Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Relativism, philosophy: relativism is a collective term for views that generally refer to the conditions which are fundamental for the occurrence of these views. Variants are based on theories, on languages, on social groups or on cultures. See also internal realism, externalism, observational language, cultural relativism, idealization.

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Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

 
Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Ancient Philosophy on Relativism - Dictionary of Arguments

Gaus I 306
Relativism/Ancient philosophy/Keyt/Miller: (...) (...) Aristotle remarks that 'fine and just actions exhibit much variation and fluctuation, so that they seem to exist by nomos only, not by physis' (EN 1.3.1094b14—16). It is but a short (though invalid) step from cultural diversity to moral relativism.
Protagoras: In the opening and only surviving sentence of his work on Truth, Protagoras famously proclaimed that 'man is the measure of all things, of things that are, that they are, and of things that are not, that they are not'.
Plato: Plato takes Protagoras to mean that 'things are to me as they appear to me, and are to you as they appear to you' (Crat. 386a) and in general that 'what seems true to each [man] is true for each [man]' (Crat. 386c). Moral relativism is just one application of this universal relativism.. >Relativsm/Protagoras, >Relativism/Plato, >Democracy/Protagoras.


Keyt, David and Miller, Fred D. jr. 2004. „Ancient Greek Political Thought“. In: Gaus, Gerald F. & Kukathas, Chandran 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Ancient Philosophy
Gaus I
Gerald F. Gaus
Chandran Kukathas
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2022-01-21
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