A Critique of Ethical Relativism. MT Louis P. Pojman. Objectively. Therefore,. Ethical Relativism is the idea that moral rightness & wrongness. Louis Pojman: Against Relativism and For Objectivism conclusion (which denies moral objectivism) must be true. If moral objectivism must be. View Critique of Relativism from BUL at University of Florida. II. 3 A Critique of Ethical Relativism1 Louis Pojman In this article I first analyze the structure of.

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Clearly P2 entails relativism about morality. The nonrelativist can accept a certain relativity in the way moral principles are applied in various cultures, depending on beliefs, history, and environment. The reason is this: This is the form of P2 Pojman wants to attack.

John Ladd, Ethical Relativism Wadsworth,p. In such a case, the conclusion cannot be false. The purpose of morality is to settle interpersonal conflicts.

So Pojman allows for P1 to be true, since it does not harm objectivism about morality. This theory, set forth by B. Cultural diversity in itself is neutral with respect to theories. Why not rape, as well? But he has also produced evidence that, underneath the surface of this dying society, there is a deeper moral code from a time when the tribe flourished, which occasionally surfaces and shows its nobler face. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Notes History of Herodotus; trans. Louis Pojman destroys relativism. But why should we choose to view morality this way?

We can reason and perform thought experiments in order to make a case for one system over another. It seems reasonable to believe that general moral principles are precisely those things that can be communicated transculturally.

Even if some indeterminacy of translation exists between language users, we should not infer from this that no translation or communication is possible.


Perhaps we might agree for the sake of argument, at least that the very nature of morality entails two people who are making an agreement. It seems that we need some higher standard than culture by which to assess a culture.

A person may belong to the nation as a single society with certain values of patriotism, honor, courage, and laws including some that are controversial but have majority acceptance, such relativsim the current law on abortion. If you go to various cultures, you will find various different definitions of right and wrong. The attack has two stages.

For example, if Mary is a U. Why should anyone give such august authority to a culture of society? The fallacy of objecting to a proposition on the erroneous grounds that, if accepted, it will lead to a chain of states of affairs that are absurd or unacceptable.

The reason is evident: On the other hand, a denial of complete cultural relativism i. Criique such, IF the premises are true, the conclusion which denies moral objectivism must be true. Beliefs about what is right and wrong differ across cultures — C1. Conclusion Ethical relativism — the thesis that moral principles derive their validity from dependence on society or individual choice — seems plausible at first glance, but on close scrutiny it presents some severe problems.

A Critique of Ethical Relativism | Papers at

The kind of common features that Kluckhohn and Wilson advance — duties of restitution and reciprocity, regulations on sexual behavior, obligations of parents to children, a no-unnecessary-harm principle, and a sense that the good people should flourish and the guilty people should suffer — these and other features constitute a common human experience, a common set of values within a common human predicament of struggling to survive and flourish in a world of scarce resources.

If moral objectivism must be false, then moral relativism must be true. John must likewise choose among groups. Language groups mean different things by words.


Louis Pojman: Against Relativism and For Objectivism

We are yet not finished with our critique of conventional ethical relativism. So they can in fact settle interpersonal conflicts. What this means is that there is no reason why Pojman would need to find it false.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Alas, truth may not always be edifying. Pojman must show that one or more of the premises in the argument for relativism is or are false. If Mary has an abortion, she is choosing to belong to the general society relative to that principle.

On the other hand, there is enormous cultural diversity, and many societies have radically different moral codes. The dependency thesis is the claim that what is right and wrong is itself relative to culture this differs from P1 — it is not a claim about beliefs, it is a claim about the nature of right and wrong itself.

Quine,13 holds that languages are often so fundamentally different from each loiis that we cannot accurately translate concepts from ehhical to another. Cultural relativism seems to be a fact, but, even if it is, it does not by itself establish the truth of ethical relativism. You must be logged in to post a comment. For even if we did find one or more universal principles, this would not prove that they had any objective status.

But experience seems to falsify this thesis.