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  1. Robin Attfield (1979). How Not to Be a Moral Relativist. The Monist 62 (4):510-523.
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  2. James Beebe (2010). Moral Relativism in Context. Noûs 44 (4):691-724.
    Consider the following facts about the average, philosophically untrained moral relativist: (1.1) The average moral relativist denies the existence of “absolute moral truths.” (1.2) The average moral relativist often expresses her commitment to moral relativism with slogans like ‘What’s true (or right) for you may not be what’s true (or right) for me’ or ‘What’s true (or right) for your culture may not be what’s true (or right) for my culture.’ (1.3) The average moral relativist endorses relativistic views of morality (...)
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  3. T. Bennigson (1999). The Truth in Vulgar Relativism. Philosophical Studies 96 (3):269-300.
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  4. J. S. Biehl (2005). Ethical Instrumentalism. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 8 (4):353 - 369.
    The present essay offers a sketch of a philosophy of value, what I shall here refer to as ‘ethical instrumentalism.’ My primary aim is to say just what this view involves and what its commitments are. In the course of doing so, I find it necessary to distinguish this view from another with which it shares a common basis and which, in reference to its most influential proponent, I refer to as ‘Humeanism.’ A second, more general, aim is to make (...)
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  5. Gunnar Björnsson (2012). Do 'Objectivist' Features of Moral Discourse and Thinking Support Moral Objectivism? Journal of Ethics 16 (4):367-393.
    Many philosophers think that moral objectivism is supported by stable features of moral discourse and thinking. When engaged in moral reasoning and discourse, people behave ‘as if’ objectivism were correct, and the seemingly most straightforward way of making sense of this is to assume that objectivism is correct; this is how we think that such behavior is explained in paradigmatically objectivist domains. By comparison, relativist, error-theoretic or non-cognitivist accounts of this behavior seem contrived and ad hoc. After explaining why this (...)
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  6. Simon Blackburn (1999). Is Objective Moral Justification Possible on a Quasi-Realist Foundation? Inquiry 42 (2):213 – 227.
    This essay juxtaposes the position in metaethics defended, expressivism with quasirealistic trimmings, with the ancient problem of relativism. It argues that, perhaps surprisingly, there is less of a problem of normative truth on this approach than on others. Because ethics is not in the business of representing aspects of the world, there is no way to argue for a plurality of moral truths, simply from the existence of a plurality of moral opinions. The essay also argues that other approaches, which (...)
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  7. Simon Blackburn (1998). Moral Relativism and Moral Objectivity. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58 (1):195-198.
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  8. Paul Boghossian (2011). The Maze of Moral Relativism. The New York Times.
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  9. Paul Boghossian (2011). Three Kinds of Relativism. In Steven Hales (ed.), A Companion to Relativism. Blackwell.
    The paper looks at three big ideas that have been associated with the term “relativism.” The first maintains that some property has a higher-degree than might have been thought. The second that the judgments in a particular domain of discourse are capable only of relative truth and not of absolute truth (an idea that is sometimes associated with the idea of “faultless disagreement.”) And the third, which I dub with the oxymoronic label “absolutist relativism,” seeks to locate relativism in our (...)
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  10. Michael Brannigan (2000). Cultural Diversity and the Case Against Ethical Relativism. Health Care Analysis 8 (3):321-327.
    The movement to respect culturaldiversity, known as multiculturalism, poses a dauntingchallenge to healthcare ethics. Can we construct adefensible passage from the fact of culturaldifferences to any claims regarding morality? Or doesmulticulturalism lead to ethical relativism? Macklinargues that, in view of a leading distinction betweenuniversalism in ethics and moral absolutism, the onlyreasonable passage avoids both absolutism andrelativism. She presents a strong case againstethical relativism and its pernicious consequences forcross-cultural issues in healthcare. She alsoprovides sound criteria for the assessment of aculture's moral (...)
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  11. Berit Brogaard (2012). Moral Relativism and Moral Expressivism. Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (4):538-556.
    Though moral relativism has had its supporters over the years, it is not a dominant position in philosophy. I will argue here, though, that the view is an attractive position. It evades some hardcore challenges that face absolutism, and it is reconcilable with an appealing emotivist approach to moral attitudes. In previous work, I have offered considerations in favor of a version of moral relativism that I call “perspectivalism.” These considerations are primarily grounded in linguistic data. Here I offer a (...)
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  12. Berit Brogaard (2008). Moral Contextualism and Moral Relativism. Philosophical Quarterly 58 (232):385 - 409.
    Moral relativism provides a compelling explanation of linguistic data involving ordinary moral expressions like 'right' and 'wrong'. But it is a very radical view. Because relativism relativizes sentence truth to contexts of assessment it forces us to revise standard linguistic theory. If, however, no competing theory explains all of the evidence, perhaps it is time for a paradigm shift. However, I argue that a version of moral contextualism can account for the same data as relativism without relativizing sentence truth to (...)
