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The Quality of Life$
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Martha Nussbaum and Amartya Sen

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198287971

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198287976.001.0001

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Objectivity and Social Meaning

Objectivity and Social Meaning

Chapter:
(p.165) Objectivity and Social Meaning
Source:
The Quality of Life
Author(s):

Michael Walzer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198287976.003.0013

Walzer defends a qualified form of relativism in which much attention is paid to the various forms of criticism and discontent that may arise in society. However inarticulate these dissenting voices may be, argues Walzer, they are to be taken as important data in understanding what a good life would be for society as a whole. Walzer stresses that even if no particular meaning was objectively true or right or necessary, it would still be the case that the construction of meaning is a real process, and ‘objectivity’ is tenable only to the extent that it hangs on the accommodation of the object or social meaning by a knowing, inquiring subject.

Keywords:   construction of meaning, discontent, objectivity, perspective, relativism, social meaning, subject

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