Boghossian, Bellarmine, and Bayes
- John MacFarlane
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As Paul Boghossian sees it, postmodernist relativists and constructivists are paralyzed by a “fear of knowledge.” For example, they lack the courage to say, in the face of the Lakotas’ claim that their ancestors came from inside the earth, that it is a matter of known fact that their ancestors came across the Bering Strait. To avoid this, they accept the nonconfrontational view Boghossian calls
(Equal Validity) There are many radically different, yet ‘equally valid’ ways of knowing the world, with science being just one of them (2).
Except as noted, all page references are to Boghossian (2006).
Boghossian suggests two sources for the continuing appeal of this view. The first is a postcolonial unwillingness to criticize cultures as inferior. Here, he notes, Equal Validity is a two-edged sword: “for if the powerful can’t criticize the oppressed, because the central epistemological categories are inexorably tied to particular perspectives, it also follows that the oppressed can’t criticize t
- Boghossian, P. (2006). Fear of knowledge: Against relativism and constructivism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- de Santillana, G. (1955). The crime of Galileo. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Good, I. J. (1967). The white shoe is a red herring. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 17, 322. CrossRef
- Rorty, R. (1981). Philosophy and the mirror of nature. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
- Boghossian, Bellarmine, and Bayes
Volume 141, Issue 3 , pp 391-398
- Cover Date
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- Springer Netherlands
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- John MacFarlane (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Philosophy, University of California, Berkeley, 314 Moses Hall #2390, Berkeley, CA, 94720-2390, USA