Cultural relativism versus ethnocentrism philosophy essay

He could also try to persuade others to become the sort of thinker for whom relativism is true without being entangled in self-contradiction. The key difficulty facing conceptual relativism is that of formulating the position in a coherent but non-trivial manner.

These contradict the very concept of relativism, meaning that absolute relativism is self-contradictory and impossible.

Cultural Relativism

Epistemic relativists maintain that the legitimacy of a justificatory system and the presumed strength of epistemic warrants are decided locally.

On this view, Plato begs the question on behalf of an absolutist conception of truth Burnyeat a: Stepping up to the edge of a cliff gives you a good perspective of the terrain below.

Protagoras, the relativists counter, could indeed accept that his own doctrine is false for those who accept absolutism but continue believing that his doctrine is true for him.

The relativist cannot make such a commitment and therefore his attempts to persuade others to accept his position may be pragmatically self-refuting.

Difference Between Cultural Relativism and Ethnocentrism

This is based on the idea that there is no ultimate standard of good or evil, so every judgment about right and wrong is a product of society. Finally, d is under pressure from the very relativism it advocates.

So, this very notion does not propagate becoming judgmental or harsh towards any specific cultural value and norms. What counts as an object itself, he argues, is determined by and hence is relative to the ontological framework we opt for.

As Evans puts it, a theory that permits a subject to deduce merely that a particular utterance is now Cultural relativism versus ethnocentrism philosophy essay but later will be incorrect … cannot assist the subject in deciding what to say, nor in interpreting the remarks of others. Ethnocentrism Ethnocentrism on the other hand is the extreme opposite of cultural relativism.

Similar claims have been made about emotions, object representation, and memory. What is true or false is always relative to a conceptual, cultural, or linguistic framework.

Collins, and several of his fellow sociologists of knowledge, have asserted that underdetermination lends credence to the view that the world does little if anything to shape or constrain our beliefs about it.

This incoherence charge is by far the most difficult problem facing the relativist. One version of the argument, advanced most notably by Gareth Evans The relativist can avoid the standard charge of self-refutation by accepting that relativism cannot be proven true in any non-relative sense—viz.

They, thereby, conclude that an all-out or strong relativism about rationality is not tenable.

The difficulty with this approach is that it seems to make communication across frameworks impossible. Ethical relativism can be seen as the claim that the truth of ethical judgments, if such truths exist, is relative to context or culture.

Languages are either inter-translatable and hence not radically different from ours, or incommensurable and beyond our ability to recognize them as languages Davidson Absolutely Impossible The contradiction of cultural relativism becomes immediately apparent.

Barry Barnes and David Bloor, for instance, have argued that different societies may have incompatible but internally coherent systems of logic because validity and rules of inference are defined by, and hence are relative to, the practices of a given community, rather than a priori universal restrictions on all thought.

Lakatos and Feyerabend have taken the underdetermination of theories to justify the claim that the only difference between empirically successful and empirically unsuccessful theories lies in the talents and resources of their respective advocates i.

The relativist, in effect, places other speakers and their languages beyond our recognitional reach and thereby undermines the initial claim that they could be radically different or incommensurable.

In the same way, heinous crimes such as rape and murder demand a moral judgment -- but strict cultural relativism cannot say that such things are always wrong. Therefore, Protagoras must believe that his own doctrine is false see Theaetetus: Ethnocentrism landed as a concept amongst different nations earlier than cultural relativism which got to be devised to counter ethnocentrism.

And, the most significant feature related to these notions and ideas is the fact that both of these come with specific sect of followers which can be specific individuals and specific nations as well.

The underlying rationale for this form of relativism is the anti-realist thesis that the world does not present itself to us ready-made or ready-carved; rather we supply different, and at times incompatible, ways of categorizing and conceptualizing it. It makes no sense to ask whether a belief is justified simpliciter; we can only ask questions about justification relative to an epistemic system, which casts doubts on the very possibility of objectivity.

Relativism about science is also influenced by the related doctrine that all observations are theory-laden. Relativists about science also point to the prevalence of both synchronic and diachronic disagreement among scientists as a justification of their view.

In the 20th century, a variety of positions sympathetic to conceptual relativism were developed. More recently, Peng and Nisbett, using experimental data, have argued that Chinese and American students have different attitudes towards the Law of Non-Contradiction.

Trivial versions allow that the world can be described in different ways, but make no claims to the incompatibility of these descriptions.Relativism, roughly put, is the view that truth and falsity, right and wrong, standards of reasoning, and procedures of justification are products of differing conventions and frameworks of assessment and that their authority is confined to the context giving rise to them.

Published: Mon, 5 Dec When it comes to human rights, the issue of cultural relativism is widely discussed. Majority of the human rights literature encompasses the western and non-western argument on what best illustrates what human rights should be.


- Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism Ethnocentrism and cultural relativism are two contrasting terms that are displayed by different people all over the world. Simply put, ethnocentrism is defined as “judging other groups from the perspective of one’s own cultural point of view.”.

Cultural Relativism and Ethnocentrism may attribute to the differences btw Religion & Magic. Ethnocentrism is a cultural attitude that one’s own culture is the best, thus we evaluate other cultures on the basis of our own cultural perspective. Cultural Relativism is the view that moral or ethical systems, which vary from culture to culture, are all equally valid and no one system is really “better” than any other.

This is based on the idea that there is no ultimate standard of good or evil, so every judgment about right and wrong is a. Cultural Relativism: A Moral Fallacy Cultural Relativism is the theory that all belief's are equally valid and that truth itself is relative, depending on the situation, environment and individual.

Those who hold the belief of Cultural Relativist, hold that all beliefs are completely relative to the individual within a cultural identity. In this essay, I will show that cultural relativism is.

Cultural relativism versus ethnocentrism philosophy essay
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