Relativism and pluralism in moral epistemology


Book Section

© 2019 Taylor & Francis. All rights reserved. Moral universalists hold that there is a single true or most justified morality. Moral relativists deny universalism holding instead that there can be a plurality of true or equally justified moralities insofar as two contradictory moral claims can both be correct or valid. This chapter explores the prospects for defending a modest version of moral relativism-a version opposed to the extreme view that any morality, no matter its content, is as true or justified as any other. The strategy for defending modest moral relativism is to bring to bear work in the human sciences in understanding the kind of thing a morality is and the functions it serves in the lives of those who accept it. The chapter argues that in light of these various functions, there is a variety of ways a morality can serve these functions equally well and so a plurality of true or equally justified moralities.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wong, DB

Published Date

  • January 1, 2018

Book Title

  • The Routledge Handbook of Moral Epistemology

Start / End Page

  • 316 - 328

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9781138816121

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.4324/9781315719696-17

Citation Source

  • Scopus