Saturday, November 23, 2013

Relativism vs. Objectivism

I was thinking about Mrs. Quinet's comment about how Montaigne isn't a pure relativist. So I was wondering, what is he? I read a few research articles on Montaigne and the most people seem to think his philosophy lies some where between relativism and objectivism. 

Relativism is the belief that there is no absolute truth, only the truths that a particular individual or culture happen to believe. -
Essentially, relativists believe that different people can have different opinions on what's moral and immoral. 
Objectivism holds that certain moral principles are valid to all individuals and cultures.

I can see how Montaigne is referred to as both a relativist and an objectivist. However, I think the fact that he does show judgement in his writings proves that he is not entirely a relativist. I think Montaigne is more of an Reljectivist (relativist + objectivist), which I just made up. He does assert that what people believe to be immoral or moral is true for them. However, he also holds those individual beliefs to certain standards.

1 comment:

Amy Clement said...

I definitely agree that it is hard to categorize Montaigne's views as either objectivist or relativist. His attitude definitely seems to differ from the relativism that we saw in our China unit. Your merge of the two seems to fit much better than either on its own. Perhaps, his attitude doesn't fit into either on purpose. He seems to enjoy not having a reoccurring theme or attitude in the works (although an argument can be made for moderation and tolerance.)