Ethical Relativism [addendum] - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Accepting ethical relativism can make a big difference. Opponents often think that the doctrine arises from conceptual confusion and encourages indifference to moral enormities. Advocates think that the doctrine is an antidote to an oppressive moral imperialism that often rationalizes the more worldly forms of imperialism. Both sides can agree that ethical relativism has significant implications for how we should do normative ethics.

Vulgar and Not-So-Vulgar Relativist Arguments for Tolerance

A good example of debate over the normative implications of ethical relativism is Bernard Williams's (1972) criticism of "vulgar relativism," which he defined in three propositions: (1) "Right" means "right for a given society." (2) "Right for a given society" is to be understood in a functionalist sense (roughly, that conceptions of what is right are part of the social fabric). (3) It is wrong for people in one society to condemn or interfere with the values of...

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This section contains 2,115 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Ethical Relativism [addendum] Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan
Ethical Relativism [addendum] from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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