Study Guides (238,085)
Canada (114,909)
Philosophy (363)
John Thorp (10)


2 Pages
Unlock Document

Western University
Philosophy 1020
John Thorp

25. Moral Relativism 0. Introductory material i) ethics < Greek ethe = customs and morals < Latin mores = customs ii) About Ruth Benedict 1. The argument for moral relativism Morality is just socially approved customs. Societies differ (often quite strikingly) as to what customs they approve or disapprove. Morality is, therefore, culturally relative. 2. The lessons of a wider view of cultures “In the higher cultures the standardization of custom and belief over a couple of continents has given a false sense of the inevitability of the particular forms that have gained currency, and we need to turn to a wider survey in order to check the conclusions we hastily base upon this near-universality of familiar customs.” What is abnormal in our culture, may be socially placed, honourable in another 3. Examples i) Trances, catalepsies, pain-endurance “Most peoples have regarded even extreme psychic manifestations not only as normal and desirable, but even as a characteristic of highly valued and gifted individuals ii) Homosexuality "Homosexuals in many societies are not incompetent, but they may be if the culture asks adjustments that would strain any man’s vitality." Not just some of the people all of the time, but all of the people some of the time In ancient Greece, it was common for a middle teen boy to become the lover of an older man, mid-20’s to 30’s, and the older man would have an obligation to contribute to the education (mannerly pursuits of hunting etc.) of the younger male iii) Murder "…Among the Kwakiutl it did not matter whether a relative had died in bed of disease, or by the hand of an enemy; in either case death was an affront to be wiped out by the death of another person. The fact that one had been caused to mourn was proof that one had been put upon… "…A chief’s sister and her daughter had gone up to Victoria, and either because they drank bad whiskey or because their boat capsized they never came back. The chief called together his warriors
More Less

Related notes for Philosophy 1020

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.