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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This means that philosophers strive to make their arguments deductively valid. So what a philosopher tries to do is construct a valid argument form, and then make sure that the premises ARE true. In such a case, the conclusion cannot be false. If so, no better argument for that conclusion can be given. Beliefs about what is right and wrong differ across cultures the Diversity thesis.
What is right and wrong is dependent upon, or relative to, culture the Dependency thesis. Thus, there is no objective right and wrong. Pojman recognizes that this is a valid argument. As such, IF the premises are true, the conclusion which denies moral objectivism must be true. If moral objectivism must be false, then moral relativism must be true. Pojman tries to attack this argument. The attack has two stages. If Pojman can do this, then even if the argument is valid, the truth of the conclusion will not necessarily follow because it would only follow IF the premises were true.
Even if Pojman is successful, showing that the conclusion is not necessarily true does not entail that it is false. It simply shows that the conclusion could be false. If it must be true, then the claim that there is no objective right and wrong cannot be true. If he succeeds in both stages, the argument for relativism is defeated.
Pojman must show that one or more of the premises in the argument for relativism is or are false. Now Pojman realizes that the first premise called P1 in the argument for relativism is not objectionable. What this means is that there is no reason why Pojman would need to find it false. As a matter of fact, Pojman thinks it is true. If you go to various cultures, you will find various different definitions of right and wrong.
Is this harmful to moral objectivism? If Pojman acknowledges that P1 is true, does this harm moral objectivism? The reason is this: If you could, then this argument would be conclusive: Beliefs about what is right and wrong differ across cultures — C1.
The conclusion here is NOT necessarily true, even if the premise P1 is true. That means thatthe argument is not valid.
We know it is not valid because it is possible for the premises to be true and ,ouis conclusion to be false. To see how, just construct another argument with a similar form this is called an argument from analogy:. Beliefs about the shape of the Earth differ across cultures — C1. Thus, there is no objective right and wrong about the shape of the Earth.
Clearly, this argument is not valid. It is possible for people to disagree about the shape of the Earth, but this does not entail that there is no objective answer about the shape of the Earth. So Pojman reasons that if this is so, and the argument for relativism using just P1 as a premise has the same form, then the claim that people differ about moral beliefs does not entail that pojmxn is no objective answer about what is right and wrong.
So Pojman allows for P1 to be true, since it does not harm objectivism about morality.
Clearly, then, the worrisome premise is P2, called the dependency thesis. The dependency thesis is the claim that what is right and wrong is itself relative to culture this differs from P1 — it is not a claim about beliefs, it is a claim about the nature of right and wrong itself.
Clearly P2 entails relativism about morality. If P2 is true, then C1 cannot be false.
Louis Pojman: Against Relativism and For Objectivism
Before he attacks P2 he must be sure that he is attacking the right version of P2. As a matter of fact, they differ. In Europe, politeness to a stranger might mean kissing the stranger on both cheeks.
What about strong dependence? This ethiccal the form of P2 Pojman wants to attack. The two camps are:. The purpose of morality is to settle interpersonal conflicts.
And two people cannot be in disagreement about their feelings.
Louis Pojman destroys relativism – Philosophical Investigations
The reason is evident: So they can in fact settle interpersonal conflicts. Thus, there are some objective moral rules. Note that Pojman thinks the argument is valid. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Louis Pojman destroys relativism.