Why Epistemic Pluralism Does not Entail Relativism: Collingwood’s Hinge Epistemology

  • Giuseppina D’OroEmail author
Part of the Philosophers in Depth book series (PID)


D’Oro asks whether Collingwood’s metaphysics of absolute presuppositions leads to the belief-system relativism that is the target of Boghossian’s sustained criticism in his Fear of Knowledge (2006). She argues that Collingwood’s metaphysics of absolute presuppositions aims to defend a form of epistemic pluralism which is not reducible to the kind of epistemic relativism Boghossian critiques. The decoupling of epistemic pluralism from epistemic relativism rests on a reading of absolute presuppositions as epistemic “hinges” which give rise to the characteristic complexes of questions and answers operative in different contexts of inquiry. The task of the metaphysician, D’Oro argues, is to show that the questions asked in different contexts of inquiry are entailed by the absolute presuppositions constitutive of those forms of knowing. Since epistemic pluralism is not a form of epistemic relativism, it is not vulnerable to the stock objections raised against relativism.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Politics, IR and PhilosophyKeele UniversityStaffordshireUK

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