Beyond Culture

Journal of Human Values 10 (2):131-141 (2004)
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This article is an assessment of the moral problems that beset cultural relativism, that is, the belief that the nature of human existence and value is strictly dependent on, and therefore autonomously proper to, each particular culture. According to this view, the human experience never transcends its native ground. It is, hence, no use judging one form of the human experience against another since no universal non-local yardstick exists to measure them by. After exposing the flaws and contradictions inherent in this view, the author draws a picture of the consequences of upholding cultural relativism, particularly as it shapes the moral self-understanding of its followers in this instance and, for illustrative purpose, Richard Rorty. Finally, the article sketches an argument for a humanistic understanding of culture, a theory that allows us to hold that human existence does vary according to local and historical communities, and yet holds to a moral centre valid across all human culture.



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References found in this work

The View from Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Behaviorism 15 (1):73-82.
Objectivity, relativism, and truth.Richard Rorty - 1991 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
The View from Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 92 (2):280-281.
The View from Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Ethics 98 (1):137-157.

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