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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On The Challenge of Cultural Relativism

Secondly, the writer pointed out the different limitations of cultural relativism. This site uses cookies. Interpretations of a Concept Thomas H. Rachels’ essay was chosen to represent the ethical issue of cultural relativism in an introductory textbook on ethics. Cultural relativism is part of our training as social scientists as well as humanists—we participate and learn to understand and appreciate [End Page ] another culture, inevitably returning to our own culture to write and teach about what we have learned.

Seungbae Park – – Cultura 8 1: For instance, the covering of breasts with a scarf is part of some cultures and is not really important for other cultures. An undergraduate anthropology student came to me with an assigned reading in a philosophy course at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point.

But it is not just the misunderstanding of the objectives and the ignorance of the methods of anthropology that concern me about Rachels’ essay.


Tilley – – Ratio Juris 11 3: Science Logic and Mathematics. Moreover, the writer pointed out that even experience can tell us that Cultural Relativism is not quite the case; he based this particular argument on the tinges of moral objectivity that we see amidst the cultural differences in values.

This, however, does not suggest that moral objectivity cannot account for such a tolerance. His essay does not pretend to be an exhaustive treatment of the subject, nor does he indicate anything but a nodding acquaintance with what anthropologists have said about the subject.

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

Sign in to use this feature. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here A Reinterpretation of Peter Winch. Oxford University Press There may relaativism exceptions to these values and there may be variations in these exceptions relative to different societies but murder and telling a lie have always been prohibited.

As we rqchels see, some cultures allow homosexuality and others strongly condemn it but many people who believe in such a theory have learned to live with it. His main criticism of cultural relativism is simple: Email required Address never made public. Rachels is not a social scientist.

Shomali – – Saqi Books.

An Analysis of the Foundations of Morality. Saral Jhingran – – Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. These cultural differences are just practices and customs relating to different areas and times and may not be morally right or wrong.


Cultural Relativism; Perspectives in Cultural Pluralism. Notify me of new posts via email. Morality and Cultural Differences. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Rachels says nothing about the objectives of anthropology in his thd. It would have been helpful if another philosopher had presented an anthropologist’s view of cultural relativism, but fairness was not the textbook’s objective.

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. 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.

As we discussed the position James Rachels took in the article assigned to the ethics class, it became clear that Rachels’ understanding of cultural relativism differed from that of most anthropologists: The tolerance people show towards homosexuality is because of Cultural Relativism.

Rachels culturap only one voice among many philosophers.