Integrity and Moral Relativism

Overview

Programs of ethical relativism notoriously face two great difficulties: 1) how can they account for our need to make ethical judgements about other groups and individuals with whom we come into conflict? and 2) how can they allow for us to criticize the group, set of desires, etc. to which our ethical norms are said to be relative?
Integrity and Moral Relativism develops a moderate version of cultural relativism that can answer these questions. After examining and defending the ...

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Overview

Programs of ethical relativism notoriously face two great difficulties: 1) how can they account for our need to make ethical judgements about other groups and individuals with whom we come into conflict? and 2) how can they allow for us to criticize the group, set of desires, etc. to which our ethical norms are said to be relative?
Integrity and Moral Relativism develops a moderate version of cultural relativism that can answer these questions. After examining and defending the notion of a "world-picture," and of incommensurable differences across world-pictures, the book brings its theoretical framework together with the history of anthropology to argue that a culture is indeed the appropriate expression of a world picture. It then draws on literary, philosophical and historical resources to illustrate the way in which Western society, specifically, contains traditions distinguishing legitimate cross-cultural judgment, and legitimate from illegitimate cultural self-criticism. As long as there is a language for these possibilities, an individual can see ethics as culturally based without compromising his or her integrity.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789004095267
  • Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/1/1992
  • Series: Philosophy of History and Culture Series , #10
  • Pages: 261
  • Product dimensions: 6.42 (w) x 9.46 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Samuel Fleischacker, Ph.D. (1989), Yale University, New Haven is Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Williams College. His publications include the following articles: 'On the Enforcement of Morality: Aquinas and Narcotics Prohibition' (1990) and 'A Fifth Antinomy' (1987).
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