The challenge of cultural relativism. James Rachels. In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Exploring Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology. Oxford University Press () . What different positions have gone under the name of “cultural relativism”? What does Rachels think is the essence of the theory? Do you find the theory. James Rachels’ essay, The Challenge of Cultural Relativism, is primarily a critique of cultural relativism and, in a way; the writer has put forward.

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These cultural differences are just practices and customs relating to different areas and times and may not be morally right or wrong. The fact that there is no measure for societal progress without a standard and no moral value, belonging rhe any society, can be discouraged, looked down upon or prohibited can be a major problem. That’s part of what I told my student as we discussed Rachels’ essay. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.


Thus, I believe this theory has its importance as well, its usefulness lies in the tolerance that it teaches man. The jaames that there are values that pertain to every culture and time denies that this hypothesis the stature of a law.

Added to PP index Total downloads 20of 2, Recent downloads 6 months 3of 2, How can I increase my downloads? He identified a logical fallacy in the argument reelativism Cultural Relativism and discussed briefly the limitations of cultural relativism.

Notify me of new comments via email. These problems ask for a moral standard of values through with progress can be measured and some abusive practices can be discouraged. Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Callenge MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves.

On The Challenge of Cultural Relativism | Ramble. Focus. Ramble.

There may be objective morality and the values of societies may be different from that objective morality and they may be in accordance with the objective morality. Cultural Relativism cannot be a law particularly because of these values that are common everywhere and at all times. An anthropologist would have relatiivism different kinds of questions: The tolerance people show towards homosexuality is because of Cultural Relativism.


Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. For Rachels, however, differences in the morality or value of customs—the relativity of moral values—become the central problem of cultural relativism Rachels Information This entry was posted on March 15, by hadeelnaeem in Philosophy and tagged Cultural Relativism. Interpretations of a Concept Thomas H. In his explanation, Rachels writes about the different values that require no standard.

What, exactly, was wrong with what James Rachels said about cultural relativism?

Ethical Relativism and Universalism. An Analysis of the Foundations of Morality. Tilley – – Ratio Juris 11 3: A need for a standard, hence, is vital.

The challenge of cultural relativism

Rachels says nothing about the objectives of anthropology in his essay. The fallacy in the argument is that the conclusion does not follow from this premise. Cultural Relativism in Social and Political Philosophy. But it is not just the misunderstanding of the objectives and the ignorance of the methods of anthropology that concern me about Rachels’ essay. Email required Address never made public. A Reinterpretation of Peter Winch.

From an anthropologist’s point of view, the most serious flaw in Rachel’s notion that gelativism relativism presents a “challenge” to philosophy is that he simply hasn’t done his homework, and knows little about anthropology or its central purpose—to understand and learn about the variety of human cultures, past and present.

Obviously, reason has always persuaded man to believe that telling the truth is always more beneficial for all societies, and necessary for communication. As we discussed the position Racbels Rachels took in the article assigned to the ethics class, it became clear that Rachels’ understanding of cultural relativism differed from that of most anthropologists: Rachels is not a social scientist.

Without cookies your experience may not be racheks. Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University’s proxy server Configure custom proxy use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy. Eventually, the writer touched upon the most interesting and pragmatic aspect of the theory. Find it on Scholar. Questions about why certain o continue to be practiced and transmitted to each generation, or even whether those customs fit into the fabric of the society are never discussed.


Oxford University Press As a result, for Rachels, cultural relativism leads to moral relativism. North and Latin American Perspectives. Firstly, the argument against Cultural Relativism proposes that since different values prevail in different societies there can be no objective standard.

Saral Jhingran – – Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. While this premise is true and, factually, cuptural societies have different moral values it does not follow that there is no objective morality. You are commenting using your Twitter account.

On The Challenge of Cultural Relativism

Oxford University Press, Finally, having cited several well known examples of customs our society would never condone, such as sharing of wives among some Eskimo, Rachels has one generous thing to say about cultural relativism: Underlying his ideas is the suspicion that cultural and moral relativism are a threat Project MUSE Mission Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through telativism with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

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Finally, from the anthropologist’s point of view, Rachels fails to understand that ethnocentrism governs his understanding of morality. Hence, we are stuck at the same problem; objectivity or no objectivity.

An undergraduate anthropology student came to me with an assigned reading in a philosophy course relarivism the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point.