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  13. David Capps, Michael P. Lynch & Daniel Massey (2009). A Coherent Moral Relativism. Synthese 166 (2):413 - 430.
    Moral relativism is an attractive position, but also one that it is difficult to formulate. In this paper, we propose an alternative way of formulating moral relativism that locates the relativity of morality in the property that makes moral claims true. Such an approach, we believe, has significant advantages over other possible ways of formulating moral relativism. We conclude by considering a few problems such a position might face.
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  14. S. R. L. Clark (1991). Book Review : Ethics After Babel, by Jeffrey Stout. Cambridge, James Clarke, 1990. Xiv + 338 Pp. 9.95. [REVIEW] Studies in Christian Ethics 4 (2):92-93.
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  15. Annalisa Coliva & Sebastiano Moruzzi (2012). Truth Relativists Can't Trump Moral Progress. Analytic Philosophy 53 (1):48-57.
  16. John W. Cook (1999). Morality and Cultural Differences. Oxford University Press.
    The scholars who defend or dispute moral relativism, the idea that a moral principle cannot be applied to people whose culture does not accept it, have concerned themselves with either the philosophical or anthropological aspects of relativism. This study, shows that in order to arrive at a definitive appraisal of moral relativism, it is necessary to understand and investigate both its anthropological and philosophical aspects. Carefully examining the arguments for and against moral relativism, Cook exposes not only that anthropologists have (...)
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  17. David E. Cooper (1978). Moral Relativism. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 3 (1):97-108.
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  18. John K. Davis (2010). An Alternative to Relativism. Philosophical Topics 38 (2):17-37.
    Some moral disagreements are so persistent that we suspect they are deep: we would disagree even when we have all relevant information and no one makes any mistakes (this is also known as faultless disagreement). The possibility of deep disagreement is thought to drive cognitivists toward relativism, but most cognitivists reject relativism. There is an alternative. According to divergentism, cognitivists can reject relativism while allowing for deep disagreement. This view has rarely been defended at length, but many philosophers have implicitly (...)
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  19. Nenad Dimitrijevic (2010). Moral Knowledge and Mass Crime: A Critical Reading of Moral Relativism. Philosophy and Social Criticism 36 (2):131-156.
    In this article I ask how moral relativism applies to the analysis of responsibility for mass crime. The focus is on the critical reading of two influential relativist attempts to offer a theoretically consistent response to the challenges imposed by extreme criminal practices. First, I explore Gilbert Harman’s analytical effort to conceptualize the reach of moral discourse. According to Harman, mass crime creates a contextually specific relationship to which moral judgments do not apply any more. Second, I analyze the inability (...)
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  20. Shane D. Drefcinski (2008). The Superficial Sophistication of Moral Relativism. Logos 11 (3).
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  21. James Dreier (1996). Book Review: The Moral Problem by Michael Smith. [REVIEW] Mind 105 (418):363-367.
  22. James Dreier (1990). Internalism and Speaker Relativism. Ethics 101 (1):6-26.
    In this article I set out a reason for believing in a form of metaethical relativism. In rough terms, the reason is this: a widely held thesis, internalism, tells us that to accept (sincerely assert, believe, etc.) a moral judgment logically requires having a motivating reason. Since the connection is logical, or conceptual, it must be explained by a theory of what it is to accept a moral claim. I argue that the internalist feature of moral expressions can best be (...)
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  23. Justin D’Arms (2005). Relationality, Relativism, and Realism About Moral Value. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 126 (3):433 - 448.
    Among the many virtues of Facts, Values and Norms, is the articulation of an especially subtle and detailed form of naturalistic value realism. The theory aspires to vindicate the objective purport of value discourse while granting, indeed insisting, that value is subjective in important respects. Evaluative thought and inquiry are understood to be continuous with empirical inquiry in the human sciences, so that ethical and evaluative conclusions can ultimately be defended on a posteriori grounds. Railton argues that talk of what (...)
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  24. Abraham Edel (1970). On a Certain Value-Dimension in Analyses of Moral Relativism. Journal of Philosophy 67 (17):584-588.
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  25. Daan Evers (2014). Moral Contextualism and the Problem of Triviality. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (2):285-297.
    Moral contextualism is the view that claims like ‘A ought to X’ are implicitly relative to some (contextually variable) standard. This leads to a problem: what are fundamental moral claims like ‘You ought to maximize happiness’ relative to? If this claim is relative to a utilitarian standard, then its truth conditions are trivial: ‘Relative to utilitarianism, you ought to maximize happiness’. But it certainly doesn’t seem trivial that you ought to maximize happiness (utilitarianism is a highly controversial position). Some people (...)
