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Sunday, November 27, 2016

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Thank you, Bill.

"... the relative relativist cannot exclude the nonrelativist view: he must admit that it is possible that nonrelativism (NR) be nonrelatively true."

1. Does the sort of possibility matter? Is it epistemic, or other -- say, broadly logical?

2. Most importantly, suppose the relative relativist qualifies everything with a relativizing operator. So suppose he says,

It is relatively true that it is possible that (NR) be true in every locality.
It is relatively true that it is impossible that (NR) be true in every locality.

Is this really inconsistent?

3. Moreover, what exactly does it mean to say, 'true in a locality'? We still know not. But this may be the relativist's problem, not yours.

The possibility appears to be both epistemic and logical.

Your dyad is inconsistent if the relativizing operator is univocal across both of its occurrences. Suppose it is cashed out like this: it is true-for-me-and-mine that p.

Yes, it is the relativist's problem.

What is he up to? Is he telling us that there is no truth only local understandings? (Eliminativism) Is he telling us that truth just is local understanding? (Reductivism) Is he recommending that we drop the word 'truth' altogether? The latter is Rorty's line. Don't ask whether p is true, ask whether one can get away with saying it around here.

Perhaps the relativist should just STFU already and stop making phil. claims incl. claims about relativism. He should just say: this is how we behave around here and this is what we say. And then he shuts up and give you a blank stare if you ask whether his behavior is morally correct and what he says is true.

True? What's that?

Bill,

I can't say if my dyad is inconsistent. For I don't know what 'relatively true', 'true in a location', or 'true-for-me-and-mine' mean. Can you? I guess no, you can't. How can we refute the relativist until we know what he means?

Also, supposing for the moment that we do know it, is this dyad inconsistent?

In some localities it is true that it is possible that (NR) be true in every locality.
In some localities it is true that it is impossible that (NR) be true in every locality.

By the way, the SEP entry on relativism reports that Hales and Shogenji discussed this in Mind, in terms of modal logic.

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