Relativism – response to comments
Many thanks for all the comments. The transcript I posted was from a discussion that was really focussed on the “politically correct” brand of moral relativism that is still regularly wheeled in certain circles, rather than more subtle, sophisticated versions developed by some reputable philosophers.
I still come across the “politically correct” brand pretty regularly. I would say maybe 5-10% of first year philosophy undergrads sign up to it.It is usually justified and motivated by arguments of the sort I cite here. It’s kind of irritating, and I just wanted to show that these “politically correct” arguments are poor.
Of course, to expose the failings of these arguments is not to offer an argument against relativism. Nor is it to show that relativism is false.
That said, this “politically correct” brand of relativism does entail that if Nazis think that murdering Jews is good, then, hey, they’re right. Does anyone really believe that? I don’t think so. So put it this way: this sort of relativism has at the very least some prima facie deeply counter-intuitive consequences.
Don’t assume I am an objectivist, by the way. Some days I think I might be an eliminitivist (!)
The point I do agree with (if barefoot bum is making it?) is that the influence of “politically correct” relativism is vastly hyped by liberal-bashers, especially in the U.S. I’ll post something on that shortly.