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Conventional Realism and Political InquiryChanneling Wittgenstein$
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John G. Gunnell

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226661278

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226661308.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

The Quest for the Real and the Fear of Relativism

The Quest for the Real and the Fear of Relativism

(p.151) 8 The Quest for the Real and the Fear of Relativism
Conventional Realism and Political Inquiry

John G. Gunnell

University of Chicago Press

This chapter begins with a brief case study of the work of Steven Lukes as an example of the attempt of social and political theorists to deal with what they believe to be the problem of relativism. The principal content of the chapter, however, is a critical discussion of an argument by the philosopher Cora Diamond. Although she had once described and defended what she believed to be a “realistic spirit” in Wittgenstein’s work, which she interpreted as going against the grain of traditional realism, she nevertheless later argued that it was possible to elicit from that work a philosophical realist basis for what she referred to as “criticizing from outside.”

Keywords:   Diamond, Lukes, realism, relativism, Wittgenstein

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