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Cover

Fear of Knowledge

Against Relativism and Constructivism

Paul Boghossian

11 October 2007

ISBN: 9780199230419

160 pages
Paperback
203x135mm

In Stock

Price: £16.99

Relativist and constructivist conceptions of truth and knowledge have become orthodoxy in vast stretches of the academic world in recent times. In his long-awaited first book, Paul Boghossian critically examines such views and exposes their fundamental flaws. This short, lucid, witty book shows that philosophy provides rock-solid support for common sense against the relativists; it will prove provocative reading throughout the discipline and beyond. 'This is a book that can be read in an afternoon and thought about for a lifetime.' William Ewald, Wall Street Journal

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Description

Relativist and constructivist conceptions of truth and knowledge have become orthodoxy in vast stretches of the academic world in recent times. In his long-awaited first book, Paul Boghossian critically examines such views and exposes their fundamental flaws. This short, lucid, witty book shows that philosophy provides rock-solid support for common sense against the relativists; it will prove provocative reading throughout the discipline and beyond.

'This is a book that can be read in an afternoon and thought about for a lifetime.'
William Ewald, Wall Street Journal

  • A powerful attack on scepticism about basic intellectual values
  • First book from one of the world's most distinguished philosophers
  • Takes on the postmodernists and wins
  • Fascinating for anyone who cares about what is true and what can be known

About the Author(s)

Paul Boghossian, New York University

Table of Contents

    1:Introduction
    2:The Social Construction of Knowledge
    3:Constructing the Facts
    4:Relativizing the Facts
    5:Epistemic Relativism Defended
    6:Epistemic Relativism Rejected
    7:The Paradox Resolved
    8:Epistemic Reasons and the Explanation of Belief
    Epilogue

Reviews

"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

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