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Forum Philosophicum

Volume 15, Issue 1, Autumn 2010

Majid Amini, Christopher Caldwell
Pages 103-118

Does “One Cannot Know” Entail “Everyone is Right”? The Relationship between Epistemic Scepticism and Relativism

The objective of the paper is to seek clarification on the relationship between epistemic relativism and scepticism. It is not infrequent to come across contemporary discussions of epistemic relativism that rely upon aspects of scepticism and, vice versa, discussions of scepticism drawing upon aspects of relativism. Our goal is to highlight the difference(s) between them by illustrating (1) that some arguments thought to be against relativism are actually against scepticism, (2) that there are different ways of understanding the relationship between relativism and scepticism, and (3) that a commitment to either relativism or scepticism does not entail commitment to the other. The paper focuses upon the works of Peter Unger and Paul Boghossian to show how this terrain can be variously conceived and to illustrate that Boghossian’s conception of the landscape is incorrect.