Relativism

Richard Wolff rwolff at minerva.cis.yale.edu
Sun Jan 15 12:04:26 MST 1995


	Reply to Jamal Hannah:

		The word "wrong" may, of course, be variously defined
	according to the theoretical perspectives of definers. However,
	in the context of a debate between an absolutist and an
	anti-absolutist epistemological persepctive (Schartz's and my
	perspectives, respectively, as I see them), the term "wrong"
	does have a long history of definition by absolutists as "wrong"
	in the absolutist sense...i.e., wrong for everyone, regardless
	of perspective/theory/approach; "wrong" in the absolutist sense
	of wrong INTERtheoretically and not only INTRAtheoretically.
	And it was in precisely that historically common meaning of the
	term "wrong" that I commented that Schwartz could use it (as an
	absolutist), whereas I could not and would not.

		Of course, if you relativize "wrong," make it a term
	defined only in relation to SOME specific theroetical framework,
	so that your wrong is not wrong for me, etc., then you have indeed
	taken a long, significant step away from absolutism and towards
	that set of different kinds of relativism I have been at some pains
	to discuss and distinguish among.

	R. Wolff

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