Philosophers as Professional Relativists

  • Robert E. Butts
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 155)


I used to think that we should expect of presidents of philosophical associations that they offer us a few pithy comments on the nature of the universe. After all, I used to think, the universe, if it belongs to anyone, belongs to the philosophers, and they should know how to deal with it. I no longer have this expectation. Instead, my views coincide with those of Woody Allen, (1971, p. 27) who writes:

Can we actually ‘know’ the universe? My god, it’s hard enough finding your way around in Chinatown. The point, however, is: Is there anything out there? And why? And must they be so noisy? Finally, there can be no doubt that the one characteristic of ‘reality’ is that it lacks essence. That is not to say it has no essence, but merely lacks it. (The reality I speak of here is the same one Hobbes described, but a little smaller.)


Academic Freedom Secret Society Professional Relativist Professional Philosopher Philosophical Stance 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert E. Butts
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyThe University of Western OntarioCanada

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