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Ariadne's thread on ethical relativism is a dialog among a group of students at
a fictitious university called
Midwest U. The dialog is facilitated by Professor Henry Sidgwick, a visiting professor
from Cambridge University in England. In addition to Dr. Sidgwick, the discussion
involves several students: Ann, John, Fred, Ayesha, Vera, and Dee. Each
has a different view on ethics in general and on some of the issues involved
with ethical relativism. You can work
your way through the discussion by clicking various links.
There are three kinds of pages for you to look at:
- Discussion pages where issues are raised and arguments
are made. These pages contain a simulated discussion of ethical relativism.
Each speaker puts forward various arguments for you to think about,
analyze, and criticize while developing your views on the issues.
If you are displaying graphics, these pages show the Ariadne maze
with the phrase "Ethical Relativism" on it in the upper left
corner. The speaker's picture appears on the right. Pictures of those who wish
to respond to what the speaker says appear on the left.
The discussion pages are of two sorts. First there are those that
are on the main path. These contain the main ideas in
the discussion. You can always tell whether a page is on the main path because
there is a link saying "Click here to continue on the main path" in the gold bar across the page just below the
title. Use this link if you want to continue along the main path. The
background color behind the text on these pages is a light yellow.
Second, there are pages that are off the main path. These
are less important to the main discussion. You can tell whether
a page is off the main path because there is a link saying "Return to main
in the gray bar across
the page just below the title of the page. Use this link to go back to the main
path. The background color behind the text on these pages is white.
- Comment pages that offer comments on the discussion
and other considerations. These pages say "Related Ideas"
at the top left. If you look at one of the comment pages, use the Back key on
your browser to return to the discussion page you were on.
- Source pages that contains extended quotations from
many different writers. These pages all say "Sources &
Extracts" at the top left. If you look at one of the source pages, use the
Back key on your browser to return to the discussion page you were on.
The important thing to remember is that the pages with the
gold bar and the light yellow background are the main path to follow. If you leave the main path, be sure to return and
then continue along the path.
At the top of each discussion page is a short title for the page. Beneath the
title is the gold or gray bar that indicates whether you are on or off the main
thread. Beneath the gold or gray bar is the name of the current speaker.
the left side of each discussion page there will be one or more links to
speakers, comments, and sources. Use these links to navigate through the
At the bottom of the discussion pages is a footer with links
to the Ariadne home page, the bibliography, glossary, the ethical relativism
home page, the ethical relativism table of contents, and a page of links to related sites.