The Ideology Of Relativism In Plato's And Hume's Works

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“The emerging field known as experimental philosophy has expanded into moral philosophy: by presenting experimental subjects with vignettes describing scenarios with moral implications, data about people’s moral intuitions are gathered and analyzed” (Yan 233-254). There are many types of philosophies, one being relativism which has evolved throughout time. This is the ideology that David Hume and Plato have used within their work. Relativism explains that nothing is truly settled and that there is not only one truth in life and within one’s belief. The world in general is seen in many ways, which allows people to view the world as they please. Relativism can be viewed in many different ways in people’s eyes as previously mentioned, which will cause people to have a different idea of what moral rights are. For the past couple of years, society has held the ideology that everyone and everything should be the same. In the article Differently Moral by Ted Olsen he explains “ If anything, today we live in an era of constant moral indignation. This magazine has repeatedly observed and lamented the modern outrage culture, especially in its most performative social media outlets” (23-24). This has allowed society to understand two different points of views which have opened the eyes of many. They are able to truly see two sides of what true morality and belief in life are. Many may argue that life has only one and one purpose only, and that true mortality is what people give out to the world; however, the reality of the situation is that people can believe in as many or as little possibilities as they want, because the world can be seen differently depending on how the person wants to view everything in their surroundings.

First off, society as a whole now, compared to a couple of years ago, has evolved in many ways that crush the idea of moral philosophy. Kurt Vonnegut, author of the short story Harrison Bergeron, and Sir Francis Bacon author of On Revenge, had two different ideologies compared to what relativism is, and theirs which were mostly about equality and some people who were seen as being more superior than others. For instance, in the short story On Revenge states “ Revenge is a kind of wild justice; which the more man’s nature runs too, the more outlaw to weed it out .” This has allowed society to understand two different sides of the philosophy that there is all around. In this short story, justice and morality are shown in many different ways that can be compared to relativism. When looking at the short story, philosophers around the world all claim different points of views and justifications which allows people to fall into the idea of relativism. In the article And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut; A Life. by Gina Kaiser she explains how “ One pattern he frequently notes is the difference between Vonnegut’s authorial voice and ideas and the person himself ” (110). The article explains more than just the ideology of right and wrong. It elaborates on the true idea of satisfaction and true mortality which allows society to be open minded and allows relativism

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David Hume, a great philosopher, was the one who stated that the belief in causality cannot be justified rationally. For example, in the article “Education and the Study of Literature in David Hume’s History of England” by Jordan Will, he claims that David Hume had the idea that “ Belief is nothing but a more vivid, lively, forcible, firm, steady conception of an object, than what the imagination alone is ever able to attain” (75-82). In comparison, Hume’s ideology mainly revolved around experimental science of human nature. Hume didn’t really believe in reasoning being justified by rationality. In the article, “The Boundaries of Justice” the author Amartaya Sen claims “ Hume believed in the interdependence of ethics and epistemology, arguing that man’s concept of justice is influenced by both knowledge of others and by human sentiment”(23-26). Habits that get formed, according to David Hume believed in two specific habits: which were, custom and mental habits. This allows people to realize the different type of morality and habits that one has with one another which helps people realize things they maybe didn’t before.

Additionally, the philosopher Plato had very complex ideas on life and the justification on what life really should be. For instance, in the article Realism, in Philosophy Plato’s theory was expressed in various ways, “ Extreme realism, represented by William of Champeaux, held that universals exist independently of both the human mind and particular things—a theory closely associated with that of Plato” (1). Plato isn’t viewed the same in the current society in comparison to the previous generations. Plato was a philosopher with the idea of justice being the main ideology of life which now seems to be off. In the Allegory of the Cave Plato claims“ And now, let me show in a figure how far our nature is enlightened or enlightened” (1). He brings up the idea of how ignorance blinds people and allows people to think of the ideas that justify their true self. Relativity allows people to believe in what they want and think is what they want, which is the idea that philosopher Plato had. Around the time that Plato was around, relativism wasn’t really an ideology, rather it was more about moral philosophy which was mostly was Plato was about.

However, some may argue that the true form of philosophy needs to be something specific such as morality being freedom and the availability of being able to do as one pleases. For instance, in the article The Theology of Liberalism: Political Philosophy and the Justice of God the author states “In particular, Nelson outlines the thinking of early modern philosophers such as John Locke, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, and JeanJacques Rousseau, who endorsed the principle of human freedom when considering how people choose to obey or deny moral laws”

(Publishers Weekly 96-97). Freedom and moral laws have been seen and understood by people more throughout society. The idea of relativism can be very confusing especially if people are into religious beliefs, or think of freedom being the main ideology in philosophy. But, the reality of realism allows people to truly see the world in any perspective as they please.Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia in the article David Hume claims “ Causal relation derives solely from the customary conjunction of two impressions; the apparent sequence of events in the external world is in fact the sequence of perceptions in the mind ” (1).There is more than one belief to people according to Columbia Electronic and this allows people to truly know what they want and believe in life.

There is more than one belief to all people in society, and on top of it people really understand that there is more to life than just thinking of one moral philosophy. Philosophers like David Hume and Plato really were great influencers to those around them, which allowed their society to understand what their central belief is. In many articles, people seem to understand that society as a whole tends to follow people and have the same idea of relativism. Relativism allows people to be themselves and not live in the shadows of those who influence them the most. Having relativism gives people the idea to be who they please, and this is able to change society as a whole and this people the idea that people in our current society to do what they want and think is right for them.


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