Pluralism is not vulgar relativism

Pluralism is similar to vulgar relativism in that both reject monism (in the sense of there being only one truth).

Pluralism differs from vulgar relativism in its belief that some truths can be accepted as true or rejected as false. Vulgar relativism claims all truths are equivalently true or false.

This means only vulgar relativism is faced with self-contradiction when it claims that monism is false.

Pluralism can, without the slightest contradiction, assert that monism is wrong.

Obviously, at some point I might change my mind. I might someday come to see monism as right and pluralism as wrong. But then again, a monist, if they can find it in themselves to question the apparent finality of their monism (a huge “if”) might, after finding on the other of a transcended finality, yet another finality, and another and another, come to see pluralism as right.

The only difference is that a pluralist, by virtue of their pluralism, is aware of this possibility and entertains it, where a monist’s monism precludes it. This certainly tends to weaken the pluralist’s resolve, but it doesn’t have to, and perhaps it should not be allowed to.

Perhaps the pluralist should counter the monist’s fanaticism with indignation at the aggressively presumptuous ignorance of the immature who still actually believe their itty-bitty reason can deduce reality.

Leave a Reply