Ruth Benedict Patterns of Culture

Ruth Benedict Patterns of Culture - Ruth Benedict Patterns...

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Ruth Benedict Patterns of Culture Chapter 2: The Challenges of Cultural Relativism The chapter begins with the description of two very different traditions surrounding the deaths of family members. For the Callatians, it was customary to eat the body of their dead fathers, while the Greeks practiced cremation. Now, if you were to ask the Callatians if they would ever consider burning the bodies of their dead fathers they would be mortified. The Greeks would hold the same reaction if asked if they would eat the bodies of their dead fathers. The point of this example is to show how what is right within one society maybe be considered monstrous in another, which leads us to ask the question, ‘Is morality relative?’ Benedict introduces the idea of cultural relativism, telling us that there is no “universal truth in ethics.” Each society has its own codes of ethics but that of one society isn’t better than that of another. The problem with cultural relativism according to Benedict is that the following argument that it is based on is not sound
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This note was uploaded on 10/01/2009 for the course PHIL 262g at USC.

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Ruth Benedict Patterns of Culture - Ruth Benedict Patterns...

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