Moral Relativism: A Reader

Paperback | August 15, 2000

EditorPaul K. Moser, Thomas L. Carson

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Are all moral truths relative or do certain moral truths hold for all cultures and people? In Moral Relativism: A Reader, this and related questions are addressed by twenty-one contemporary moral philosophers and thinkers. This engaging and nontechnical anthology, the only up-to-datecollection devoted solely to the topic of moral relativism, is accessible to a wide range of readers including undergraduate students from various disciplines. The selections are organized under six main topics: (1) General Issues; (2) Relativism and Moral Diversity; (3) On the Coherence of MoralRelativism; (4) Defense and Criticism; (5) Relativism, Realism, and Rationality; and (6) Case Study on Relativism. Contributors include Ruth Benedict, Richard Brandt, Thomas L. Carson, Philippa Foot, Gordon Graham, Gilbert Harman, Loretta M. Kopelman, David Lyons, J. L. Mackie, Michele Moody-Adams,Paul K. Moser, Thomas Nagel, Martha Nussbaum, Karl Popper, Betsy Postow, James Rachels, W. D. Ross, T. M. Scanlon, William Graham Sumner, and Carl Wellman. The volume concludes with a case study on female circumcision/genital mutilation that vividly brings into focus the practical aspects andimplications of moral relativism. An ideal primary text for courses in moral relativism, Moral Relativism: A Reader can also be used as a supplementary text for introductory courses in ethics and for courses in various disciplines--anthropology, sociology, theology, political science, and cultural studies--that discussrelativism. The volume's pedagogical and research value is enhanced by a topical bibliography on moral relativism and a substantial general introduction that includes explanatory summaries of the twenty selections.

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Are all moral truths relative or do certain moral truths hold for all cultures and people? In Moral Relativism: A Reader, this and related questions are addressed by twenty-one contemporary moral philosophers and thinkers. This engaging and nontechnical anthology, the only up-to-datecollection devoted solely to the topic of moral relat...

Paul K. Moser and Thomas L. Carson are both at Loyola University of Chicago.

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Format:PaperbackPublished:August 15, 2000Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195131304

ISBN - 13:9780195131307

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroductionPART ONE: GENERAL ISSUES1. Richard Brandt: Ethical Relativism2. Karl Popper: Facts, Standards, and Truth: A Further Criticism of Relativism3. James Rachels: The Challenge of Cultural RelativismPART TWO: RELATIVISM AND MORAL DIVERSITY4. William Graham Sumner: Folkways5. Ruth Benedict: Anthropology and the Abnormal6. W.D. Ross: The Meaning of Right7. Michele Moody-Adams: The Empirical Underdetermination of Descriptive Cultural Relativism8. Carl Wellman: The Ethical Implications of Cultural RelativityPART THREE: ON THE COHERENCE OF MORAL RELATIVISM9. Betsy Postow: Dishonest Relativism10. David Lyons: Ethical Relativism and the Problem of Incoherence11. T.M. Scanlon: Fear of RelativismPART FOUR: DEFENSE AND CRITICISM12. Gilbert Harman: Is There a Single True Morality?13. Philippa Foot: Moral Relativism14. Martha Nussbaum: Non-Relative Virtues15. Gordon Graham: Tolerance, Pluralism, and Relativism16. Thomas Nagel: EthicsPART FIVE: RELATIVISM, REALISM, AND RATIONALITY17. J.L. Mackie: The Subjectivity of Values18. Richard Brandt: Relativism Refuted?19. Thomas L. Carson and Paul K. Moser: Relativism and Normative Nonrealism: Basing Morality on RationalityPART SIX: CASE STUDY ON RELATIVISM20. Loretta M. Kopelman: Female Circumcision/Genital Mutilation and Ethical RelativismBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"An excellent collection, the breadth of which few, if any, can match."--Philip J. Maloney, Christian Brothers University