Benedict cultural relativism essay

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Benedict cultural relativism essay

Pointing to the diversity of accepted behavior within diverse societies, Benedict famously concludes: We do not any longer make the mistake of deriving the morality of our locality and decade directly from the inevitable constitution of human nature. We do not elevate it to the dignity of a first principle.

We recognize that morality differs in every society, and is a convenient term for socially approved habits.

You can remember the term relativism by thinking about how Benedict considers cultural values as relative to the particular situation. She argues that what we think of so firmly as normal and. Ruth Benedict also had an interesting take on Moral Relativism, contending that there was in fact no such thing as morals, but simply that what we perceive to but moral guidelines are simply cultural guidelines. "Cultural relativism is the doctrine that what makes an action right is that it is approved by one's cultural. Cultural relativism does not imply that individuals are infallible, but does imply that cultures are morally infallible/5(6).

Mankind has always preferred to say, "It is morally good," rather than "It is habitual," and the fact of this preference is matter enough for a critical science of ethics. But historically the two phrases are synonymous. In saying that the two phrases are synonymous, she is saying this: In summary, Benedict says that what is habitual is synonyous with whatever is normal whatever is socially agreeable to the majority of people raised in that society.

But she also says that whatever is acceptable as normal due to social conditioning is moral. For example, if racism is moral in one's society, then it is moral to engage in the racist practices that are normal in the society.

This position is ethical relativism, the idea that moral goodness is to be equated with cultural norms. Melville Herskovits defends Benedict's position. Herskovits defends relativism on the grounds that it is an antidote to ethnocentrism, which has led Europeans and Americans to behave with intolerance toward cultures with different values.

Ironically, Benedict herself abandoned ethical relativism when she saw that it required her to endorse Nazi rule in Germany.

Benedict cultural relativism essay

William Shaw gives a typical response to ethical relativism. We can easily accept all of the anthropological facts concerning the way that different cultures endorse different practices. But why should we add the additional assumption that the group's norms should be the individual's norms?

Cultural Relativism: James Rachels vs. Ruth Benedict | Gordon Hemsley - ashio-midori.com

In addition, Shaw distinguishes the ideas or beliefs held by various groups and individuals from the actual moral standard. While ideas vary from culture to culture and time to time, it does not follow that there is not a universal moral standard that we should follow.

This position is ethical relativism, the idea that moral goodness is to be equated with cultural norms. Melville Herskovits defends Benedict's position. Herskovits defends relativism on the grounds that it is an antidote to ethnocentrism, which has led Europeans and Americans to behave with intolerance toward cultures with different values. Benedict’s main ideas in this essay are cultural relativism, and the antagonistic relationship between societies. Cultural relativism is a theory that states that the morals of a person is based on the society in which the individual is part of. This essay will examine and highlight major details about problems surrounding individual moral relativism and cultural moral relativism. It will reflect post-modern and modern methods of belief in order to exhibit its valuableness in ethical decision-making in overcoming problems (Owen, ).

Ethical absolutists accept this distinction between thinking something is right and its being rightwhile ethical relativists collapse the distinction, regarding it as a merely verbal distinction. Look again at the quotation from Benedict. An analogy with astronomy might help to clarify the debate.

Benedict cultural relativism essay

Different societies at different times have held different theories about the planets and stars. Ancient Greek myths regarded the sun as a lantern carried across the sky by one of the gods, later Greeks and many other societies thought that the sun revolves around the earth, and most recently we classify the sun as a star around which we orbit.

A relativist would say that there is no single correct answer, but that the correct answer is just whatever your society believes at the time. Herskovits actually says this, arguing that there is no reality apart from our culturally biased evaluations of it. An absolutist would say that there is a single correct answer, and any society whose beliefs conflict with this answer is simply ignorant of the truth.

Shaw and other absolutists thus hold that ethics is no more relative than astronomy, and widely held ethical views may be mistaken. For more about SHAW, click here.Check our compare and contrast essay topics on cultural relativism.

Among them you will find the most fitting subtopic and a few great directions to explore.

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If you need help finding a topic for your next compare and contrast essay on cultural relativism, look over the list of 20 topics below to get a handful of great ideas suitable for your. Cultural Relativism: Contrasting the Views of James Rachels and Ruth Benedict By: Robert Vigliotti-Desgagné () Essay 1: Compare/Contrast Essay February 17 th, PHI C Ethics Professor Sophie Rietti Cultural and ethical relativism are two universal theories (sometimes used interchangeably) to explain the differences among %(4).

Essay Lying to Patients and Ethical Relativism I. Lying to Patients and Ethical Relativism Ethical Relativism and Ethical Subjectivism Ethical Relativism - theory that holds that morality is relative to the norms of one's culture.

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Benedict’s main ideas in this essay are cultural relativism, and the antagonistic relationship between societies. Cultural relativism is a theory that states that the morals of a person is based on the society in which the individual is part of.

This position is ethical relativism, the idea that moral goodness is to be equated with cultural norms. Melville Herskovits defends Benedict's position. Herskovits defends relativism on the grounds that it is an antidote to ethnocentrism, which has led Europeans and Americans to behave with intolerance toward cultures with different values.

Moral relativism is often equated with cultural relativism. However, anthropologists cringe at this notion, as defended by Thomas Johnson in his essay, “Cultural Relativism: Interpretations of a Concept.

Ruth benedict cultural relativism essay