Language

Moral Absolutes and the Multiplicity of Languages

Moral anthropology at a crossroads In his article “Relativism and Universalism in Moral Anthropology” the leading American anthropologist Richard Shweder recounts the story of the tensions and disputes between extreme moral universalism and extreme moral relativism in anthropology. He recalls that in 1997, “the Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association (whose membership included the avowed cultural relativist Melville Herskvitz) refused to endorse the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Man on the grounds that it was an ethnocentric document”. For his own part, Shweder advocates a position that he calls “universalism without uniformity”. The phrase sounds appealing: while…

Subscribe to get access to all online articles

Digital Subscription

$68/ YR

Get the latest ideas from Australia’s most insightful writers.

Subscribe

  • Digital Subscription includes
  • Online editions of Quadrant Magazine
  • Printed editions of Quadrant Magazine
  • iPad ready PDF
  • Access to Quadrant Archives
  •  
  •  

Printed & Digital Subscription

$87/ YR

For avid readers of leading ideas
from Australia’s brightest.

Subscribe

  • Printed & Digital Subscription includes
  • Online editions of Quadrant Magazine
  • Printed editions of Quadrant Magazine
  • iPad ready PDF
  • Access to Quadrant Archives
  •  
  •  

Quadrant Patron

$300/ YR

Show your support for Australia’s
most open minded publication.

Subscribe

  • Quadrant Patron includes
  • Online editions of Quadrant Magazine
  • Printed editions of Quadrant Magazine
  • iPad ready PDF
  • Access to Quadrant Archives
  • All new editions of Quadrant Books
  • Exclusive invitations to Quadrant Dinners, book launches and events.