant bearers of truth are and what truth is taken to be relative to. It also compares this version of relativism with other views that have been labeled “relativist.” Contemporary relativism has generally been developed in order to make sense of particular areas of discourse, such as discourse about matters of taste. In addition to describing some of the proposed applications, the chapter describes some of the motivations and problems for the view. Considerations involving disagreement play an important role here.

Keywords: contextualism, disagreement, relative truth, relativism, subjectivity

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