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Questions tagged [relativism]

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Philosophical term for relativistic moral standards

Consider the following attitudes towards Genghis Khan: He was a murderous monster! He did some bad things, but he also did some good things (e.g. promoting trade). He should be judged by the ...
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Universality of aesthetic judgment in Kant

In the Critique of Judgement Kant tries to characterise the aesthetic judgement as (among others) universal, i.e as a judgement that we can demand others to have as well as us. If I understand ...
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Reference for book — cultural relativism — cognised/cognisable/real worlds (with golden dragon)

I am hoping someone can give me a reference for a book I read once. (I should [as in "would"] have a note, but if I do I can not find it.) The book was, from memory, a collection of articles/...
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How is the truth multiple things?

For the philosopher, the Truth must be a surprisingly intractable concept. Truth has been called subjective, relative and plural. Also intriguingly: Truth is relative and plural. Now I realize this is ...
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Confused by “there are [no] necessary truths. Therefore intuition has no epistemic role to play.”

I am making my way through Relativism and the Foundations of Philosophy by Steven D. Hales (MIT Press 2006). Chapter 1 discusses intuition and how it relates to knowledge; he sketches out "the problem ...
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Is “all truth is relative” an absolute truth?

All truths are relative, and this is the only absolute principle. wrote August Comte. Anyway a radical relativism poses a serious problem: if every truth is always relative, is the latter an ...
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Can a relativist also be an absolutist about truth?

If your starting point is relativism (the view that there is no truth 'out there' because truth is subject to the individual) then you could deny the law of non contradiction. With this law out of ...
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Why must relativists “allow that there is a subculture of rationalists, who believe that the principles of reasoning are universal”?

From: Philip Johnson-Laird BA PhD Psychology (UCL), Stuart Professor of Psychology Emeritus at Princeton. (Author isn't a logician.) How We Reason (1st edn 2008). p. 275. Do Kpelle rice ...
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How to understand objective/subjective and relative/absolute in the context of morality?

I was reading this SEP article and in this article a model with orthogonal axes for objective/subjective and relative/absolute is given. An example analogy of a relative yet objective notion is also ...
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How can I argue against the argument: “relativism” is in itself another “centrism”?

To elaborate, one argument against cultural relativism is that the idea itself is another form of ethnocentrism. Because apparently, cultural relativism puts itself in a higher moral ground than ...
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A philosophy of suspending disbelief. What is it called?

What do you call the following philosophy? On its own God doesn't exist. Imagination is essential for humans to thrive to their fullest potential. At specific times, imagination is so useful ...
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Is “the self” a relativistic referential abstraction? What current philosophy form does this fit into?

I wrote this about 8 years ago. Consider the following ideas as though I, me, my and mine were substituted for the word self. · Self-awareness ·Self-concept · Self-consciousness · Self-identity ...
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What is the exact relationship between empathy and evil?

In common parlance, we label people who lack empathy as "evil". That is, people who commit acts of evil because they cannot put themselves in the shoes of their victims are seen as evil. Why is this? ...
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relativism and russell's paradox

Relativism is the idea that there is no universal, objective truth, and instead depends on the context and perspective. There is one concerning point however, which is the following relativistic ...
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How Relativistic is Social Constructivism?

Social Constructivism is a theory that cuts across a number of social science and humanities disciplines. Its fundamental claim is that certain aspects of social reality are not mind-independent. In ...
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Is Satisfaction Absolute?

I'm viewing this from a nihilistic standpoint, as in nothing in life has any inherent value, there is no meaning in life, and furthermore there's no reason to have one. So following this line of "...
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Postmodernism advocates are Right-wing or just can't see its effects against the Left? [closed]

Edit for the moderators (and anyone who cares) What I have here is a suspicion, actually shared by a number of important intellectuals and other less known people, thus not exactly a 'personal ...
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Is there a formal philosophy of moderation/mediation?

For context, it is my suspicion that practical problems arise out of philosophy when it is too strictly implemented. (Possibly we would call this extremism.) In computer science terms, and exclusive ...
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What is the argument from tolerance for cultural relativism? Why does it fail?

I'm trying to figure out why exactly the argument from tolerance fails. What I've come to so far is that to practice relativism means to see a cultures morals from a standpoint that of a person within ...
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Is Protagoras the philosophical root of the “Turing Test”?

Wikipedia places the philosophical root of the "Turing Test" with Descartes. Clearly Descartes is incredibly valuable in this regard, and also in regard to "cogito ergo sum", which can be applied to ...
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Does Nietzsche's rejection of Socrates mean that he is a relativist about ethics?

In Twilight of Idols (passage 10 in Problem of Socrates section) Nietzsche asserts that Socrates's equating Reason, Virtue and Happiness is a sign of decadence. Does it follow from this that ...
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Is relativism dead?

Most philosophers I know say that relativism is a dead philosophy and that it's used by freshmen philosophers to shrug off objective truth. Whenever I bring up anything that sounds remotely similar to ...
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Does Quine's relativism only follow if the data of theories is the only source of a theory's justification?

