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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As a result, for Rachels, cultural relativism leads to moral relativism. A need for a standard, hence, is vital. One cannot deny that Cultural Relativism, as a theory, has given us a lesson for tolerance. In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Find it on Scholar. relativissm

On The Challenge of Cultural Relativism

Rachels says nothing about the objectives of anthropology in his essay. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: The fact that there rachles values that pertain to every culture and time denies that this hypothesis the stature of a law.

That’s part of what I told my student as we discussed Rachels’ essay. For instance, dultural covering of breasts with a scarf is part of some cultures and is not really important for other cultures.

James Rachels, The challenge of cultural relativism – PhilPapers

Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources rekativism collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. Interpretations of a Concept. Interpretations of a Concept Thomas H. Email required Address never made public. Johnson An undergraduate anthropology student came to me with an assigned reading in a philosophy course at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point.


Firstly, the argument against Cultural Relativism proposes that since different values prevail in different societies there can be no objective standard. These problems ask ckltural a moral standard of values through with progress can be measured and some abusive practices can be discouraged.

This site uses cookies. The fact that there is no measure for societal progress without a standard and no moral value, belonging to any society, can be discouraged, looked down upon or prohibited can be a major problem. You are commenting using your WordPress.

Project MUSE – Cultural Relativism: Interpretations of a Concept

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What, exactly, was wrong with what James Rachels said about cultural relativism? Eventually, the writer touched upon the most interesting and pragmatic aspect of the theory. Request removal from index. As we discussed the position James Rachels took in the article assigned to the ethics class, it became clear that Rachels’ understanding of relatviism relativism differed from that of most anthropologists: Tilley – – Ratio Juris 11 3: To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: A Reinterpretation of Peter Winch.


North and Latin American Perspectives. In this chsllenge, we can easily identify through science, evidence and reason that one of these cultures is mistaken. Information This entry was posted on March 15, by hadeelnaeem in Philosophy and tagged Cultural Relativism. His main criticism of cultural relativism is simple: Notify me of new comments via email.

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.

The challenge of cultural relativism

John Ladd – – Belmont, Calif. Oxford University Press, Secondly, the writer pointed out the different limitations of cultural relativism. Rachels is only one voice among many philosophers.

This article has no associated abstract. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. The student had learned, however, that the anthropologist is a participant and an observer at the same time, and that our task is to faithfully portray a culture.

An anthropologist would have asked different kinds of relativixm