The truth of an utterance depends on various factors. Usually these factors are assumed to be: the meaning of the sentence uttered, the context in which the utterance was made, and the way things are in the world. Recently, however, a number of cases have been discussed where there seems to be reason to think that the truth of an utterance is not yet fully determined by these three factors, and that truth must therefore depend on a further factor. The most prominent
examples include utterances about values, utterances attributing knowledge, utterances that state that something is probable or epistemically possible, and utterances about the contingent future. In these cases, some have argued, the standard picture needs to be modified to admit extra
truth-determining factors, and there is further controversy about the exact role of any such extra factors.
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 current interest: whether truth is relative to standards of taste, values, or subjective informational states. It is an issue in the philosophy of language, but one with important connections to other areas of philosophy, such as meta-ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology.
Max Koelbel received his PhD from King's College London in 1997. He has taught philosophy at UNAM in Mexico City, at Swansea, Cambridge, and since 2001 at the University of Birmingham. From 2008, he will be ICREA Research Professor at the University of Barcelona. ; Manuel Garcia-Carpintero received his PhD from the University of Barcelona in 1988 and has taught in the department of Logica, Historia i Filosofia there since 1984.
I: RELATIVISM ELABORATED; II: THE METAPHYISCAL SIGNIFICANCE OF RELATIVISM; III: OBJECTIONS TO RELATIVISM; IV: ALTERNATIVES TO RELATIVISM