Chapter 18 showed why conceptual relativism must be rejected. The aim of this chapter is to save everything that was good about conceptual relativism (whilst avoiding its problems). The chapter draws upon Hirsch’s discussion of shallow debates and Putnam’s discussion of people who are equally at ‘home’ in multiple conceptual schemes. The result is a stance called conceptual cosmopolitanism. This disavows the idea that objects and kinds are scheme-relative. However, it offers a coherent challenge to metaphysicians, by maintaining that metaphysicians who want to know which scheme ‘really’ describes the world (or ‘really’ allows us to speak without restriction, or similar) are simply blustering. However, given the mitigated aporia that recommended in this book, it is hard to say exactly how much of a threat it poses.
Keywords: conceptual cosmopolitanism, shallow debates, hirsch’s shallowness criterion, superficialism, the Pledge to Tolerate, the Pledge to Relativise, the Pledge to Liquidate, mereology, neo-Carnapian metaontology
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