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  26. Daan Evers (2011). The Standard-Relational Theory of 'Ought' and the Oughtistic Theory of Reasons. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (1):131-147.
    The idea that normative statements implicitly refer to standards has been around for quite some time. It is usually defended by normative antirealists, who tend to be attracted to Humean theories of reasons. But this is an awkward combination: 'A ought to X' entails that there are reasons for A to X, and 'A ought to X all things considered' entails that the balance of reasons favours X-ing. If the standards implicitly referred to are not those of the agent, then (...)
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  27. Samuel Fleischacker (1992). Integrity and Moral Relativism. E.J. Brill.
    As long as there is a language for these possibilities, the book argues, an individual can see ethics as culturally based without compromising his or her own ...
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  28. Ragnar Francén Olinder (2012). Moral and Metaethical Pluralism: Unity in Variation. Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (4):583-601.
    The most basic argument for moral relativism is that different people are (fundamentally) disposed to apply moral terms, such as ‘morally right’ and ‘morally wrong’, and the corresponding concepts, to different (types of) acts. In this paper, I argue that the standard forms of moral relativism fail to account for certain instances of fundamental variation, namely, variation in metaethical intuitions, and I develop a form of relativism—pluralism—that does account for them. I identify two challenges that pluralism faces. To answer the (...)
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  29. Ragnar Francén (2010). No Deep Disagreement for New Relativists. Philosophical Studies 151 (1):19--37.
    Recently a number of writers have argued that a new form of relativism involves a form of semantic context-dependence which helps it escape the perhaps most common objection to ordinary contextualism; that it cannot accommodate our intuitions about disagreement. I argue: (i) In order to evaluate this claim we have to pay closer attention to the nature of our intuitions about disagreement. (ii) We have different such intuitions concerning different questions: we have more stable disagreement intuitions about moral disputes than (...)
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  30. Ragnar Francén (2009). Comment on Erler: Speaker Relativism and Semantic Intuitions. Praxis 2 (1):30-44.
    Metaethical relativists sometimes use an interesting analogy with relativism in physics to defend their view. In this article I comment on Erler’s discussion of this analogy and take the discussion further into methodological matters that it raises. I argue that Erler misplaces the analogy in the dialectic between relativists and absolutists: the analogy cannot be dismissed by simply pointing to the fact that we have absolutist intuitions – this is exactly the kind of objection the analogy is supposed to be (...)
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  31. Ragnar Francén (2007). Metaethical Relativism: Against the Single Analysis Assumption. Dissertation, University of Gothenburg
    This dissertation investigates the plausibility of metaethical relativism, or more specifically, what I call “moral truth-value relativism”: the idea that the truth of a moral statement or belief depends on who utters or has it, or who assesses it. According to the most prevalent variants of this view in philosophical literature – “standard relativism” – the truth-values are relative to people’s moralities, often understood as some subset of their affective or desirelike attitudes. Standard relativism has two main contenders: absolutism – (...)
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  32. Arthur Frank (2001). Rhetoric, Moral Relativism, and Power. American Journal of Bioethics 1 (1):51-52.
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  33. Miranda Fricker (2010). The Relativism of Blame and Williams's Relativism of Distance. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 84 (1):151-177.
    Bernard Williams is a sceptic about the objectivity of moral value, embracing instead a qualified moral relativism—the ‘relativism of distance’. His attitude to blame too is in part sceptical (he thought it often involved a certain ‘fantasy’). I will argue that the relativism of distance is unconvincing, even incoherent; but also that it is detachable from the rest of Williams's moral philosophy. I will then go on to propose an entirely localized thesis I call the relativism of blame, which says (...)
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  34. Margaret Gilbert (1999). Critical Notice: Gilbert Harman and Judith Jarvis Thomson, Moral Relativism and Moral Objectivity. Noûs 33 (2):295–303.
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  35. Margaret P. Gilbert, Gilbert Harman and Judith Jarvis Thomson's Moral Relativism and Moral Objectivity.
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  36. Michael Goldman (1981). On Moral Relativism, Advocacy, and Teaching Normative Ethics. Teaching Philosophy 4 (1):1-11.
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  37. Byron L. Haines (1993). A Critique of Harman's Empiric Relativism. Journal of Philosophical Research 18:97-107.
    In a paper, “Is there a Single True Morality,” Gilbert Harman presents an argument for moral relativism that some have found persuasive. Relativism is, Harman argues, the view that is most compatible with a scientific view of the world. The present paper argues that Harman’s argument is unsound since it contains at least one false premise. Further, there are considerations to which Harman himself draws attention which count against moral relativism and in favor of moral absolutism i.e., the view that (...)
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  38. Steven D. Hales (ed.) (2011). A Companion to Relativism. Wiley-Blackwell.
