Language, truth and meaning: A defence of modernism

Language, truth and meaning: A defence of modernism Relativism, at least in some of its forms, is antithetical to sociology as traditionally practiced and conceived. (See, for instance, Benton and Crabb, 2001, pp.50‐74 and 93‐1006; Collins 1996a; Mann, 1998; Murphy, 1997; and Taylor‐Gooby, 1994). Hence, sociologists should consider abandoning traditional sociology or rejecting relativism. An example of the sort of relativism I have in mind is the philosophical theory that the truth and falsity of propositions is relative to the social context of their promulgation. Such epistemological relativism is expressed by Newton‐Smith when he says: “The central relativist idea is that what is true for one tribe, social group or age might not be true for an other tribe, social group or age” (Newton‐Smith, 1982, p.107). http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy Emerald Publishing

Language, truth and meaning: A defence of modernism

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0144-333X
DOI
10.1108/01443330510791252
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Relativism, at least in some of its forms, is antithetical to sociology as traditionally practiced and conceived. (See, for instance, Benton and Crabb, 2001, pp.50‐74 and 93‐1006; Collins 1996a; Mann, 1998; Murphy, 1997; and Taylor‐Gooby, 1994). Hence, sociologists should consider abandoning traditional sociology or rejecting relativism. An example of the sort of relativism I have in mind is the philosophical theory that the truth and falsity of propositions is relative to the social context of their promulgation. Such epistemological relativism is expressed by Newton‐Smith when he says: “The central relativist idea is that what is true for one tribe, social group or age might not be true for an other tribe, social group or age” (Newton‐Smith, 1982, p.107).

Journal

International Journal of Sociology and Social PolicyEmerald Publishing

Published: Dec 1, 2005

Keywords: Defence of modernism; Relativism; Epistemological relativism

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