Critical relativism has been advocated in consumer research as a means of freeing the discipline from the monism inherent in its almost exclusive reliance upon the ontology and methodology of the natural sciences. Its advocates have based their reasoning on the works of such philosophers as Laudan (1984) and Feyerabend (1975). Laudan contends that the evaluation of theories and research traditions must always occur “within a comparative context,” taking the form of an assessment of “how [a theory’s] effectiveness or progressiveness compares with its competitors” (Laudan, 1977, p. 120). The “epistemological anarchy” of Feyerabend is more farreaching in its implications, emphasizing the critical interplay of competing explanations, pursued in a spirit of active proliferation and tenacity, as essential to the growth of knowledge (Feyerabend, 1975, p. 30, p. 47). The idea of critical relativism has sparked debate between protagonists for traditional positivism, on the one hand, and hermeneutical method, on the other, raising considerations of methodological monism versus methodological pluralism, the incommensurability of competing paradigms, and the evaluation of explanations. The debate exhibits a similar cycle of methodological confrontation, epistemological questioning, and search for rapprochement to that found in other areas of applied inquiry such as organizational analysis.