•  803
    Indexical Relativism versus genuine relativism
    International Journal of Philosophical Studies 12 (3). 2004.
    The main purpose of this paper is to characterize and compare two forms any relativist thesis can take: indexical relativism and genuine relativism. Indexical relativists claim that the implicit indexicality of certain sentences is the only source of relativity. Genuine relativists, by contrast, claim that there is relativity not just at the level of sentences, but also at propositional level. After characterizing each of the two forms and discussing their difficulties, I argue that the differen…Read more
  •  546
    Relativism 1: Representational Content
    Philosophy Compass 10 (1): 38-51. 2015.
    In the pair of articles of which this is the first, I shall present a set of problems and philosophical proposals that have in recent years been associated with the term “relativism”. All these problems and proposals concern the question of how we should represent thought and speech about certain topics. The main issue here is whether we should model such mental states or linguistic acts as involving representational contents that are absolutely correct or incorrect, or whether, alternatively, t…Read more
  •  542
    Faultless Disagreement
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 104 (1): 53-73. 2004.
    There seem to be topics on which people can disagree without fault. For example, you and I might disagree on whether Picasso was a better artist than Matisse, without either of us being at fault. Is this a genuine possibility or just apparent? In this paper I pursue two aims: I want to provide a systematic map of available responses to this question. Simultaneously, I want to assess these responses. I start by introducing and defining the notion of a faultless disagreement. Then I present a simp…Read more
  •  529
    Relativism 2: Semantic Content
    Philosophy Compass 10 (1). 2015.
    In the pair of articles of which this is the second, I present a set of problems and philosophical proposals that have in recent years been associated with the term “relativism”. These problems are related to the question of how we should represent thought and speech about certain topics. The main issue is whether we should model such mental states or linguistic acts as involving representational contents that are absolutely correct or incorrect, or whether, alternatively, their correctness shou…Read more
  •  326
    The evidence for relativism
    Synthese 166 (2): 375-395. 2009.
    The aim of this paper is to examine the kind of evidence that might be adduced in support of relativist semantics of a kind that have recently been proposed for predicates of personal taste, for epistemic modals, for knowledge attributions and for other cases. I shall concentrate on the case of taste predicates, but what I have to say is easily transposed to the other cases just mentioned. I shall begin by considering in general the question of what kind of evidence can be offered in favour of s…Read more
  •  228
    Varieties of Conceptual Analysis
    Analytic Philosophy. forthcoming.
    What exactly does conceptual analysis consist in? Is it empirical or a priori? How does it support philosophical theses, and what kinds of thesis are these? There is no consensus on these questions in contemporary philosophy. This paper aims to defend conceptual analysis by showing that it comprises a number of different methods and by explaining their importance in philosophy. After setting out an initial dilemma for conceptual analysis, the paper outlines a minimal ecumenical a…Read more
  •  183
    How to spell out genuine relativism and how to defend indexical relativism
    International Journal of Philosophical Studies 15 (2). 2007.
    It was the explicit aim of my paper ‘Indexical Relativism versus Genuine Relativism’ to ‘characterize and compare’ (p. 297) two different forms of relativism. One form, exemplified by Harman’s and Dreier’s moral relativism (Harman, 1975 and Dreier, 1990), involves the claim that certain sentences express different propositions in different contexts of utterance, much like indexical sentences – hence the name ‘indexical relativism’. The other form involves the claim that the truth-value of certai…Read more
  •  179
    Relative Truth (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2008.
    With contributions from some of the key figures in the contemporary debate on relativism this book is about a topic that is the focus of much traditional and ...
  •  169
    Lewis, Language, Lust and Lies
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 41 (3): 301-315. 1998.
    David Lewis has tried to explain what it is for a possible language to be the actual language of a population in terms of his game-theoretical notion of a convention. This explanation of the actual language relation is re-evaluated in the light of some typical episodes of linguistic communication, and it is argued that speakers of a language do not generally stand in the actual language relation to that language if the actual language relation is explicated in Lewis's way. In order to avoid thes…Read more
  •  163
    A Criterion for Objectivity
    Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 15 (2): 209-228. 2000.
    There are many reasons to assume that the contents expressible by declarative sentences are generally truth-evaluable. This assumption of global truth-evaluability, however, appears to conflict with the view that the contents of some sentences do not admit of truth or falsehood for lack of objectivity of their subject matter. Could there be a notion of truth on which the truth-evaluability of a content does not rule out the non-objectivity of its subject matter?In this paper, I discuss Crispin W…Read more
  •  142
    Truth Without Objectivity
    Routledge. 2002.
    The mainstream view in the philosophy of language holds that every meaningful sentence has a truth-condition. This view, however, runs into difficulties with non-objective sentences such as sentences on matters of taste or value: these do not appear to be either true or false, but are generally taken to be meaningful. How can this conflict be resolved? Truth Without Objectivity examines various ways of resolving this fundamental problem, before developing and defending its own original solution,…Read more
  •  130
    “True” as Ambiguous
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (2): 359-384. 2008.
    In this paper, I argue (a) that the predicate "true" is ambiguously used to express a deflationary and a substantial concept of truth and (b) that the two concepts are systematically related in that substantial truths are deflationary truths of a certain kind. Claim (a) allows one to accept the main insights of deflationism but still take seriously, and participate in, the traditional debate about the nature of truth. Claim (b) is a contribution to that debate. The overall position is not new an…Read more
  •  122
    The Conversational Role of Centered Contents
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 56 (2-3): 97-121. 2013.