Quine saw that any group of theories could have the same pieces of data. There is a gap between any set of data and the interpretation we have of it. Quine then felt that in light of this, whether ...
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Is Feyerabend confusing discovery and justification when he criticizes the scientific method?

I am reading Feyerabend's "Against Method", where he uses Copernicus's (and Galileo's confirmation) discovery of the fact that the Earth orbits around the Sun and other examples to show that ...
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Is it possible to have faith in science while espousing anti-realism?

Realism is the theory that there is a mind-independent reality which we can know and interact with. Anti-realism holds, in general, either that there is no such mind-independent reality or that if ...
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moral relativism on science

Can you explain to me what Einstein meant in the following context? Some moral relativists try to say that science can be used to dictate ethics, but even secular scientists admit that science is a ...
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What are some philosophical implications of relativity?

what are the implications of relativity? does it imply for example that there is no center to spacetime? ie despite that the universe started from one point, there is no real center, every frame of ...
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Why do people who subscribe to self-refuting skeptical philosophies still argue with others?

The belief that everything is relative is obviously self-refuting, because it holds to an absolute. However, in my experience, people who believe this (or some form of it) such as some Buddhists and ...
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Karl Popper critiques to historical relativism

In his book "In Search of a Better World", Popper says that he already have argued against historical and social relativism in other works. What are these others works?
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Can a thing be a thing for a thing?

Recently I have read this and that about so called "object oriented ontology", mostly Graham Harman. Now I'm dealing with Ian Bogost, "What it's like to be a thing". One of their line of argument ...
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Which limit for relativism?

I've taken this sentence by Wikipedia but I see it in a weird way. "Culture sophistic through criticism of the notion of truth arrives at a more radical form of relativism. Not only there is no ...
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Is Kantian ethics arbitrary?

Speaking about Kantian ethics, I wondered how one could create a moral theory without knowledge of the world, based on the sole rationality. Without references to experience, what prevents us to ...
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Relativist semantics for attitude ascriptions?

Most recent semantic theories about attitude ascriptions(AAs) are contextualist in that they hold that AAs are context sensitive: AAs are associated with different truth conditions in different ...
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Has/can moral relativism be refuted and what are its implications for a true and useful ethical calculus?

It seems that the existence of moral relativism undermines the entire enterprise of ethics, as it devolves into a bunch of, albeit very smart, people abstractly formulating what is ultimately just a ...
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How do modern philosophers oppose relativism?

If my understanding is correct, Plato's theory of forms was developed to counter the relativism of Sophists such as Protagoras. His theory does not seem to have modern followers, as far as I know, yet ...
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What is the difference (if any) between Solipsism and subjective relativism [closed]

I have just come across these two "doctrines", from reading some online articles. After looking up their definitions on Wikipedia, I have to admit that they seem to be synonyms for the same concept. ...
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Are ethics subjective? [closed]

I made a claim that ethics are completely subjective; that there is no one correct answer to a question in the form of: Is insert activity or behaviour here ethical or not? It was suggested that I ...
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Relativism and 'I think, therefore I am'

I'm no philosopher and haven't extensively read or studied any philosophers. I've recently been reading up a little on relativism and what it means and I'm a little confused about to what it is ...
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Does an education that teaches relativism alone result in students who can not make ethical decisions?

This is a followup to a previous question that suggests that skepticism leads inevitably to moral relativism. In this question, I'd like to look further down the slippery slope and think of the ...
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Does skepticism inevitably lead to ethical relativism?

In this question, I will make a slippery slope argument. It's probably fallacious, but your task is the identify the point where one step does not inevitablly lead to the next step and explain why ...
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The death sentence, ethics and relativity [closed]

A very common question is, "should there be a death sentence?" I was brought up to defend the opinion that the government cannot do something that it itself considers illegal, unlawful and immoral. ...
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Does the rejection of moral relativism intellectually necessitate moral axioms that are logically indefensible? [closed]

Personally, I believe it's fair to assume nature/reality has no purpose. Quite often, people that, like myself, have some interest in natural sciences, agree that there are good reasons to believe ...
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Are there any philosophers who advance a non-foundationalist absolutism?

I'm sure my terminology is poor here (background in math more than philosophy), but are there any philosophers who have advanced a distinctly non-relativist epistemology without ultimately coming out ...
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Are there any philosophical works consisting entirely in conditional propositions?

Related, I suppose, to this question. In mathematics most theorems are of the form: If we have a [type of object] with [property 1] then it also has [property 2] That is, they are conditional ...
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Does humanism's rejection of God necesitate relativism?

I had the following discussion on Programmers.SE: @Peter Turner, Which is a good example of how religion warps morality, leading people to imagine their concerns are moral when they are profoundly ...
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Was Rorty a Relativist?

Richard Rorty spent much of his career defending his work against accusations of Relativism, and yet his name is often mentioned in such discussions. Are these accusations of Relativism directed at ...