•  93
    Delimiting the boundaries of inference
    Philosophical Issues 28 (1): 55-69. 2018.
  •  37
    Relativism about Morality
    In Katharina Neges, Josef Mitterer, Sebastian Kletzl & Christian Kanzian (eds.), Realism - Relativism - Constructivism: Proceedings of the 38th International Wittgenstein Symposium in Kirchberg, De Gruyter. pp. 301-312. 2017.
    Abstract Many philosophers and non-philosophers are attracted to the view that moral truths are relative to moral framework or culture. I distinguish between two versions of such a view. I argue that one version is coherent but not plausible, and I argue that the second one can’t be made sense of. The upshot is that we have to make sense of at least some objective moral truths.
  • with Jonardon Ganeri, Abu Sway Mustafa, and Georgina Stewart
    . 2016.
  •  19
    Fear of Knowledge: Against Relativism and Constructivism
    Erkenntnis 69 (1): 141-144. 2008.
  • Essays on Meaning and Belief
    Dissertation, Princeton University. 1987.
    The dissertation is in two parts. ;The first part consists of an extended essay on Saul Kripke's recent reflections on Wittgenstein's discussion of the concepts of meaning and following a rule. It is principally concerned to argue for the following claims: That Kripke is correct in claiming that there is an important sense in which any content property is a normative property. That, contrary to Kripke, recognition of this fact need not lead us to conclude that content properties are metaphysical…Read more
  •  829
    Analyticity reconsidered
    Noûs 30 (3): 360-391. 1996.
    This is what many philosophers believe today about the analytic/synthetic distinction: In his classic early writings on analyticity -- in particular, in "Truth by Convention," "Two Dogmas of Empiricism," and "Carnap and Logical Truth" -- Quine showed that there can be no distinction between sentences that are true purely by virtue of their meaning and those that are not. In so doing, Quine devastated the philosophical programs that depend upon a notion of analyticity -- specifically, the linguis…Read more
  •  94
    In B. Hale & C. Wright (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Language, Blackwell. pp. 331-368. 1997.
  •  397
    Relativist and constructivist conceptions of truth and knowledge have become orthodoxy in vast stretches of the academic world in recent times. In his long-awaited first book, Paul Boghossian critically examines such views and exposes their fundamental flaws. Boghossian focuses on three different ways of reading the claim that knowledge is socially constructed--one as a thesis about truth and two about justification. And he rejects all three. The intuitive, common-sense view is that there is a w…Read more
  •  252
    Unlike the relativistic theses drawn from physics, normative relativisms involve relativization not to frames of reference but to something like our standards, standards that we have to be able to think of ourselves as endorsing or accepting. Th us, moral facts are to be relativized to moral standards and epistemic facts to epistemic standards. But a moral standard in this sense would appear to be just a general moral proposition and an epistemic standard just a general epistemic proposition. Pu…Read more
  •  154
    Rules, Meaning and Intention – Discussion
    Philosophical Studies 124 (2): 185-197. 2005.
  •  480
    What is Relativism?
    In Patrick Greenough & Michael P. Lynch (eds.), Truth and Relativism, Clarendon Press. pp. 13--37. 2006.
    Many philosophers, however, have been tempted to be relativists about specific domains of discourse, especially about those domains that have a normative character. Gilbert Harman, for example, has defended a relativistic view of morality, Richard Rorty a relativistic view of epistemic justification, and Crispin Wright a relativistic view of judgments of taste.¹ But what exactly is it to be a relativist about a given domain of discourse? The term ‘‘relativism’’ has, of course, been used in a bewil…Read more
  •  131
    On hearing the music in the sound: Scruton on musical expression
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 60 (1). 2002.
  •  288
    The status of content
    Philosophical Review 99 (2): 157-84. 1990.
    A n irrealist conception of a given region of discourse is the view that no real properties answer to the central predicates of the region in question. Any such conception emerges, invariably, as the result of the interaction of two forces. An account of the meaning of the central predicates, along with a conception of the sorts of property the world may contain, conspire to show that, if the predicates of the region are taken to express properties, their extensions would have to be deemed unifo…Read more
  •  508
    in Christian Nimtz and Ansgar Beckermann (eds.): Philosophy - Science - Scientific Philosophy. Main Lectures and Colloquia of GAP.5, Fifth International Congress of the Society for Analytical Philosophy, Bielefeld, 2003, Mentis, 2005
  •  105
    The gospel of relaxation
    The New Republic. 2001.
