The Provincialism of Relativism

“Where in fact do we find, outside certain circles of present-day Western society, any value position which does not rest on theoretical premises of one kind or another–premises which claim to be simply, absolutely, universally true, and which as such are legitimately exposed to rational criticism? I fear that the field within which relativists can practice sympathetic understanding is restricted to the community of relativists who understand each other with great sympathy because they are united by identically the same fundamental commitment, or rather by identically the same rational insight into the truth of relativism. What claims to be the final triumph over provincialism reveals itself as the most amazing manifestation of provincialism.” — Leo Struass, “Social Science and Humanism”

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