Jarvie on rationality and cultural relativism

Kei Yoshida*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Ian C. Jarvie is widely known for his contribution to the “rationality debate” in philosophy of the social sciences. In this chapter, I shall critically examine his view of rationality and rebuttal of cultural relativism. First, I shall discuss his view of rationality while paying attention to its relation to Karl Popper’s critical rationalism. Second, I shall scrutinize Jarvie’s criticism of cultural relativism, after his debate with Peter Winch. Jarvie proposes a middle way to avoid ethnocentrism and cultural relativism by examining Melville Herskovits’s cultural relativism and its relation to the American Anthropological Association’s “Statement on Human Rights.” Third, I shall examine Jarvie’s social and institutional view of rationality by discussing his ideas of weak absolutism, workshop rationality, and social institution.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Impact of Critical Rationalism
Subtitle of host publicationExpanding the Popperian Legacy through the Works of Ian C. Jarvie
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9783319908267
ISBN (Print)9783319908250
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


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