Practicing Relativism in the Anthropocene: On Science, Belief, and the Humanities

Smith, Barbara Herrnstein | from Multimedia Library Collection:
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Practicing Relativism in the Anthropocene. Cover.

Smith, Barbara Herrnstein. Practicing Relativism in the Anthropocene: On Science, Belief, and the Humanities. London: Open Humanities Press, 2018. 

Barbara Herrnstein Smith addresses a set of contemporary issues involving knowledge and science from a constructivist-pragmatist perspective often labeled “relativism.” Practicing that relativism, she argues, does not mean refusing judgment or asserting absurdities but being conscious of the existence and significance of contingency, complexity, and multiplicity.

Rejecting classic and neorealist views of knowledge and human cognition, Smith describes important alternative accounts in cognitive theory, science studies, and contemporary philosophy of mind. The “relativism” commonly associated with these alternative accounts, she maintains, is a chimera—part straw man, part red herring. Objections to the position so named typically involve crucially improper paraphrase of empirical observations of variability and contingency or dismaying inferences improperly drawn from such observations. (Text from Open Humanities Press)

This book is licensed CC BY-SA 4.0

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