The Discourse of Universalism, Moral Relativism & Utilitarianism

Idea Books (2022)
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Abstract

The Discourse of Universalism , Moral Relativism & Utilitarianism Table of Contents: Chapter 1. Moral relativism: history and theory of moral relativism: Ancient Greece and Early Modern Era Chapter 2. Universalism and Relativism Chapter 3. Hume's Universalism Chapter 4. Plato's Universalism Chapter 5. Problems with Rawls Theory Chapter 6. Aristotle's Relativism Chapter 7. Is Aristotle an ethical relativist? Chapter 8. John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism Chapter 9. Mill and Principle of Utility Chapter 10. Kant and Moral Theory The historian Herodotus gives the anecdote of Darius, King of Persia, who summoned the Greeks and asked them if they would be willing to eat the bodies of their dead fathers. They replied they would not for any money in the world. Later, Darius asked some Indians of the tribe called Callatiae, who do eat their dead parents’ bodies, if they would ever consider burning the bodies, as was the custom among Greeks. “One can see by this what custom can do” writes Herodotus. He draws the conclusion that this story vindicates the view some acts may be right for some and wrong for others, depending on their individual conceptions of morality. The Sophists were also associated with relativistic thinking, notably Protagoras who asserts that “man is the measure of all things”. However, this view was quite uncommon and moral relativism hardly flourished, as Plato and Aristotle both defended forms of moral absolutism. Ancient Greek philosophers acknowledged moral diversity, but more often under the form of moral scepticism, which states that there is no moral knowledge (rather than moral truth is relative to a culture).

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