English: 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.