Assignment

In my email about Tuesday’s reading (Appiah), I present a few “issues to think about”. Pick ONE of these and post about a paragraph in response. Note that if you choose the last of the issues, the task is to summarize in your own words the argument of section 9.6 (very difficult) or 9.7 (somewhat difficult). Kudos for attempting either of these. (This level of work would be something good to revise for your portfolio later.)

Response:

Humanity depends on theory to interpret their experiences and develop beliefs. These experiences and beliefs give meaning to words, concepts, and terms. The relativity of claims of truth and the structure of past assumptions create conceptual schemes whose standards differ from one society to another. Different societies have different conceptual schemes, and, therefore, a concept can hold true relative to one scheme but fall short relative to another. Because societies arrive at different, contradictory theories, there is neither an expectation for one society to accept the other’s standards nor a method to determine which society’s conceptual scheme is true. Everything is relevant, even beliefs in either strong or weak relativism. Weak relativism poses that different conceptual schemes determine what is reasonable, acceptable, or logical to believe. The way society perceives its surroundings determines what is reasonable to believe. What is reasonable to believe in one scheme is not necessarily reasonable to believe in another. In a system of weak relativism, opposing conceptual schemes can exist in unity because of the ability to simultaneously use contradictory ways of thinking. Weak relativists can see the difference between the two concepts but use the same reasoning to explain their existence; they find different ways to interpret and conceptualize one shared reality. 

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