An analysis of cultural relativism

Historical Background Though moral relativism did not become a prominent topic in philosophy or elsewhere until the twentieth century, it has ancient origins. In the classical Greek world, both the historian Herodotus and the sophist Protagoras appeared to endorse some form of relativism the latter attracted the attention of Plato in the Theaetetus. It should also be noted that the ancient Chinese Daoist philosopher Zhuangzi sometimes spelled Chuang-Tzu put forward a nonobjectivist view that is sometimes interpreted as a kind of relativism.

An analysis of cultural relativism

Pointing to the diversity of accepted behavior within diverse societies, Benedict famously concludes: We do not any longer make the mistake of deriving the morality of our locality and decade directly from the inevitable constitution of human nature. We do not elevate it to the dignity of a first principle.

We recognize that morality differs in every society, and is a convenient term for socially approved habits. Mankind has always preferred to say, "It is morally good," rather than "It is habitual," and the fact of this preference is matter enough for a critical science of ethics.

But historically the two phrases are synonymous.

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In saying that the two phrases are synonymous, she is saying this: In summary, Benedict says that what is habitual is synonyous with whatever is normal whatever is socially agreeable to the majority of people raised in that society.

But she also says that whatever is acceptable as normal due to social conditioning is moral. For example, if racism is moral in one's society, then it is moral to engage in the racist practices that are normal in the society.

This position is ethical relativism, the idea that moral goodness is to be equated with cultural norms. Melville Herskovits defends Benedict's position. Herskovits defends relativism on the grounds that it is an antidote to ethnocentrism, which has led Europeans and Americans to behave with intolerance toward cultures with different values.

Ironically, Benedict herself abandoned ethical relativism when she saw that it required her to endorse Nazi rule in Germany.

William Shaw gives a typical response to ethical relativism.

What is a good example of cultural relativism? Macbeth literary analysis causes of the industrial revolution in england nicmar assignment project cost engineering introduction of loss of biodiversity waiting for superman summary essay to kill a mockingbird critical essay uva english courses nonprofit strategic plan example dps assignments. Cultural relativism, an idea rooted in moral relativism is a view that in essence encourages respect and creating boundaries in dealing with people coming from a different social background and culture. Feminism and Cultural Relativism in Human Rights Discourse: Sex-determination Test in India ABSTRACT: Feminists and cultural relativists are highly critical of human rights even if their criticisms have taken two diametrically opposed sides.

We can easily accept all of the anthropological facts concerning the way that different cultures endorse different practices. But why should we add the additional assumption that the group's norms should be the individual's norms? In addition, Shaw distinguishes the ideas or beliefs held by various groups and individuals from the actual moral standard.

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While ideas vary from culture to culture and time to time, it does not follow that there is not a universal moral standard that we should follow. Ethical absolutists accept this distinction between thinking something is right and its being rightwhile ethical relativists collapse the distinction, regarding it as a merely verbal distinction.

Look again at the quotation from Benedict. An analogy with astronomy might help to clarify the debate. Different societies at different times have held different theories about the planets and stars. Ancient Greek myths regarded the sun as a lantern carried across the sky by one of the gods, later Greeks and many other societies thought that the sun revolves around the earth, and most recently we classify the sun as a star around which we orbit.

A relativist would say that there is no single correct answer, but that the correct answer is just whatever your society believes at the time.

Philosophy 160: Ethics & International Affairs What are the concepts of cultural relativism and ethnocentrism 4 stars based on 73 reviews proteos.
What are the concepts of cultural relativism and ethnocentrism This thought, which he calls the Cultural Differences Argument, is a non sequitur fallacy- the conclusion does not necessarily follow from the premise.
What are the concepts of cultural relativism and ethnocentrism He identified a logical fallacy in the argument of Cultural Relativism and discussed briefly the limitations of cultural relativism.
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Herskovits actually says this, arguing that there is no reality apart from our culturally biased evaluations of it. An absolutist would say that there is a single correct answer, and any society whose beliefs conflict with this answer is simply ignorant of the truth.

An analysis of cultural relativism

Shaw and other absolutists thus hold that ethics is no more relative than astronomy, and widely held ethical views may be mistaken. For more about SHAW, click here.However, like all such theories, it may be evaluated by subjecting it to rational analysis; and when we analyze Cultural Relativism we find that it is not so plausible as it first appears to be.

The first thing we need to notice is that at the heart of Cultural Relativism there is a certain form of argument. Mar 29,  · In “The Challenge of Cultural Relativism”, James Rachels describes different claims made by cultural relativists, exposing flaws in the popular belief that due to different moral codes, there is no objective “truth” in morality, only opinion.

Welcome to the home page for the Philippines–[email protected] website. 欢迎来到[email protected]网站主页。 Here you will find a diverse collection of images, videos and other materials showcasing the cultural and historical ties that have long bound the Filipino and Chinese nations.

Free term papers & essays - Cultural Relativism, Philosophy. Has Bibliography 0 Pages Words. This analysis leads to the conclusion that the main problem preventing the finding of a generally agreed solution to the debate on ‘universalism’ and ‘cultural relativism’ of human rights is probably represented by the fact that so far it has mainly been considered according to rigid and monolithic schemes of universalism and relativism.

An analysis of cultural relativism

Ethnocentrism and cultural relativism have a few things in common but are quite different attitudes in thinking about culture. Ethnocentrism, as a term, can be understood by breaking it into two.

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