1887

n Acta Academica - Cognitive dimensions of politics : relativism and rationalism

Volume 38, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0587-2405

Abstract

This article investigates whether there are necessarily links between relativist and rationalist thinking and the nature of the politics that ensues from these epistemologies. Claims that posit such linkages have permeated political theory as well as the philosophy of science for many decades. The arguments in earlier as well as more recent discourses to this end are appraised here, with no necessary causal link being found between the claims of these discourses and the conventional world of politics. Political theory and metatheory are not substitutes for the thought that informs political action, and hence the nature of politics. The analysis suggests that the two epistemologies can co-exist, irrespective of whether politics is democratic or autocratic in nature. To the extent that epistemologies inform political thought, their nature does not predetermine the nature of the politics that they inform; the latter is rather a function of substantive claims contained in the epistemologies themselves, of the complex and dynamic interaction between these claims, and of a multitude of other factors.


Hierdie artikel ondersoek die vraag of daar noodwendig verbintenisse bestaan tussen relativistiese en rasionalistiese denke en die aard van politiek wat uit hierdie epistemologieë en denkwyses mag voortspruit. Uitsprake wat sodanige verbintenisse beweer kom reeds verskeie dekades in politieke teorie en die wetenskapsfilosofie voor. Argumente hieroor in vroeëre sowel as meer resente debatte word ondersoek. Geen noodwendige kousale verbintenis tussen die aansprake wat in hierdie debatte voorkom en die konvensionele wêreld van die politiek kon bevestig word nie. Politieke teorie sowel as metateorie is nie substitute vir die denke wat politieke handeling rig nie. Die ondersoek suggereer dat beide die epistemologieë naas mekaar kan bestaan ongeag die aard van die politiek, hetsy demokraties of outokraties. Tot die mate wat hierdie epistemologieë wel politieke denke mag beïnvloed, word die aard van politiek self nie voorafbepaal deur die aard van die epistemologieë nie. Laasgenoemde is eerder afhanklik van die substantiewe aansprake wat in sulke denkstelsels vervat is, die dinamiese interaksie wat hieruit voortspruit, naas 'n magdom ander faktore.

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/content/academ/38/3/EJC15363
2006-12-01
2019-11-12

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