Ruth benedict philosophy. Ruth Benedict essays 2019-02-06

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Concept of Culture: Ruth Benedict & Boasian Anthropology

ruth benedict philosophy

Presents us with categorical imperative, critic of utilitarian and happiness principle. Sometimes it is said that some moral disagreements are faultless, meaning that neither party has made a mistake see Kölbel 2004. At the start of the course, I believed that right and wrong was not determined by one 's culture. Relativism Ignores Diversity Within a Culture When relativists say that the truth of moral claims and the rightness of actions is relative to the norms and values of the culture in which they occur, they seem to assume that members of that culture will generally agree about the moral framework which they supposedly share. But this may be promoted differently in different, or differently understood, circumstances. There is no genuine moral disagreement. For instance, some societies condemn homosexuality, others accept it; in some cultures a student who corrects a teacher would be thought disrespectful; elsewhere such behavior might be encouraged.

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A defense of Ethical Relativism by Ruth Benedict

ruth benedict philosophy

The principle is, roughly speaking, that we should not interfere with people unless we could justify this interference to them if they were rational and well-informed in relevant respects. The institution of the berdache, the men-women served as a tribe's leader in women's occupations, good healers, and as genial organizers of social affairs. She was interested in how the Zuni told their tales, she looked at how the tales were told, elaborated, and revised. The Washington Post, 2 Feb. This might seem to provide a basis for normative authority.

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Relativism Overview

ruth benedict philosophy

Harman's relativism is presented as a thesis about logical form, but the relativist implication arises only because it is supposed that the relevant motivating reasons are not universal and so probably arose from an agreement that some but not all persons have made. Two, moral pluralism and this can be described as a person having all of their moral values. Morality is essentially relative and even with the actual fact that European philosophers have produced sophisticated ideas related to ethical behavior, the information they generated is mostly useful, since it can only just be employed to a restricted number of civilizations and even in these ethnicities the ideas of right and wrong can be viewed as to be unbalanced. She argues that, similar to behavior, morality is also culturally determined. If this were the case, it would complicate the empirical background of the metaethical debate, and it might suggest the need for more nuanced alternatives than the standard positions. Conversely, in more conservative cultures, people are molded into believing homosexuality is immoral and intensely wrong.

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The Work Of Ruth Benedict

ruth benedict philosophy

However, in many modern cultures, this trait is seen as a deviation of the norm and is not valued. Thus, a relativist might condemn laws prohibiting homosexuality in the name of such values as happiness, freedom, and equality. In this context, tolerance does not ordinarily mean indifference or absence of disapproval: It means having a policy of not interfering with the actions of persons that are based on moral judgments we reject, when the disagreement is not or cannot be rationally resolved. Her argument about religions echoes her theory of myth: Just as myths give the plain details of everyday life an extraordinary character, so religion accords the mundane daydream a supernatural quality. Hence, there are no perspective-independent reasons. Harman's relativism is presented as a thesis about logical form, but the relativist implication arises only because it is supposed that the relevant motivating reasons are not universal and so probably arose from an agreement that some but not all persons have made. He starts with a Positivist viewpoint --for him established by psychological facts.


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Concept of Culture: Ruth Benedict & Boasian Anthropology

ruth benedict philosophy

Dobuans will vary from the rest of the world because of a series of reason, almost all of them being alternatively normal for everyone. Most Americans see alcohol as a good thing, in moderation, but Muslims, due to their religion, see alcohol as a very bad thing. She argues that, similar to behavior, morality is also culturally determined. Examples of moral practices that appear sharply at odds with moral outlooks common in the United States are not hard to come by: polygamy, arranged marriages, suicide as a requirement of honor or widowhood, severe punishments for blasphemy or adultery, female circumcision or genital mutilation as it is variously called , and so on for a review of some of the literature, see Prinz 2007: 187-95. It is worth noting that descriptive relativism would also become false in the event of humanity eventually converging on a single moral outlook or of a catastrophe that wiped out all cultures except one. A standard relativist response is to say that moral truth is relative in some sense.

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Ethical Relativism

ruth benedict philosophy

But it also rests on forceful philosophical considerations. Ethics, the grounds for moral validity, are culturally relative to one's society of enculturation. For instance, any such code will require that persons's basic needs for such things as physical survival, self-respect and friendship be promoted these are said to be necessary for minimal rational agency. Most often it is associated with an empirical thesis that there are deep and widespread moral disagreements and a metaethical thesis that the truth or justification of moral judgments is not absolute, but relative to the moral standard of some person or group of persons. Why not all reasonable and well-informed persons? Metaethical relativists generally suppose that many fundamental moral disagreements cannot be rationally resolved, and on this basis they argue that moral judgments lack the moral authority or normative force that moral objectivists usually contend these judgments may have.

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The Philosophy Of Moral Relativism

ruth benedict philosophy

Brandt 1954 and John Ladd 1957 —took quite seriously the empirical effort of anthropology to understand the moralities of different cultures, to the point of making such empirical inquiries themselves an anticipation of the recent emphasis on experimental philosophy, to be discussed in. Each culture misunderstands the other because apparently similar traits take on different significances in each. Ancient Greek myths regarded the sun as a lantern carried across the sky by one of the gods, later Greeks and many other societies thought that the sun revolves around the earth, and most recently we classify the sun as a star around which we orbit. Some of the cultures selected were accessible to field work; others were not. That's clearly a very difficult question to answer. In the past, philosophers with a variety of meta-ethical commitments have sometimes claimed that in everyday moral practices people implicitly suppose that moral objectivism in some sense is correct for example, see Blackburn 1984: 180 and Jackson 1998: 137.

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Moral Relativism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

ruth benedict philosophy

Copp calls this position a form of moral relativism. Their action is thus prompted by a concern for the well being of the community, and perhaps, also, a desire that the child be spared avoidable suffering—values that would be recognized and approved by people in other societies where, since additional children would be less of a burden, infanticide is prohibited. Nonetheless, the increased awareness of moral diversity especially between Western and non-Western cultures on the part of Europeans in the modern era is an important antecedent to the contemporary concern with moral relativism. For these reasons, there are some objective moral truths—for example, that the Nazi attempt to exterminate the Jews was morally wrong. But the most influential challenge originated with the anthropologist Franz Boas.

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A defense of Ethical Relativism by Ruth Benedict

ruth benedict philosophy

Davidson, however, believed the argument applies across the board, to evaluations as well as empirical beliefs. Modell spends a lot of time concentrating on Benedict's publications. Barnouw, Victor 1957 The Amiable Side of Patterns of Culture. By contrast, American self-respect depends on freedom, hence Americans tend to view governmental regulation as a violation of their dearest values —leading Japanese to find Americans to be lawless. Benedict also wrote poems as an outlet, which she later published under the pseudonym Anne Singleton. Relativism Text copyright 2008 by Theodore Gracyk Ruth Benedict 1887-1948 , an anthropologist, argues that science forces us to accept ethical relativism. If relativists allow for no way of appraising such goals, insisting that any preferences we express are arbitrary, then, the critics will say, their position is once more shown to be beyond the pale of common sense.

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