The View from Within examines the character of reason and the ability of an individual to effectively distance himself from the normative framework in which he functions in order to be self-critical and innovative. To accomplish this task, Menachem Fisch and Yitzhak Benbaji critically employ or reject the recent writings of Brandom, Friedman, Frankfurt, Walzer, Davidson, Williams, Habermas, Rorty, and McDowell to offer a fundamental analysis of the character of reason and the problem of relativism.
This ambitious book forcefully raises the problem of rational normative change and makes the unique and insightful claim that although we cannot be convinced by normative criticism to modify or replace our norms, we can be rationally motivated to do so by the effect of exposure to trusted critics. Its unprecedented analysis, with its solution to the problem of normative self-criticism that has baffled philosophers for the past sixty years, will be welcomed by both students and scholars of philosophy.
“The View from Within is a thorough evaluation of the arguments made by contemporary philosophers about the normative character of reason and the derivative problem of relativism. Fisch and Benbaji have admirably compared and contrasted competing positions, and with a balanced critique, they have made a sustained effort to ‘save’ rationality and provide new guideposts for its philosophical evaluation. A timely and important contribution.” —Alfred I. Tauber, Boston University