Ethical Relativism


Also found in: Dictionary, Legal, Wikipedia.
The altering of rules of ethics in research and health care, based on the circumstances which may not allow absolutely ethical decisions to be made
References in periodicals archive ?
This does not entail or even support ethical relativism.
After this legal analysis the authors discuss the morality of the bank's action pursuant to four major Western, secular-based, ethical theories, to wit: ethical egoism, ethical relativism. Utilitarianism, and Kantian ethics.
(11) Finally, ethical codes derived from either ethical relativism (where the ethical code depends on and is determined by an individual, group, society, or culture) or ethical absolutism (where the ethical code is the one dictated by the correct authority, group, society, or culture) merely provide ready-made responses to ethical dilemmas.
Wong has made a strong case for his pluralistic relativism, which represents a middle way between strong forms of ethical realism and radical kinds of ethical relativism, thus trying to avoid at least some of the pitfalls facing these positions.
As John Ladd, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Brown University, puts it in his book Ethical Relativism (1985): ...
"At the root of this tendency is ethical relativism, which some people even see as one of the principal conditions for democracy because they feel, relativism guarantees tolerance and mutual respect.
Most ethicists reject ethical relativism (for example, see Mappes and DeGrazia [2001, p.
Thus, while I find incantations of ethical relativism largely untenable, I recognize the fact that ethical studies often require us to make what seem like subjective judgments in order to deal with specific cases that fall outside the jurisdiction of the general principles we might establish.
The debate surrounding these questions is frequently cast in terms of ethical univeralism versus ethical relativism. Considerable attention has been given to considering whether universal ethical standards (hypernorms as Donaldson and Dunfee 1999 refer to them) might be developed for managers (Beyer/Nino 1999).
A sampling of topics: threats and opportunities in the globalization of public health, the injustice of unsafe motherhood, ethical and economic imperatives in affordable access to essential medication in developing countries, ethical relativism in a multicultural society, and communication and feminist challenges for the promotion of women's health in the Third World.
Johnson opposes ethical relativism. In chapter 8, Johnson exhibits the way in which different ontologies give rise to different accounts of moral psychology.
Thirdly, the notion that ethical relativism maintains that moral values are conditioned or caused by external factors, influences outside of the agent, must be considered.