The Abhorrent Relativism We Do Not Profess


  • Patrik Fridlund


Perhaps the time has come to relativise relativism? That is the aim of the present article. Although many take a strong position against relativism, relativising and deconstructive traits are important and indispensable in scientific and intellectual work. The aspect of relativising, putting into perspective, or saying that things are dependent on background, is generally emphasised in descriptions of academic undertakings - i.e. in descriptions of scientific or philosophical work, as well as in theology and religious studies. There are good grounds: anything that is related to the human world is also exposed to human freedom and human limitations. Even when relativising is thematized and seen as something indispensable, it does not necessarily open for relativism in the sense of subjective arbitrariness. When making certain claims, they must in some way be supported if they should have any value. Judgements made by other people, external signs, some indications, proofs or evidences are required if such interpretations and claims should be considered correct; some support is needed.