Thursday, October 29, 2009

Definitive proof for relativism

One person's "Pure Refreshment" is another person's allergy attack.


  1. Do I detect some implied premises?

    Maybe : If some scent is pleasing to one person but unpleasant to another person then everything is relative.

  2. Kass - I think that 'unpleasant' is not always the same thing as an allergy attack. I've had my eyes swell shut because of perfumes or air fresheners being sprayed too close to me. To each their own, though.

  3. Good point, rockit. I revise it to "If some scent is nontoxic to one person but toxic to another person then everything is relative."

  4. Kass and rockit,

    You're both right. There is at least on assumed premise, which I lazily indicated by using a "..." And Kass' second formulation of it is better, since an allergy attack is different from mere unpleasantness. But the real problem is a common one - the jump from individual relativity to universal relativity. It doesn't actually follow, of course, that "everything's relative" follows from "some things are relative to different persons" or something like that. But the most common formulation of relativistic theories make this jump.

    And now I'll stop sounding like a logic geek and let y'all return to your regularly scheduled day-before-Halloween.

  5. Anonymous10/30/2009

    Naming an air freshener "pure refreshment" seems like overkill, and sort of insulting if it's not in fact refreshing to you. At least scents like "evening lilac" or "rainforest" just pretend to be some real scent in the world, and leave it up to your own judgement whether it's actually refreshing or not.