RELATIVISM: A THREAT OR AN OPPORTUNITY?
Relativism, ever since its initial formulations in ancient Greece, has always been one of the most heatedly criticised and most frequently refuted philosophical conceptions. The aim of the paper is to assess the viability of relativist as well as anti-relativist claims.
Relativism is fundamentally an anti-absolutist doctrine. Accordingly, most of the anti-relativistic strategies strive to formulate some kind of absolute – be it an absolutist God’s eye point of view or an absolute unshakeable basis of knowledge which supposedly enables the anti-relativist to achieve absolute truth, supposedly distinct and superior to cognition available to all other, less opportunely situated subjects. My purpose is essentially negative: to subvert the nodal points of some anti-relativistic arguments.
In the final part, Maclntyre’s dialectical approach to the problem of relativism is discussed. MacIntyre convincingly shows how it is possible to make sense of the philosophical conception of relativism, but at the same time he also shows how it is possible to deal with the practical problems arising as a result of a meeting and conflict of rival communities, languages, conceptual schemes, etc., and how a solution to those problems becomes practically possible.