Ariadne's Thread on Ethical Relativism
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Fred

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Sidgwick

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Relativism: For and Against

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Professor Sidgwick Speaking
Good morning! I'm glad you could all make our second meeting. Very good. Very good, indeed.

In our first session we tried to define some terms and list some questions that are all related to cultural relativism and ethical relativism. The terms included 'objectivity,' 'absolute,' 'ethical relativism' and others. I think it was probably clear that there is no generally accepted definition for any of these. But we did come up with a rough idea of what we mean by 'ethical relativism' and some questions to talk about. John has the definitions we decided upon if you want to hear them again.

I want you to think about three broad questions:

  1. What are the reasons for accepting or rejecting ethical relativism as a meta-ethical theory?
  2. What are the main alternatives to ethical relativism?
  3. What are the reasons for accepting or rejecting the main alternatives?

These questions are closely connected, so you probably cannot keep them entirely separate. 


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