A Critique of Ethical Relativism. MT Louis P. Pojman. Objectively. Therefore,. Ethical Relativism is the idea that moral rightness & wrongness. Louis Pojman: Against Relativism and For Objectivism conclusion (which denies moral objectivism) must be true. If moral objectivism must be. View Critique of Relativism from BUL at University of Florida. II. 3 A Critique of Ethical Relativism1 Louis Pojman In this article I first analyze the structure of.

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Does any one of these statements seem problematic? This is the oof of P2 Pojman wants to attack. On the other hand, there is enormous cultural diversity, and many societies have radically different moral codes.

If P2 is true, then C1 cannot be false. So they can in fact settle interpersonal conflicts. However, though we may pojmaj the demise of morality, as we have known it, this in itself may not be a good reason for rejecting relativism — that is, for judging it loiis. The nonrelativist can accept a certain relativity in the way moral principles are applied in various cultures, depending on beliefs, history, and environment.

Of course, if my partner dies, I could still claim that I was acting from an originally social set of critqiue. The major difference between pro-choicers and pro-lifers is not whether we should kill persons but whether fetuses are really persons.

The purpose of morality is to settle interpersonal conflicts. For even if we did find one or more universal principles, this would not prove that they had any objective status.


In spite of this weak dependency on nonmoral factors, there could still be a set of general moral norms applicable to all cultures and even recognized in most, which a culture could disregard only at its own expense. Therefore, there are no universally valid moral principles, objective standards that apply to all people everywhere and at all times.


Quine,13 holds that languages are often so fundamentally different from each other that we cannot accurately translate concepts from one to another. The objectivist could concede complete cultural relativism but still defend a form of universalism; for he or she could argue that some cultures simply lack correct moral principles. How about just three?

Louis Pojman: Against Relativism and For Objectivism

Even if some indeterminacy of translation exists between language users, we should not critiqu from this that no translation or communication is possible.

Thus, there is no objective right and wrong about the shape of the Earth.

Wilson has identified over a score of common features, 10 and before him Clyde Kluckhohn noted some significant common ground: Now Pojman critiqke that the first premise called P1 in the argument for relativism is not objectionable. John must likewise choose among groups. If Murder Mike of Murder, Incorporated feels like killing bank president Ortcutt and wants crritique feel good about it, he identifies with the Murder, Incorporated society rather than the general-public morality.

This is a statement by Ted Bundy, paraphrased and rewritten by Harry V.

To see how, just construct another argument with a similar form this is called an argument from analogy:. Learn how your comment data is processed. It simply shows that the conclusion could be false. If this is so, then the indeterminacy-of-translation thesis, which relativism rests on, must itself be relativized to the point at which it is no objection to objective morality. If so, no better argument for that conclusion can be given.


What about strong dependence? Why should anyone relafivism such august authority to a culture of society? Conventionalist relativism seems to reduce to subjectivism. Pojman must show that one or more of the premises in the argument for relativism is or are false. Ethicl example, if Mary is a U. Clearly, then, the worrisome premise is P2, called the dependency thesis.

And two people cannot be in disagreement about their feelings. On the other hand, a denial of complete cultural relativism i.

The relativist may argue that, in fact, we lack an obvious impartial standard to judge from. The essential force of the validity of the chosen moral principle is that it depends on choice.

But he has also produced evidence that, underneath the surface of this dying society, there is a deeper moral code from a time when the tribe flourished, which occasionally surfaces and shows its nobler face. What is the morally right thing for John to do? It is a debate about the facts of the matter, not the principle of og innocent persons. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam.

A Critique of Ethical Relativism | Papers at

Note that Pojman thinks the argument is valid. It has lost its action-guiding function. As a matter of fact, Pojman thinks it is true. Pojman recognizes that this is a valid argument.