    Some philosophers, for example David Lewis, have argued for the need to introduce de se contents or centered contents, i.e. contents of thought and speech the correctness of believing which depends not only on the possible world one inhabits, but also on the location one occupies. Independently, philosophers like Robert Stalnaker (and also David Lewis) have developed the conversational score model of linguistic communication. This conversational mo…Read more
  •  114
    Truth in Semantics
    Midwest Studies in Philosophy 32 (1): 242-257. 2008.
    Semantic theories for natural languages purport to describe a central aspect of the meaning of natural language sentences. In doing so, they usually employ some notion of truth. Most semanticists, even those who have no objections to invoking propositions, will define a truth-predicate that applies to sentences. Some will also employ a notion of propositional truth. Both types of semanticist face the question whether and how the semantic notion(s) of truth they are employing is (are)re…Read more
  •  114
    Review of Ruling Passions by Simon Blackburn (review)
    Mind 111 (442). 2002.
    This is a book review of Simon Blackburn's "Ruling Passions: A Theory of Practical Reasoning"
  •  92
    Agreement and Communication
    Erkenntnis 79 (S1): 101-120. 2014.
    I distinguish two notions of agreement in belief: believing the same content versus having beliefs that necessarily coincide/diverge in normative status. The second notion of agreement,, is clearly significant for the communication of beliefs amongst thinkers. Thus there would seem to be some prima facie advantage to choosing the conception of content operative in in such a way that the normative status of beliefs supervenes on their content, and this seems to be the prevailing assumption of man…Read more
  •  79
    Wittgenstein's Lasting Significance (edited book)
    with Bernhard Weiss
    Routledge. 2004.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein has exerted a more powerful influence on contemporary philosophy than any other twentieth-century thinker. But what is the nature of this influence and why has it proved so enduring? In _Wittgenstein's Lasting Significance_, twelve contemporary philosophers explore the issues surrounding Wittgenstein's importance and relevance to modern thought. Their articles, all of which are published here for the first time, cover the entirety of Wittgenstein's major publications: the _Tr…Read more
  •  77
    Introduction: “Relativism about Value”
    with Dan Zeman
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (4): 529-537. 2012.
    This is our introduction to the 50 years Anniversary Issue of The Southern Journal of Philosophy on "Relativism about Value". Contributors: Berit Brogaard, Andy Egan, Ragnar Francén Olinder, Karl Schafer, Isidora Stojanovic, Folke Tersman.
  •  73
    An argument for relativism
    Think 5 (14): 51-62. 2007.
    The question is philosophy' equivalent of a trashy horror movie. It sounds radical and deep. One is excited by the enormity of the insight one would gain were one to find out that indeed, everything is relative. Max Ksensible’ form of relativism supported by a straightforward argument
  •  64
    The aim of this paper is to motivate and defend a conventional approach to assertion and other illocutionary acts. Such an approach takes assertions, questions and orders to be moves within an essentially rule-governed activity similar to a game. The most controversial aspect of a conventional account of assertion is that according to it, for classifying an utterance as an assertion, question or command, “it is irrelevant what intentions the person speaking may have had” (Dummett 1973, p. 302).…Read more
  •  57
    Wright’s Argument from Neutrality
    Ratio 10 (1): 35-47. 1997.
    In the first chapter of his book Truth and Objectivity, Crispin Wright puts forward what he regards as ‘a fundamental and decisive objection’ to deflationism about truth. His objection proceeds by an argument to the conclusion that truth and warranted assertibility coincide in normative force and potentially diverge in extension. This argument has already received some attention. However, I do not believe that it has been fully understood yet. In this short paper, I shall assess the cogency of W…Read more
  •  54
    Aesthetic judge-dependence and expertise
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (6): 589-617. 2016.
    This paper expounds and defends a judge-dependence account of aesthetic concepts, where aesthetic concepts are construed widely, to include for example both concepts of personal taste and more narrowly aesthetic concepts. According to such an account, it can depend on personal features of a judge whether it is correct for that judge to apply an aesthetic concept to a given object. After introducing and motivating the account, the article sets out to explain how some aesthetic questions can seem …Read more
  •  47
    Relativism - by Maria Baghramian (review)
    Philosophical Books 48 (4): 368-371. 2007.
  •  47
    Perspectival representation and fallacies in metaethics
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (3-4): 379-404. 2018.
    The prevailing theoretical framework for theorising about representation construes all representation as involving objective representational contents. This classic framework has tended to drive philosophers either to claim that evaluative judgements are representations and therefore objective, or else to claim that evaluative judgements are not really representations, because they are not objective. However, a more general, already well-explored framework is available, which will allow theorist…Read more
  •  46
    The Continuum Companion to the Philosophy of Language (edited book)
    Continuum International. 2012.
    The Continuum Companion to Philosophy of Language offers the definitive guide to contemporary philosophy of language. The book covers all the fundamental questions asked by the philosophy of language - areas that have continued to attract interest historically as well as topics that have emerged more recently as active areas of research. Ten specially commissioned essays from an international team of experts reveal where important work continues to be done in the area and, most valuably, the exc…Read more
  •  44
    Objectivity and Perspectival Content
    Erkenntnis 1-23. forthcoming.
    What is objectivity? What would it take to have objective representations and do we have what it takes? This paper aims to contribute to answering these questions. To this end, it isolates one relevant sense of objectivity and proposes a generalization of standard frameworks of representational content in order to engage with the question in a way that is rhetorically fair. Armed with a general conception of perspectival content, taken from the literature on centred or de se content, the paper a…Read more
  •  42
    Saving Relativism from Its Saviour
    Critica 31 (91): 91-103. 1999.