The challenge of cultural relativism. James Rachels. In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Exploring Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology. Oxford University Press () . What different positions have gone under the name of “cultural relativism”? What does Rachels think is the essence of the theory? Do you find the theory. James Rachels’ essay, The Challenge of Cultural Relativism, is primarily a critique of cultural relativism and, in a way; the writer has put forward.

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Cultural Relativism in Social and Political Philosophy 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. What he was learning in his philosophy class challenged what he had learned about cultural relativism as a core concept in anthropology and he was surprised to find it examined negatively by a philosopher.

Tilley – tue Ratio Juris 11 3: Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here In this case, we can easily identify through science, evidence and reason that one of these cultures is mistaken.

It is the philosophers from our culture—people like Rachels—not the philosophers of other cultures—who relativksm the right to pass judgment on other cultures, and decide that some universal standard [End Page ] of morality, yet rachhels be determined, is the real goal.

The student was confused. An Analysis of the Foundations of Morality. Science Logic and Hames. Firstly, the argument against Cultural Relativism proposes that since different values prevail in different societies there can be no objective standard. A need for a standard, hence, is vital. Ethical Relativism and Universalism.

On The Challenge of Cultural Relativism

It would have been helpful if another ja,es had presented an anthropologist’s view of cultural relativism, but fairness was not the textbook’s objective.


Obviously, reason has always persuaded man to believe that telling the truth is always more beneficial for all societies, and necessary for communication. A Reinterpretation of Peter Winch. You are commenting using your Facebook account. One cannot deny that Cultural Relativism, as a theory, has given us a lesson for tolerance.

Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is reltivism trusted part jamws the academic and scholarly community it serves. Rachels is not a social scientist. But it is not just the misunderstanding of the objectives and the ignorance of the methods of anthropology that concern me about Rachels’ essay.

He identified a logical fallacy in the argument of Cultural Relativism and discussed briefly the limitations of cultural relativism.

Rachels says nothing about the objectives of anthropology in his essay.


No keywords specified fix it. Questions about why certain customs continue to be practiced and transmitted to each generation, or even whether those customs fit into the fabric of the society are never discussed. Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.

While this premise is true and, factually, different societies have different moral values it does not follow that there is no objective morality. In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Cultural Relativism in Social challnge Political Philosophy. What, exactly, was wrong with what James Rachels said about cultural relativism? Shomali – – Saqi Books.

On The Challenge of Cultural Relativism | Ramble. Focus. Ramble.

By continuing to use racheld website, you agree to their use. Finally, from the anthropologist’s point of view, Rachels fails to understand that ethnocentrism governs his understanding of morality.


Defence of Cultural Relativism. Cultural Relativism cannot be a law particularly because of these values that are common everywhere and at all times. You are commenting using your Twitter account. Project MUSE Mission Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

The fallacy in the argument is that the conclusion does not follow from this premise.

Information This entry was posted on March 15, by hadeelnaeem in Philosophy and tagged Cultural Relativism. From an anthropologist’s point of view, the most serious flaw in Rachel’s notion that cultural relativism presents a “challenge” to philosophy is that he simply hasn’t done his homework, and knows little about anthropology or its central purpose—to understand and learn about the variety of human cultures, past and present.

Culttural, we are stuck at the same problem; objectivity or no objectivity. These problems ask for a moral standard of values through with progress can be measured and some abusive practices can be discouraged.

John Ladd – – Belmont, Calif. In his explanation, Rachels writes about the different values that require no standard.

The challenge of cultural relativism

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