    Pragmatism is America’s distinctive contribution to the history of philosophical thought, though there has always been some dispute about exactly what doctrine it is supposed to name. The philosopher and psychologist William James, in a lecture given at Berkeley in 1898, attributed the view to..
  •  91
    Epistemic relativism defended
    In Alvin I. Goldman & Dennis Whitcomb (eds.), Social Epistemology: Essential Readings, Oxford University Press. 2010.
  •  50
    Reply to Amini and Caldwell, “Boghossian’s Refutation of Relativism”
    International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 2 (1): 45-49. 2012.
    Majid Amini and Christopher Caldwell charge that I misconstrue the relation between relativism and constructivism, on the one hand, and between relativism and skepticism, on the other. In this brief response, I rebut their charges.
  •  228
    What the externalist can know "a priori"
    Philosophical Issues 9 197-211. 1998.
    Controversy continues to attach to the question whether an externalism about mental content is compatible with a traditional doctrine of privileged self-knowledge. By an externalism about mental content, I mean the view that what concepts our thoughts involve may depend not only on facts that are internal to us, but on facts about our environment. It is worth emphasizing, if only because it is still occasionally misperceived, that this thesis is supposed to apply at the level of sense and not me…Read more
  •  430
    Blind reasoning
    Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 77 (1). 2003.
    The paper asks under what conditions deductive reasoning transmits justification from its premises to its conclusion. It argues that both standard externalist and standard internalist accounts of this phenomenon fail. The nature of this failure is taken to indicate the way forward: basic forms of deductive reasoning must justify by being instances of ‘blind but blameless’ reasoning. Finally, the paper explores the suggestion that an inferentialist account of the logical constants can help explain…Read more
  •  518
    Physicalist theories of color
    Philosophical Review 100 (January): 67-106. 1991.
  •  437
    I agree with Sosa that intuitions are best thought of as attractions to believe a certain proposition merely on the basis of understanding it. However, I don't think it is constitutive of them that they supply strictly foundational justification for the propositions they justify, though I do believe that it is important that the intuition of a suitable subject be thought of as a prima facie justification for his intuitive judgment, independently of the reliability of his underlying capacities. I…Read more
  •  1
    Music and the Emotions
    In Kathleen Stock (ed.), Philosophers on Music: Experience, Meaning, and Work, Oxford University Press. pp. 117. 2007.
  •  6
    The problem stated
    In Paul Boghossian & Christopher Peacocke (eds.), New Essays on the a Priori, Oxford University Press. pp. 229. 2000.
  •  9
    Inference and Insight
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (3): 633-640. 2001.
    All of us are disposed to reason according to the rule of inference modus ponens : from.
  •  177
    Explaining musical experience
    In Kathleen Stock (ed.), Philosophers on Music: Experience, Meaning, and Work, Oxford University Press. 2007.
    1. I start with the observation that we often respond to a musical performance with emotion -- even if it is just the performance of a piece of absolute music, unaccompanied by text, title or programme. We can be exhilarated after a Rossini overture brought off with subtlety and panache; somber and melancholy after Furtlanger’s performance of the slow movement of the Eroica. And so forth. These emotions feel like the real thing to me – or anyway very close to the real thing. When one experiences…Read more
  •  165
    Replies to Wright, MacFarlane and Sosa
    Philosophical Studies 141 (3): 409-432. 2008.
    The main impetus for my book came from the widespread acceptance of relativistic views about truth and knowledge within the Academy, especially within the humanities and the humanistic social sciences. In its introductory sections, though, I noted that there is one discipline within the humanities in which the influence of relativistic views is quite weak—namely, within analytic philosophy itself. Ironically, no sooner had the ink dried on the final version of my manuscript sometime in mid-2005—…Read more
  •  6
    Content and Justification: Philosophical Papers
    Oxford University Press. 2008.
    This volume presents a series of influential essays by Paul Boghossian on the theory of content and on its relation to the phenomenon of a priori knowledge. The essays are organized under four headings: the nature of content; content and self-knowledge; knowledge, content, and the a priori; and colour concepts.