PHI 306 EC 4

PHI 306 EC 4 - the next one takes her turn. Herskovits...

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Lauren Napolitano Extra Credit Ch 4 Cultural Relativism and Cultural Values 1.) What is Herskovits’ main argument for the view that moral values are relative to cultures? Herskovits says that cultural relativism is an approach to the role of values in different cultures, and that it is a scientific and inductive way of determining what is morally right. Judgments, he claims, are based on experience, and each individual in terms of his own enculturation interprets experience. He offers several examples to back up his argument. 2.) Describe briefly one main example that Herskovits gives of a value that is relative to a culture. One example that Herskovits gives of a value that is relative to a culture is of polygamy. He describes the West African culture of Dahomey, in which men have many wives. The wives live in separate houses with their children, and the husband also has a separate wife. Each wife spends a “native week” (four days) with the husband, and then
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Unformatted text preview: the next one takes her turn. Herskovits argues that this is considered normal in their culture and that polygamy is very effective and holds values that people outside of the culture may not see. 3.) What do you think that an anthropologist like Herskovits would say about such acts as rape and genocide? I think that Herskovits would say that acts such as rape and genocide are still considered wrong, no matter which culture they are present in. Towards the end of the chapter, Herskovits brings up the idea of universals . Universals are in his words, those least common denominators to be extracted from the range of variation that all phenomena of the natural or cultural world manifest. He says that morality is a universal; therefore, I think that rape and genocide would also be considered universals in this case....
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PHI 306 EC 4 - the next one takes her turn. Herskovits...

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