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Cultural Relativism and Universal Human Rights - Essay Example

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According to the anthropological relativism is a way of understanding the cultural biases based on the behaviours and beliefs of the local inhabitants. This relativism avoids ethnocentrism, i.e., thinking that one’s own culture is the best with respect to others. On the other hand, philosophical relativism is the sceptic notion about the proposition of truth based on the person interpreting it because this kind of relativism does not arrive at any cultural or moral consensus. Normative relativism is an approach mainly adopted by the philosophers whereas anthropologists engage in descriptive relativism. Thus in descriptive relativism, description of the different thought process and the reasoning are made by the anthropologist but they do not provide the evaluation of the same. However, in case of normative relativism the philosophers concentrate more on the evaluation of the claims made through different reasoning or modes of thought. Thus the values of truth are defines through normative relativism on a much broader prospect. Therefore the essay aims to discuss the meaning of relativism and whether they are defensible. To analyse the study four types of relativism has been identified and the easy deals with moral relativism, moral relativism, cultural relativism and cognitive relativism. Each of the relativism has its own theory, believes and practises against the individuals and society as a whole. Moral Relativism Moral relativism is the philosophical theory which states that morality is relative and it holds different moral for different people. Moral relatives are further divided into two forms, ethical subjectivism and cultural relativism. Ethical subjectivism believes that morality is based on individual and cultural relativism is relative to culture. According to the theory of moral relativism it do not makes any sense to ask questions which are abstracts such as whether an act is good or bad. There seems to no badness or goodness in abstract it only exists in specified context. An act may be bad for one set of person whereas the same act may be seen to be right for another set of people. Thus if moral relativism is true one should not act whether the act is good or bad but only judge the act in a particular situation. Some tends to see moral relativism as obvious truth and undeniable whereas other views it as threatening the foundation on which the society is founded (Lukes, 2011, p. 14-23). For some moral relativism, it follows logically from cognitive relativism which tends to relativize the truth in general context. A common but negative reason for embracing moral relativism is the perceived ability of moral objectivism. A more defensible argument against social relativism is that it aims to promote tolerance as it encourages others to understand the different culture (IEP, 2012). There are three kinds of moral relativism, normal moral relativism where different people act as agents and are subject to different ultimate requirements; secondly, Moral Judgment Relativism where moral judgments tend to make implicit reference to speaker or other person, example like subjectivism. And finally it is the Meta Ethical Relativism, where there exist conflicting moral judgments on a particular case. According to Harman, one can hold either of the one while rejecting the other two. Emotivists might accept the ...Show more
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Summary

What is relativisms? Is relativism defensible? Contents Introduction 3 Moral Relativism 4 Ethical Relativism 7 Cultural Relativism 9 Cognitive Relativism 12 Conclusion 14 Reference 15 Introduction The concept of relativism does not bear any absolute validity, as the subjective value of the concept may be different for different people based on their consideration and perception…
Cultural Relativism and Universal Human Rights
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