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Fear of Knowledge Against Relativism and Constructivism

The idea that science is just one more way of knowing the world and that there are other, radically different, yet equally valid ways, has taken deep root in academia. In Fear of Knowledge, Paul Boghossian tears these relativist theories of knowledge to shreds. He argues forcefully for the intuitive, common-sense view — that the world exists independent of human opinion and that there is a way to arrive at beliefs about the world that are objectively reasonable to anyone capable of appreciating the relevant evidence, regardless of their social or cultural perspective. This short, lucid, witty book shows that philosophy provides rock-solid support for common sense against the relativists; it is provocative reading throughout the discipline and beyond. ~ Product Description

Table of Contents

    • 1    Introduction    1
    • 2    The social construction of knowledge    10
    • 3    Constructing the facts    25
    • 4    Relativizing the facts    42
    • 5    Epistemic relativism defended    58
    • 6    Epistemic relativism rejected    81
    • 7    The paradox resolved    95
    • 8    Epistemic reasons and the explanation of belief    111
    • 9    Epilogue    129