The Intellectual Standard


"There are no absolutes:' "The truth is relative:' Each phrase im­plies and necessitates the truth of the other. An absolute is something that is universally true, that is, its truth is independent of all other factors or contexts (New Oxford American Dictionary). To say, "there are no absolutes:' is to say that there are no inde­pendent universal truths. All truths are therefore dependent. "The truth is relative" makes exactly this claim. Philosophically speaking, that which is relative "is dependent on something else" (New Oxford American Dictionary). But the concepts of relativity and dependence do not exist in a vacuum. For something to be relative it must be relative to something. For something to be dependent it must be dependent on something. What that something is depends on the external factor or context being referenced. Thus, both phrases boil down to the same basic premise: the truth is entirely dependent.