Reclaiming Truth: Contribution to a Critique of Cultural Relativism (Post-Contemporary Interventions) by Christopher Norris
Other | Humanities
Reclaiming Truth: Contribution to a Critique of Cultural Relativism (Post-Contemporary Interventions)
Duke University Press Books; Black Line on Bottom Fore-edge edition (September 25, 1996)
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Norris presents his case in a series of closely argued chapters that take issue with the relativist position. He attempts to rehabilitate the value of truth in philosophy of science by restoring a lost distinction between concept and metaphor and argues that theoretical discourse, so far from being an inconsequential activity, has very real consequences, particularly in ethics and politics. This debate has become skewed, he suggests, through the widespread and typically postmodern idea that truth-claims must always go along with a presumptive or authoritarian bid to silence opposing views. On the contrary, there is nothing as dogmatic—or as silencing—as a relativism that acknowledges no shared truth conditions for valid or responsible discourse. Norris also offers a timely reassessment of several thinkers—Althusser and Derrida among them—whose reception history has been distorted by the vagaries of short-term intellectual fashion.
Reclaiming Truth will be welcomed by readers concerned with the uses and abuses of theory at a time when such questions are in urgent need of sustained and serious debate.