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See our table developed from our Bergson studies which extensively compares CR, SOM, and MoQ:
Cultural Relativism, Subject-Object Metaphysics, and Metaphysics of Quality.

Many of you write to us and say, "What is wrong with Cultural Relativism?"
Clifford Geertz answers this one, in our opinion, better than others we have read:

"Relativism disables judgment."

He also says, "Absolutism (SOM) removes judgment from history." Our parens.

Now you see why, in Quantonics, we say MoQites are on a better track of thinking.

See our QELRs of relate, think, truth, logic, reason, etc.

Doug - 19Sep2005

Famous C-Rites

Note: We want to place pre-Socratic Sophists among our famous MoQites, but careful examination of their thinking shows an underlying Greek objective tenor, or a kind of unilogical ethical relativism antithetical Pirsig's MoQ. MoQites renounce any schism which severs subject and object. Our initial and admittedly shallow examination of these and other pre-Socratic Sophists uncovers their cognitive dependence on uni- and homo-logical contexts and truths, where MoQites intuit quantum reality's many islands of included middle, both local and nonlocal truth. Heraclitus comes closest to what we might see as an MoQite via his prescient and amazing quantumesque remarks (see: 22B72, 22B10, 22B51, 22B54, 22B91a, 22B49a, 22B103 [consider this as a flux generator, also consider infinite radii spectra and nonpreferential direction a la Irving Stein's random walk in nonspace and our own Quality Event Thread], 22B48, 22B88, 22B84a, 22B115 [a kind of Maxwellian positive entropy]. See Curd and McKirahan, Jr., A Presocratics Reader.), but sadly, even Heraclitus adheres unilogical, homological, objective truth.
  • Pre-Socratic Sophists:
    • Protagoras (pro-tàg´er-es), c.490-421 B.C., born in Abdera in Thrace [A PreSocratics Reader, Curd, McKirahan], died in a shipwreck [The Greeks, Kitto], Greek philosopher. Considered the first Sophist. A leading sophist, he is notorious for his, "Man is the measure of all things." He held all truth relative to individuals who perceive it. Protagoras denied any objective knowledge and did not differentiate reason and senses. None of his works survive. See Plato's dialogues partially titled ...Protagoras...scroll/search down to Protagoras.
    • Gorgias (gôr´-jee-es), c.485-380 B.C., Greek orator, of Leontini, Sicily, rhetorician and Sophist, early adopter of cadence in prose. Plato's primary attack on Sophism and rhetoric focuses in his dialogue titled Gorgias. A metaphysicist, he wrote, On Not Being. See Plato's dialogues partially titled ...Gorgias...scroll/search down to Gorgias.
    • Antiphon (àn´te-fòn´), c.480-411 B.C., Attic orator of Rhamnous, leader of the Oligarchic conspiracy (411). Best known for his Sophism and he published Tetralogies which taught how to best argue whichever side of a law suit one represented.
    • Critias (krît-ee-es), c.453-403 B.C., Led a cruel and bloodthirsty antidemocratic group of oligarchists in Athens called The Thirty Tyrants. Not technically a Sophist, only due to not being a paid teacher [Kitto; Curd, KcKirihan]. See Plato's dialogues partially titled ...Critias...scroll/search down to Critias.
  • Postmodern Cultural Relativists:
    • Michel Foucault (1926-1984) Foucault offers very Pirsigean and sophisticated memes. E.g., individual excellence as means to achieve integrity and honor (aretê) in one's local community. He hated centricity, especially power-centric organizations. He perceived understanding as a quantum-like both/and. Regardless which we choose, methods we use to understand reality offer both advantages and disadvantages. Herein lies his relativism.
    • Thomas Kuhn (1922-1996) Kuhn believed scientific traditions evolved by paradigm shifts. [Doug suggests you also see our QELRs of these: awareness, occurrencings, selection and quanta, since all are implicits in any real memeos of evolution. Doug - 26Mar2009.] Thus we see his own denial of absolute scientific knowledge and his concomitant, innate relativism. He wrote, science is, "a series of peaceful interludes punctuated by intellectually violent revolutions." And in those r-evolutions, he wrote, "one conceptual world view is replaced by another." (See our review of Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.)
    • Peter Winch (1926-1997) "An important interpreter and
      philosopher of [] social sciences, Professor Winch wrote [a] now classic The Idea of a Social Science (1958). In it he sciences should not adopt [a] methodology of...natural sciences, but should instead extend their interpretive sensitivities to...ways concepts are used in different cultures thereby avoiding condescending forms of misunderstanding. Also wrote, Understanding a Primitive Society." From The Weekly Wisdom Newsletter of the Beloit College Philosophy/Religion Department. Winch proposed a meme of incommensurability: some concepts are inexpressible consistently among languages of various cultures. As a result rationality, in general, cannot be defined transculturally. Thus we see language-innate cultural relativism in Winch's reasoning.
    • Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) Simply, Wittgenstein says words have many meanings because of an immense variety of their potential interrelationships. Our interpretation of Wittgenstein is: he is not a relativist because he would disavow number two in our definition below. Indeed, much of what we read, about Wittgenstein in his later years, says he was moving very close to a philosophy similar to Pirsig's MoQ. Few exist, but one example of his dissonance with MoQ appears in a quote from his Philosophical Investigations, Sec. 66, on similarities of games: "For if you look at them you will not see something that is common to all, but similarities, relationships, and a whole series of them at that." He says there is not something common to all! By comparison, MoQ tells us otherwise. DQ and change are common to everything, especially games. But he does emphasize [inter]relationships, just as Pirsig, Poincaré, quantum science, etc., do.
    • Noam Chomsky (1928- ) A socialist/anarchist linguist at MIT. One may rather easily question Chomsky's reason by reading his Babelian attempts to formalize grammar. He is an essential classicist. His logic remains mostly rooted in SOM's either/or dichotomies.
    • etc.

