Ethical Relativism and Universalism

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Motilal Banarsidass Publishe, 2001 - Ethical relativism - 385 pages
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The present work addresses itself to one of the most hotly debated issues in contemporary ethics-relativism. Relativism has become a formidable argument in Western socio-moral thought under the impact of postmodern writings. The author presents a detailed critique of various relativist and postmodernist theses, without rejecting some of their empirically justified observations. She underscores the fact that the intercultural communication which has been going on since time immemorial puts a question mark to the postmodernist theories of indeterminacy of translation, incommensurability of various conceptual frameworks etc.

The author supports cognitivism in ethics according to which the moral properties of the object of moral judgement do in some way determine or `cause` that judgment. This view is not to be confused with any realist ontological commitment. She asserts that universalizability is the necessary condition of all rational judgments, including the moral ones. The author also discusses the relationship between self and others; and in this context she draws upon the insights of ancient Indian thinkers. She proposes that minimum moral principles and maxims can be agreed upon through reasoning and intercultural discourse.
 

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Contents

Cultural and Ethical Relativism
1
Positivism Postmodernism and Ethical
33
Ethical Relativism
75
Positivist and Postmodem
123
Realism
161
The Moral Point of View
201
Self and Others
247
A Rational Approach to Universal
293
Notes
335
Bibliography
367
Index
381
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