SOPhiA 2019

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

Relativism, contextualism, expressivism, and the relativist stance
(Philosophy of Language, English)

According to relativism, some propositions are true or false only with respect to a context of assessment. Traditional arguments for relativism defend it as a theory that explains how language actually works: the fact that the proposition expressed is true or false only with respect to a context of assessment would explain the characteristic behavior of certain uses of language in regard to in regard to phenomena such as faultless disagreement and retraction. In this paper, I pursue a different strategy: I argue that we should adopt relativism not only as the way language works, but also as the way language should work. Relativism implements what I call ''the relativist stance'', which is the one to adopt if we want to act in accordance with values, such as the idea of progress, that are widely seen as the ones that democratic societies should promote. Contextualism fails to implement this stance, but expressivism, if understood in a certain way, just puts it in different words. This is in accordance with the view also defended in this paper that certain versions of relativism and expressivism are just notational variants of each other.

Time: 17:40-18:10, 18 September 2019 (Wednesday)
Location: SR 1.006

Eduardo Pérez-Navarro 
(Universidad de Granada, Spain)

I am a Ph.D. student at the Department of Philosophy I, University of Granada, Spain. The aim of my dissertation is to explore how the notion of a relativized proposition has evolved and to compare relativism, the position that argues for the theoretical place of relativized propositions, with other contemporary semantic alternatives, such as contextualism and expressivism. As part of the completion of my thesis, I have been a visiting Ph.D. student at the Institut Jean Nicod in Paris under the supervision of Isidora Stojanovic and at the Department of Philosophy at University of California, Berkeley under the supervision of John MacFarlane.

Testability and Meaning deco