"Denn, wenn du sie anschaust, wirst du zwar nicht etwas sehen, was allen gemeinsam wäre, aber du wirst Aehnlichkeiten, Verwandtschaften, sehen, und swar eine ganze Reihe." Note: Wittgenstein requested all quoters to include original Deutsch language text with any translated quotes.


Define CR and see if you are one

Definition of Relativism:

  1. Relativism asserts all things are relative to some particular view. (Note Relativism's presumption of static actuality, absence of presumption of dynamic nonactuality, in its use of things.)
  2. Relativism denies any unique privilege of one view over all others. (Note relativism's profound disagreement here with MoQ: MoQ says change evolves higher, often temporarily more privileged, views incrementally. In Quantonics, we say temporary privilege is one of evolution's intrinsics. That is a fundamental precept of reality's moral/ethical change. By comparison, MoQ and Quantonics tell us that exclusive static privilege is evil, not moral. Clearly, CR's own exclusive stasis elicits definitions 1 and 2 above.)

Are YOU a C-Rite?

    • If you often say, "whatever," "who cares," "its all relative," etc., you probably are a Cultural Relativist.
    • If you believe there is no relevant truth (Certainly no absolute truth!) in reality, you probably are a Cultural Relativist.
    • If you believe in social anarchy as a prime metric for a free society, you are well on your way to Cultural Relativism.
    • If you believe chaos reigns over all reality, your roots are deep in Cultural Relativistic soil.
    • In quarter four of Millennium II, if you say, "I am politically correct," you are one of institutional academia's ex-cathedra Cultural Relativists. (However, note your own non-"political correctness" of saying you are.)


To contact Quantonics write to or call:

Doug Renselle
Quantonics, Inc.
Suite 18 #368 1950 East Greyhound Pass
Carmel, INdiana 46033-7730

©Quantonics, Inc., 1999-2011 — Rev. 26Mar2009  PDR — Created 24May1999  PDR
(4Jan2000 rev. - Added Pre-Socratic Sophists note.)
(29Jan2000 rev. - Correct spelling of McKirahan.)
(7Mar2001 rev - Add link to our new MoQ, CR, & SOM comparison table.)
(27Aug2001 rev - Add link to our review of Kuhn's SoSR.)
(14Dec2001 rev - Add top of page frame-braker.)
(10Jun2002 rev - Correct typo of 'Protagor[u]s' to 'Protagoras.')
(21Feb2005 rev - Add Heraclitus link near page top. Change some colors.)
(19Sep2005 rev - Add page top commentary.)
(26Mar2009 rev - Make page current. Add quite a few links which add to intra~Quantonics holographic nexial reach of this page.)