Ethical Relativism and Universalism

Ethical Relativism and Universalism

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Ethical Relativism and Universalism
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The present work addresses itself to one of the most hotly debated issues in contemporary ethics-relativism. Relativism has become a formidable argument in Western socio-moral thought under the impact of postmodern writings. The author presents a detailed critique of various relativist and postmodernist theses, without rejecting some of their empirically justified observations. She underscores the fact that the intercultural communication which has been going on since time immemorial puts a question mark to the postmodernist theories of indeterminacy of translation, incom-mensurability of various conceptual frameworks etc.

The author supports cognitivism in ethics according to which the moral properties of the object of moral judgement do in some way determine or 'cause' that judgment. This view is not to be confused with any realist ontological commitment. She asserts that universalizability is the necessary condition of all rational judgments, including the moral ones. The author also discusses the relationship between self and others; and in this context she draws upon the insights of ancient Indian thinkers. She proposes that minimum moral principles and maxims can be agreed upon through reasoning and intercultural discourse.

 

About the Author

SARA', JHINGRAN did her Ph. D. on A Critical Reconstruction of Advaita Vedanta with special reference to Action. from the University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, in 1972. Instead of opting for a teaching career, she took up a vocation of extensive reading and writing. She has won several U.G.C. fellowships, and is at present a U.G.C. Research Scientist, B, affiliated to Nehru Memorial Museum & Library, New Delhi.

Her published works include The Roots of World Religions (Books and Books, New Delhi, 1982), Aspects of Hindu Morality (Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1989, reprint 1999), Secularism in India (Har-anand, New Delhi, 1985). Besides, she has published over 25 papers in various hooks and journals of philosophy in India and abroad. She has also presented papers at various international seminars and philosophical congresses held in India and outside. She is at present working on "Contemporary Relevance of Kabir."

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