philo 241 review sheet - Final Exam Study Guide Philosophy...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Final Exam Study Guide – Philosophy 241 Question 1. Best formulation: Normative social ethical relativism : Your act is right just in case it conforms to the moral code of your social group, wrong just in case it violates that code. [This is equivalent to Agent’s group relativism ] Why is this definition the best formulation? Show that this definition is better than all others in expressing or capturing the idea/attraction of relativism without running into obvious objections. Other formulations: Descriptive ethical relativism : Views about moral right and wrong and moral codes have varied greatly across time and place. Problem: Of course they have; everyone agrees to that; it can be shown historically. This formulation merely describes what relativism constitutes. Circumstantial relativism : A kind of action can be right at one time and place (in one set of circumstances) and wrong at another time and place (in another set of circumstances). Problem: Everyone would agree to this as well; it’s not radical – for example, if I promise I will meet you at noon for lunch and on my way I see a small child drowning in a shallow pond nobody will blame me for being 10 minutes late to save the child, although (without that specific circumstance) I might get admonished for breaking my promise and being late. Appraiser’s group relativism : The correct way to decide whether an action is right or wrong is to apply the standards (moral code) of your own group. Problem: This formulation endorses contradictions, since two people, following their own respective moral code can have contradictory conclusions about the rightness of an action, yet both must be said to be correct. For example, say Person A is a polygamist, the moral code of person B’s group says that polygamy is wrong and the moral code of person C’s group endorses polygamy. Following appraiser’s group relativism, we would have to say that Person B is correct to deem polygamy wrong, while person C is correct to deem polygamy right. But this is a contradiction, and a contradiction that agent’s group relativism avoids. Other Problems: Gets confused with fallibilism . Fallibilism (in ethics) : Some moral views in the end are more reasonable than others, but we could, in principle, be mistaken about any given moral view that we hold. This doctrine rejects skepticism (no moral view is in the end more reasonable than any other) and dogmatism/absolutism (there are some moral views about which we could not be mistaken, even in principle). The confusion is that the denial of relativism is deemed absolutism, but the word absolutism is also used to mean dogmatism. However, relativism and fallibilism are not the same; relativism concerns how we should judge actions of others, while fallibilism concerns how certain we should be about the moral views that we hold. Why do so many people want to hold/ have held some version of this doctrine?
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 09/30/2008 for the course PHIL 2410 taught by Professor Sturgeon, n during the Spring '08 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

Page1 / 13

philo 241 review sheet - Final Exam Study Guide Philosophy...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online