What is Relativism History of Relativism - Essay Example

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Relativism, in its essence, deals with the concept of what is reality and whether it is absolute or not. It suggests that there is no absolute truth and that everything is relative in nature and this relativity is subjected to the perceptions…
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What is Relativism History of Relativism
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Download file to see previous pages Relativism therefore essentially argues that different point of views which are argued against and in favor of are equally valid and the difference only arises due to different perceptions and considerations of individuals. Relativism however, comprises of a body of knowledge and different point of views with common theme that some central aspects of our existence are actually relative to some other things. Issues such as moral principles, justifications are considered as relative to other variables such as the language, culture as well as biological make-up.
It also suggests that our own cognitive biases towards certain issues actually restrict our ability to view things objectively therefore this bias can be contained towards wherever we use our senses. As such, relativitism suggests that our existence is actually situated into our cultural and linguistic contexts therefore our perceptions about truth can be relative.( Wisman, 1990) Universalism, however, deals with one universal truth and has religious and theological foundations also. Different religions including Christianity and Islam endorse the concept of one universal truth and reality.
Universalism therefore can be used to identify the particular doctrines concerning the formation of all people.
This paper will focus upon describing and exploring relativitism in details while also arguing whether it is defensible and can be reconciled with universalism or not. History of Relativism It is suggested that there are no significant philosophers who ever can be considered as relativists. However, the history of relativism dates back to Greek era when Protagoras of Abdera believes to have put forward a simple version of relativism in his treatise Truth. Protagoras outlined that all human beings are measure of all things and to things they belong and to things they don’t belong they don’t. Apparently, Protagoras was of the view that human beings are creatures which can be associated with certain things and a person is a measure of how he associates with those things. Protagoras went on to say that to me a wind may seem cold or hot but to you it may be different.( Rorty,1991) It is critical to understand that Greek were aware of the cultural differences since 50 Century BCE and onwards. Herodotus even went on to discuss the cultural differences and biases people of India and Persia held and suggested that if you were to ask them what are the best laws, they would probably mention their own laws as the best. Similar, references are also made in other literature wherein it was critically outlined that no behavior can be shameful if it is not to the person who is practicing it. Further, arguments were also presented regarding different conceptions of God.( Lutz,1991) Protagoras was considered as the first official voice in relativism though very little is known about him. Most of his teachings are presented as reference in the works of Plato. Plato interpreted his most of the work wherein he argued that each thing appear to me so it as to me and each thing appear to you so it is to you. Protagoras also discussed about the truth and how it appears to others. It has been argued that during recent times, four important schools of thoughts emerged in relativism which have actually challenged the traditional view about It is suggested that relativistic motives appear almost everywhere in philosophy and that the relativists have been able to keep many thinkers captive of their ideas despite the fact that relativistic arguments often lead to implausible conclusions. Much of 20th century thought on the relativism has been focused upon presenting the issue more coherently rather than further refining its fundamental principles. The initial focus was on the diversity of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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