File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_1997/bhaskar.9708, message 1

Date: Fri, 01 Aug 1997 06:23:39 -0400
To: bhaskar-AT-jefferson.village.Virginia.EDU
Subject: Re: BHA: Non-experimental science (was "What must the ...")

At 08:27 AM 7/31/97 +0100, Colin wrote:
>Louis wrote:
>I may not have RB's distinction
>>between epistemic and judgemental relativism entirely correctly, especally
>>as Colin sees it differently in a post today.  I see epistemic relativity
>>as the denial that our concepts are fixed and universal, given to us once
>>and for all.
>I don't think anything in my understanding of epistemological relativism is
>at odds with this. But just to clear things up here is better formulation of
>my own position.
>epistemological relativism; namely, that all beliefs are socially produced,
>so that knowledge is transient, and neither truth values nor criteria of
>rationality exist outside of historical time.
>Hope that helps.

To add to this clarification, Sandra Harding treats judgemental relativism
as the belief that people cannot rationally judge the merits of one theory
over another.

Hence, rejecting judgemental relativism puts rationality back into science
because it allows us to say one theory is better than another.  This does
not undermine epistemic relativism. 

Marshall Feldman, Associate Professor		      
Graduate Curriculum in Community Planning and Area Development	401/874-5953
The University of Rhode Island					401/874-5511 (FAX)
94 West Alumni Avenue, Suite 1; Kingston, RI 02881-0806

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