On-line version ISSN 2011-7477
VILLA, Vittorio. Relativism: A conceptual analysis. Eidos [online]. 2010, n.13, pp. 166-191. ISSN 2011-7477.
In this paper, first, I will try to give a conceptual definition of relativism, with the aim of singling out the basic elements common to the most relevant relativist conceptions. I will qualify as "relativistic" all conceptions in which all or a relevant part of its criteria and beliefs necessarily depend on a given context. Secondly, I will deal with some critical observations against relativism. From this point of view, a problem arises from the fact that many relativists would like to have the chance of expressing some objective judgments. Lastly, I will propose a relativistic conception: one that doesn't incorporate absolutist elements at all and nevertheless could be able to explain the presence of a common core of criteria and beliefs in all our conceptual schemes and beliefs. Two distinctions are important here: first, local conceptual schemes and long termframeworks, and second, environment and world. This last distinction makes possible to speak, even inside a coherent relativist epistemological conception, of the existence of an objective reality.
Keywords : Relativism; objective reality; criteria; environnement; world.