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Relative Truth$
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Manuel García-Carpintero and Max Kölbel

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199234950

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199234950.001.0001

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Frege, Relativism and Faultless Disagreement

Frege, Relativism and Faultless Disagreement

(p.225) 10 Frege, Relativism and Faultless Disagreement
Relative Truth

Sven Rosenkranz

Oxford University Press

Allegedly, relativism can make sense of faultless disagreements, where A and B faultlessly disagree if A sincerely asserts P, B sincerely asserts ~P and yet neither assertion is incorrect. Such cases seem to abound in areas of evaluative discourse. The trouble with taking these appearances at face value is that P and ~P cannot both be true so that at least one of the speakers would seem at fault. To defuse this objection, relativists suggest conceiving of propositional truth as being relative to perspectives. Drawing on Fregean insights into the nature of assertion, this chapter argues that this manoeuvre will not work and that relativists are anyway hard-pressed to account for genuine disagreement. Discarding the idea of faultlessness, some positive suggestions are made of how relativists might recover a sense in which A and B genuinely disagree. One tentative conclusion is that moral relativism is the non-cognitivists' best bet.

Keywords:   Frege, faultless disagreement, assertion, moral relativism, non-cognitivism

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