David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Studies 135 (2):123 - 143 (2007)
Moral relativism comes in many varieties. One is a moral doctrine, according to which we ought to respect other cultures, and allow them to solve moral problems as they see fit. I will say nothing about this kind of moral relativism in the present context. Another kind of moral relativism is semantic moral relativism, according to which, when we pass moral judgements, we make an implicit reference to some system of morality (our own). According to this kind of moral relativism, when I say that a certain action is right, my statement is elliptic. What I am really saying is that, according to the system of morality in my culture, this action is right. I will reject this kind of relativism. According to yet another kind of moral relativism, which we may call epistemic, it is possible that, when one person (belonging to one culture) makes a certain moral judgement, such as that this action is right, and another person (belong to another culture) makes the judgement that the very same action is wrong, they may have just as good reasons for their respective judgements; it is even possible that, were they fully informed about all the facts, equally imaginative, and so forth, they would still hold on to their respective (conflicting) judgements. They are each fully justified in their belief in conflicting judgements. I will comment on this form of moral relativism in passing. Finally, however, there is a kind of moral relativism we could call ontological, according to which, when two persons pass conflicting moral verdicts on a certain action, they may both be right. The explanation is that they make their judgements from the perspective of different, socially constructed, moral universes. So while it is true in the first person's moral universe that a certain action is right, it is true in the second person's moral universe that the very same action is wrong. I explain and defend this version of ontological moral relativism.
|Keywords||Philosophy Philosophy of Religion Philosophy of Mind Epistemology Logic Philosophy|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Torbjörn Tännsjö (2015). A Realist and Internalist Response to One of Mackie’s Arguments From Queerness. Philosophical Studies 172 (2):347-357.
Similar books and articles
William L. Langenfus (1988). A Problem for Harman's Moral Relativism. Philosophy Research Archives 14:121-136.
Katinka Quintelier & Daniel Fessler (2012). Varying Versions of Moral Relativism: The Philosophy and Psychology of Normative Relativism. Biology and Philosophy 27 (1):95-113.
Christian Munthe, On the Relation Between Metaethical and Substantial Normative Forms of Moral Relativism.
James Beebe (2010). Moral Relativism in Context. Noûs 44 (4):691-724.
John W. Cook (1999). Morality and Cultural Differences. Oxford University Press.
Miranda Fricker (2010). The Relativism of Blame and Williams's Relativism of Distance. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 84 (1):151-177.
Seungbae Park (2011). Defence of Cultural Relativism. Cultura 8 (1):159-170.
David Capps, Michael P. Lynch & Daniel Massey (2009). A Coherent Moral Relativism. Synthese 166 (2):413 - 430.
Charles Sayward (1988). System Relativism. Ratio 1 (2):163-175.
Berit Brogaard (2008). Moral Contextualism and Moral Relativism. Philosophical Quarterly 58 (232):385 - 409.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads168 ( #7,058 of 1,699,833 )
Recent downloads (6 months)15 ( #44,888 of 1,699,833 )
How can I increase my downloads?