    Machine generated contents note: Editor's Introduction -- Part I: Characterizing Relativism -- Part II: Truth and Language -- Part III: Epistemic Relativism -- Part IV: Moral Relativism -- Part V: Relativism in the Philosophy of Science -- Part VI: Logical, Mathematical, and Ontological Relativism.
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  39. Steven D. Hales (2009). Moral Relativism and Evolutionary Psychology. Synthese 166 (2):431 - 447.
    I argue that evolutionary strategies of kin selection and game-theoretic reciprocity are apt to generate agent-centered and agent- neutral moral intuitions, respectively. Such intuitions are the building blocks of moral theories, resulting in a fundamental schism between agent-centered theories on the one hand and agent-neutral theories on the other. An agent-neutral moral theory is one according to which everyone has the same duties and moral aims, no matter what their personal interests or interpersonal relationships. Agent-centered moral theories deny this and (...)
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  40. Gilbert Harman, Moral Relativism.
    According to moral relativism, there is not a single true morality. There are a variety of possible moralities or moral frames of reference, and whether something is morally right or wrong, good or bad, just or unjust, etc. is a relative matter—relative to one or another morality or moral frame of reference. Something can be morally right relative to one moral frame of reference and morally wrong relative to another. It is useful to compare moral relativism to other relativisms. One (...)
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  41. Gilbert Harman (2000). Explaining Value and Other Essays in Moral Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
    Explaining Value is a selection of the best of Gilbert Harman's shorter writings in moral philosophy. The thirteen essays are divided into four sections, which focus in turn on moral relativism, values and valuing, character traits and virtue ethics, and ways of explaining aspects of morality. Harman's distinctive approach to moral philosophy has provoked much interest; this volume offers a fascinating conspectus of his most important work in the area.
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  42. Gilbert Harman (1998). Review: Précis of Moral Relativism and Moral Objectivity: Precis of Part One. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58 (1):161 - 169.
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  43. Gilbert Harman (1996). Moral Relativism and Moral Objectivity. Blackwell.
    Do moral questions have objective answers? In this great debate, Gilbert Harman explains and argues for relativism, emotivism, and moral scepticism.
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  44. Gilbert Harman (1982). Metaphysical Realism and Moral Relativism: Reflections on Hilary Putnam's Reason, Truth and History. Journal of Philosophy 79 (10):568-575.
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  45. Gilbert Harman (1975). Moral Relativism Defended. Philosophical Review 84 (1):3-22.
    Gilbert harman has recently proposed a version of moral relativism which is markedly clearer than any earlier statement of that position. Besides consistency and clarity, Harman claims for his thesis a number of positive virtues. The thesis, He argues, "helps explain otherwise puzzling aspects of our moral views"; it accounts for "a previously unnoticed distinction between inner and non-Inner judgments"' and it allows us to meet traditional objections to related theories. In this paper, I argue that none of these alleged (...)
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  46. Lawrence M. Hinman, Alcalá Park & San Diego, Virtue Ethics From a Global Perspective: A Pluralistic Framework for Understanding Moral Virtues.
    The title of our session today is “Virtue Ethics from a Global Perspective.” In my remarks, I would like to sketch out an account of what a global perspective on virtue ethics would look like. Here’s how I’ll proceed. First, I would like to explore some of the reasons why we need a global perspective on virtue ethics. This leads naturally to the second issue, which is a clarification of what we mean by a global perspective on virtue ethics. I (...)
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  47. Terry Horgan & Mark Timmons (2006). Expressivism, Yes! Relativism, No! Oxford Studies in Metaethics 1:73-98.
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  48. Terry Horgan & Mark Timmons (1996). From Moral Realism to Moral Relativism in One Easy Step. Crítica 28 (83):3 - 39.
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  49. V. A. Howard (1968). Do Anthropologists Become Moral Relativists by Mistake? Inquiry 11 (1-4):175 – 189.
    It is argued that anthropologists become moral relativists by mistake typically in two ways: (1) by confusing moral with factual discourse (dubbed the Normativist Fallacy) which derives in turn from a failure to distinguish adequately between direct and indirect discourse in the description of moral systems and preferences; or (2) by confusing definitive with hypothetical statements in descriptive ethics (the Definitivist Fallacy). Two representative arguments illustrating these errors are analyzed and some morals drawn from the results regarding the status of (...)
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  50. Philip Hugly & Charles Sayward (1990). Moral Relativism and Deontic Logic. Synthese 85 (1):139 - 152.
    If a native of India asserts "Killing cattle is wrong" and a Nebraskan asserts "Killing cattle is not wrong", and both judgments agree with their respective moralities and both moralities are internally consistent, then the moral relativist says both judgments are fully correct. At this point relativism bifurcates. One branch which we call content relativism denies that the two people are contradicting each other. The idea is that the content of a moral judgment is a function of the overall moral (...)
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