the Concept of Cultural Relativism

the very principles of relativism have led most anthropologists to conduct research in foreign countries. As has been pointed out cultural relativism seems correct at first glance, but once it is fully examined and brought to its final conclusion we can see that it is not valid. A Critique Of Cultural Relativism Essay, Research Paper. We have to study each ethnological specimen individually in its history and in its medium. 15 The statement begins with a fairly straightforward explanation of the relevance of cultural relativism: The problem is thus to formulate a statement of human rights that will do more than phrase respect for the individual as individual. 3, cultural relativism involves specific epistemological and methodological claims. 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. Use by nations edit Several nations have used cultural relativism as a justification for limiting the rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, despite the World Conference on Human Rights rejecting it as a refugee of human rights violations. Although they may have a contradictory practice of marriage than those in Western culture they still hold on to the moral principle that it is wrong to have sexual relations with someone other than your spouse. The way in which relativism, including cultural relativism, has permeated modern society is demonstrated in the bizarre ways in which we try to deal with this contradiction.

the Concept of Cultural Relativism

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I believe that at a surface level cultural relativism holds some merit, however if we look deeper into the issue we can find a flawed, and inaccurate theory for the way that the world should work. Political scientist Alison Dundes Renteln has recently argued that most debates over moral relativism misunderstand the importance of cultural relativism. The nature of anthropological research lends itself to the search for universal standards (standards found in all societies but not necessarily absolute standards; nevertheless, people often confuse the two. 1958 "Some Further Comments on Cultural Relativism" in American Anthropologist 60(2) 266-273 Herskovitz, Melville. 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.

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