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Relativism vs. Subjectivism: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Published on January 15, 2024
Relativism posits that truth and morality vary based on context or culture, while subjectivism holds that they are based on personal feelings and opinions.

Key Differences

Relativism suggests that points of view have no absolute truth or validity, having only relative, subjective value according to differences in perception and consideration. Subjectivism argues that knowledge and values are rooted in individual experience, emphasizing personal perspectives and feelings.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 15, 2024
In the realm of ethics, relativism posits that moral principles are determined by cultural norms and societal standards. Conversely, subjectivism in ethics implies that moral judgments are based on individual feelings and personal experiences.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 15, 2024
Relativism in epistemology argues that the truth is always relative to some particular frame of reference, such as a language or a culture. Subjectivism, however, maintains that reality and knowledge are created by the individual, often disregarding external standards or realities.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 15, 2024
When discussing art, relativism might suggest that the appreciation and interpretation of art vary among different cultures and historical periods. Subjectivism in art implies that the beauty or value of art lies entirely in the individual's emotional response.
Huma Saeed
Jan 15, 2024
In legal theory, relativism may suggest that legal interpretations can vary based on cultural or societal contexts. In contrast, subjectivism could imply that personal beliefs and opinions of judges or individuals play a significant role in legal judgments.
Janet White
Jan 15, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Truth

Dependent on cultural or situational context
Rooted in individual feelings and perspectives
Sumera Saeed
Jan 15, 2024

Ethics

Morality varies by culture or society
Morality is based on personal feelings
Sumera Saeed
Jan 15, 2024

Knowledge

Contextual and relative to specific frames of reference
Personal, influenced by individual experience
Sumera Saeed
Jan 15, 2024

Art Appreciation

Varies with culture and time
Based on personal emotional response
Sumera Saeed
Jan 15, 2024

Legal Interpretation

Influenced by societal norms and context
Influenced by personal beliefs and opinions
Sumera Saeed
Jan 15, 2024
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Relativism and Subjectivism Definitions

Relativism

Relativism is the doctrine that knowledge is relative to the limited nature of the mind and the conditions of knowing.
Relativism suggests that what is ethical varies from one culture to another.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 16, 2023

Subjectivism

Subjectivism asserts that beauty in art is determined by individual emotional response.
An art critic who embraces subjectivism may judge a painting based on how it makes them feel.
Janet White
Dec 16, 2023

Relativism

Relativism posits that there are no absolute truths in ethics.
In relativism, moral principles are seen as varying based on societal norms.
Huma Saeed
Dec 16, 2023

Subjectivism

Subjectivism in epistemology argues that reality is shaped by personal perceptions.
A subjectivist may claim that our understanding of the world is colored by our unique experiences.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 16, 2023

Relativism

Relativism in legal theory implies that laws are interpreted based on societal values.
Legal relativism recognizes the influence of cultural norms on law enforcement and interpretation.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 16, 2023

Subjectivism

Subjectivism in legal theory suggests that laws are interpreted through personal perspectives.
In subjectivist legal theory, the same law may be applied differently based on individual judges' beliefs.
Janet White
Dec 16, 2023

Relativism

Relativism in epistemology argues that truth varies with perspective.
A relativist would argue that scientific truths are influenced by the cultural background of the scientists.
Harlon Moss
Dec 16, 2023

Subjectivism

Subjectivism holds that knowledge and values are subjective and based on individual experience.
In subjectivism, each person's moral judgement is based on their personal feelings.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 16, 2023

Relativism

Relativism asserts that beauty and value in art are dependent on cultural context.
Artistic standards in relativism differ greatly across different societies.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 16, 2023

Subjectivism

Subjectivism in ethics suggests that moral truths depend on individual opinions.
A subjectivist believes that what is 'right' varies from person to person.
Huma Saeed
Dec 16, 2023

Relativism

The theory that value judgments, as of truth, beauty, or morality, have no universal validity but are valid only for the persons or groups holding them.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Subjectivism

The quality of being subjective.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Relativism

The theory, especially in ethics or aesthetics, that conceptions of truth and moral values are not absolute but are relative to the persons or groups holding them.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Subjectivism

The doctrine that all knowledge is restricted to the conscious self and its sensory states.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Relativism

A specific such theory, advocated by a particular philosopher or school of thought.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Subjectivism

A theory or doctrine that emphasizes the subjective elements in experience.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Relativism

(philosophy) the philosophical doctrine that all criteria of judgment are relative to the individuals and situations involved
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Subjectivism

Any of various theories holding that the only valid standard of judgment is that of the individual. For example, ethical subjectivism holds that individual conscience is the only appropriate standard for moral judgment.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Subjectivism

(metaphysics) The doctrine that reality is created or shaped by the mind.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Subjectivism

(epistemology) The doctrine that knowledge is based in feelings or intuition.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Subjectivism

(ethics) The doctrine that values and moral principles come from attitudes, convention, whim, or preference.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Subjectivism

Any philosophical doctrine which refers all knowledge to, and founds it upon, any subjective states; egoism.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Subjectivism

(philosophy) the doctrine that knowledge and value are dependent on and limited by your subjective experience
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Subjectivism

The quality of being subjective
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

FAQs

What is subjectivism?

A philosophy where truth and morals are based on personal feelings.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 15, 2024

How does relativism view moral standards?

As varying according to cultural or societal norms.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 15, 2024

How does subjectivism view moral standards?

As based on individual opinions and emotions.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 15, 2024

Does relativism believe in universal truth?

No, it argues that truth is always relative to context.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 15, 2024

Can relativism apply to law?

Yes, suggesting legal interpretations vary with cultural context.
Harlon Moss
Jan 15, 2024

Does subjectivism accept objective reality?

It often rejects objective reality in favor of personal perception.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 15, 2024

How does subjectivism affect legal judgments?

By implying they are influenced by personal beliefs.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 15, 2024

Is relativism consistent across cultures?

It recognizes that different cultures may have different truths.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 15, 2024

What is relativism?

A theory that views truth and morals as relative to context or culture.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 15, 2024

Is subjectivism consistent for everyone?

No, it can vary drastically from person to person.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 15, 2024

Does relativism support a single moral framework?

No, it suggests multiple frameworks based on cultural differences.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 15, 2024

Does subjectivism support a single moral framework?

It tends towards personal moral frameworks.
Janet White
Jan 15, 2024

How does relativism view cultural differences?

As sources of different but equally valid truths.
Harlon Moss
Jan 15, 2024

How do subjectivists perceive history?

As a narrative shaped by individual perspectives.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 15, 2024

How does subjectivism view cultural differences?

As less relevant compared to individual perspectives.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 15, 2024

How do relativists view history?

As interpreted differently depending on cultural perspectives.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 15, 2024

Can relativism be applied to science?

It can, suggesting scientific truths are influenced by cultural contexts.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 15, 2024

How does subjectivism relate to science?

It may argue that scientific understanding is influenced by personal biases.
Harlon Moss
Jan 15, 2024

What impact does relativism have on ethics?

It challenges the idea of absolute moral principles.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 15, 2024

What impact does subjectivism have on ethics?

It promotes the idea that morality is based on individual feelings.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 15, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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