Moral relativism attracts and repels. What is defensible in it and what is to be rejected? Do we as human beings have no shared standards by which we can understand one another? Can we abstain from judging one another's practices? Do we truly have divergent views about what constitutes good and evil, virtue and vice, harm and welfare, dignity and humiliation, or is there some underlying commonality that trumps it all? These questions turn up everywhere, from Montaigne's essay on cannibals, to the UN Declaration of Human Rights, to the debate over female genital mutilation. They become ever more urgent with the growth of mass immigration, the rise of religious extremism, the challenges of Islamist terrorism, the rise of identity politics, and the resentment at colonialism and the massive disparities of wealth and power between North and South. Are human rights and humanitarian interventions just the latest form of cultural imperialism? By what right do we judge particular practices as barbaric? Who are the real barbarians? In this provocative new book, the distinguished social theorist Steven Lukes takes an incisive and enlightening look at these and other challenging questions and considers the very foundations of what we believe, why we believe it, and whether there is a profound discord between "us" and "them."
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Citations of this work BETA
The Question of Moral Action: A Formalist Position.Iddo Tavory - 2011 - Sociological Theory 29 (4):272 - 293.
The Relevance of Cosmopolitanism for Moral Education.Michael S. Merry & Doret J. De Ruyter - 2011 - Journal of Moral Education 40 (1):1-18.
Religion, Relativism, and Wittgenstein's Naturalism.Bob Plant - 2011 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 19 (2):177 - 209.
Human Capabilities and Information and Communication Technology: The Communicative Connection. [REVIEW]William F. Birdsall - 2011 - Ethics and Information Technology 13 (2):93-106.
Animal Welfare, Ethics and the Work of the International Whaling Commission.Robert William Garner - 2011 - Journal of Global Ethics 7 (3):279-290.
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