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Vulgar Relativisim

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By pricilla325
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Vulgar Relativism Bernard Williams, a Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy, finds Benedict’s doctrine of Ethical Relativism unsustainable. William states his argument for “Vulgar Relativism” on three points. First, what is considered to be “right” means ‘right for a given society” (Williams). Secondly, what is considered “right” for a society is to be understood in a functionalist sense. In conclusion, William’s Vulgar Relativism states it is wrong for individuals in one society to condemn the values of another. Bernard William believed that relativism is “possibly the most absurd view to have been advance even in moral philosophy” (Williams). Williams continues to say that Vulgar Relativism makes a claim about what is right and what is wrong about the values of other societies in third proposition; thus making this view inconsistent. For example, the Ashanti claim and believed that human sacrifice was “right” for them. The theory allows the claim that it is right for our society not to condemn the Ashanti. According to Williams, “we have no business to interfere with it” (Williams). However, this theory suffers in its functionalists aspects from functionalism. Since society is regarded as a cultural unit, the values that a society holds is then necessary for the survival of the group. On the other hand, according to Williams, the survival of the society can be understood s the survival of certain person’s and they descendants which then functionalist propositions will be false. Williams believed that a society’s actions have much deeper meaning than what they appear to be which can lead to a change that was not anticipated. He believed that if the values of a society are lost or changed, the society will no longer exist even though they may physically survive. However, this stills leaves a question in mind; the issuer of whether a group is considered as a...

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