Contextualism, Relativism, and Practical Conflicts and Disagreement

Principal Investigator:

Teresa Marques

Funding Institution: European Science Foundation
Date: 2011-2014


In the social sciences, cultural multiplicity has been taken as evidence for cultural relativism: the thesis that customs, aesthetic trends and values, and morality are relative to given cultural systems, systems that vary along time and from place to place, and in some cases, between social groups and even individuals. The plausibility of relativism acquires further support from the realization that it is implausible that there are objective truths about what is right or wrong, good or bad, either in morality, aesthetics or matters of taste, that are independent of there being humans who make judgements in such domains.

The coherence of relativism has been disputed by philosophers (starting with Plato), but even if relativism does not succumb to such attacks, some questions require an answer, namely:

  • How do we explain the apparent existence of, for instance, moral progress?
  • How are the notions of agreement and disagreement in these domains to be explained?

Recent proposals generalize semantic frameworks with centred propositions (propositions true not just at a world, but also at a centre: a time, or place, individual) to explain the perspectival nature of some areas of discourse. This project aims to offer an adequate account of the crucial notions of doxastic and practical disagreement in those problematic areas. A secondary aim is to apply the notion of practical disagreement, to be developed while the project runs, to some issues in the philosophy of law, focusing on sex- and gender based conflicts and discrimination, and developing an account of the notion of the grounds or basis of discrimination. For further information, please contact Teresa Marques (project leader): mariateresamarques [at]

Research Team

Teresa Marques, Gonçalo Santos, Luís Duarte d’Almeida, Fiora Salis, Andreas Stokke, Bruno Jacinto, José Mestre.


Teresa Marques and Manuel García-Carpintero. 2014. Disagreement about taste: commonality presuppositions and coordination, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, DOI: 10.1080/00048402.2014.922592

Teresa Marques. 2014. Relative correctness, Philosophical Studies 167, 2: 361 – 373. doi: 10.1007/s11098-013-0100-3

Teresa Marques. 2014. Doxastic Disagreement, Erkenntnis, 79 (1): 121 – 142. doi: 10.1007%2Fs10670-013-9448-1

Daniel Cohnitz and Teresa Marques. 2014. Disagreements. Erkenntnis, 79 (1): 1-10 . doi: 10.1007/s10670-013-9442-7

Gonçalo Santos. 2013. Numbers and Everything. Philosophia Mathematica. DOI: 10.1093/philmat/nkt008

Luís Duarte D’Almeida. 2011. Legal Statements and Normative Language, 30 Law and Philosophy 167

Luís Duarte D’Almeida. 2013. Legal Sex, in L Green and B Leiter (eds) Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Law, vol 2 (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

Luís Duarte D’Almeida. 2012. “O Call Me Not to Justify the Wrong”: Criminal Answerability and the Offence/Defence Distinction, Criminal Law and Philosophy 6, 227-245.

Luís Duarte D’Almeida, 2013. Reading HLA Hart’s ‘The Concept of Law’, co-edited with James Edwards and Andrea Dolcetti (Hart Publishing).

Luís Duarte D’Almeida. 2013. Hart’s Readers, co-authored with James Edwards and Andrea Dolcetti, in Reading HLA Hart’s ‘The Concept of Law’ (Hart Publishing).

Luís Duarte d’Almeida. 2013. Kelsen Revisited. New Essays on the Pure Theory of Law, co-edited with John Gardner and Leslie Green (Hart Publishing).

Luís Duarte D’Almeida. 2013. In Canonical Form: Kelsen’s Doctrine of the “Complete” Legal Norm, in L Duarte d’Almeida, J Gardner and L Green (eds) Kelsen Revisited. New Essays on the Pure Theory of Law (Hart Publishing).

Luís Duarte D’Almeida. 2013. A Proof-Based Account of Legal Exceptions’ (2013) 33 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 133-168.

Luís Duarte D’Almeida. 2014. The Problem of Defeasibility and the Problems of Defeasibility, forthcoming in Jurisprudence.

Andreas Stokke. 2012. Truth and Context Change, Journal of Philosophical Logic, pp. 1-19. DOI: 10.1007/s10992-012-9250-6

Andreas Stokke. 2012. Insinserity, Noûs, DOI: 10.1111/nous.12001

Andreas Stokke. 2013. Protagonist Projection, Mind and Language. DOI: 10.1111/mila.12016

Andreas Stokke, 2013. Lying, Deceiving, and Misleading Philosophy Compass. 8(4), 2013, 348-359.

Andreas Stokke, 2013. Lying and Asserting, Journal of Philosophy. CX(1), 2013, 33-60.

Andreas Stokke, 2013. Saying too Little and Saying too Much. Critical Notice of Lying, Misleading, and What is Said by Jennifer Saul”, Disputatio V(35), 81–91.

Andreas Stokke, And and And*, in L. Goldstein (ed.), Brevity, Oxford University Press. (forthcoming)

Fiora Salis. 2013. Fictional Names and the Problem of Intersubjective Identification. Dialectica 67 (3): 283-301

Fiora Salis. (guest editor). 2013. Book Symposium on François Recanati’s Mental Files (Oxford University Press 2012). Disputatio, V(36) – Special Issue.

Fiora Salis & Roman Frigg, Thought experiments, in Peter Godfrey-Smith and Arnold Levy (eds.), The Scientific Imagination, Oxford University Press, forthcoming.


Final Conference: Understanding and Misunderstanding: Cognition, Communication and Culture, 8-10 May 2014 On the Emergence of Consensus and Misunderstanding, Feb 2014 Varieties of Shared Intentionality Dec 2013 Summer School: Concepts, Normativit