The concept of relativism It is used in the philosophy to name a certain way of understanding reality and knowledge. According to relativism, the real has no permanent basis rather it is based on links that exist between phenomena. With respect to knowledge, relativism holds that does not reach the absolute: its object is relationships.
In other words, relativism believes that knowledge lacks absolute or universal validity; Conversely, only valid according to context. The construction of reality, in this way, depends on the subjectivity which, in turn, arises from circumstances.
Relativism can be understood as opposed to objectivism. For this one, the truth It has independence from the subjects who are in charge of thinking it. This means that, according to objectivism, there are facts that have an objective existence.
For relativism, on the other hand, the truth is always related to the subject who thinks it. There are no truths or objective knowledge that is not universal. Based on this idea, relativism appears in different areas of the science and of thought.
It is important to know that within relativism there are various types or classifications, which are based on its pillars but which direct or direct it towards a more concrete point of view. Thus, we come across these:
-Individual relativism. This is based on the fundamental principle that truth is relative and that it depends on each individual. Precisely for this reason, it establishes that there are as many truths as there are individuals.
-Specific relativism. In this case, what is established is that the truth is relative because it depends on each species. And each of these will have one and will live in a different world based on their circumstances.
-Group relativism. As you can imagine, this other aspect is in charge of determining that the truth is relative because it depends on each group. In turn, it has four different types: group relativism by civilization, by social class, by sex and by age. These come to establish that the aforementioned truth is relative on the basis that it varies according to each civilization, social class, sex or age group, respectively.
It is known as cultural relativism to the study of a culture based on its particular criteria. In this way, one avoids morally condemning that culture that is foreign to one’s own.
The moral relativism, the linguistic relativism and the cognitive relativism are other kinds of relativism that are based on similar criteria as to their opposition to what absolute and the objective.
To all the above, it must be added that both Socrates and Plato were totally against relativism. They did so because they considered that it was not only an absurd approach but also because it made it extremely difficult to carry out what knowledge of the world is. However, in front of them are the sophist philosophers who are considered to be the first thinkers to carry out the use of certain relativistic approaches.