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January 2009

Guarding the boundaries

by Anthony Daniels

On the moral consequences of relativism (from "The Dictatorship of Relativism.")

Since I’ve received no education in philosophy whatever, it is no doubt very rash of me to make a broad generalization concerning the subject, but I shall risk it nonetheless: that in the whole history of philosophy not a single important philosophical problem has ever been solved beyond all possible dispute.

I know that the late Sir Karl Popper claimed to have solved the problem of induction not merely to his own satisfaction, but also to the satisfaction of all rational men; alas, I do not think that all rational men have reciprocated by agreeing with him. Pace Popper, the philosophy of science is not now at an end, any more than is mental, political, or moral philosophy.

Unless I am much mistaken, the metaphysical foundations of aesthetic and moral judgment have not been established with anything like the certainty with which, say, the circulation of the blood has been established. I know that it ...

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Anthony Daniels's most recent book is In Praise of Prejudice (Encounter Books).


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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 27 January 2009, on page 9

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