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Ethical relativism: philosophical approaches to the study

Автор/Author: Shchipunov O.K.

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Список литературы/References:

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Содержание статьи/Article:

The relevance of philosophical analysis of ethical relativism is unquestionable: relativistic

morality, often in the form of “double” and “triple” of standards, is spreading, as in international

politics, and at different levels of daily life. Domestic researchers focus on the danger posed to

the fate of the Russian national identity expansion of Western morality and moral guidelines in

the life of modern Russian society. Often, however, these arguments are based on the logic of

the ordinary, everyday thinking and are not supported by serious philosophical analysis.

Common problems in the philosophy of relativism considered from different angles, while it

identifies some universal characteristics, different manifest themselves in different systems of

social relations. Since relativism is always related to social norms, its concrete manifestations

depend on the specific system requirements and an understanding of its essence is defined

understanding of the role of social norms (their absolute or relative) in the regulation of social

relations. Philosophical reflections on the nature of relativism can be placed between the poles

of its full justification and pole its absolute rejection.

A number of local researchers yields sharply negative assessment of ethical relativism. Thus,

VN Porus identifies it with the freedom of absolute individualism, “in place of absolute morality

and immorality returns the absolute irresponsible greedy will” [6, c. 29]. However, noteworthy

arguments in favor of relativism.

In particular, serious methodological significance for modern ethics are the results of

research in the field of normative relativism of scientific knowledge. Thus, the German

philosopher Karl Mannheim based on the fact that the question of relativism for this area of

knowledge is particularly significant. His epistemology includes aspects of diversity, variability,

relativity, significantly moving away from its established rationalist theory of knowledge [3].

K. Mannheim did not follow the “widespread fears of relativism” for him relativity “acceptable

absolutism” [op. by: 4, c. 141]: knowledge, claims to “truth in itself”, “absolute” - this knowledge

is secured with a logical-epistemological tools object is dynamic and changes of time, out of

the situation and prospects. Relativism is not openly claim to “truth in itself” and undeniable

knowledge acquisition, and tries to find methods and tools - “epistemological apparatus” for

the “time-based and situational due to” specific and relative course of acquiring knowledge

[see details .: 4, c. 141] ..

To achieve impartiality, by K. Mannheim, can be used, or even matching connection

terminals acquired in different planes, under rational angles. He defines the role of relativism:

“skepticism and relativism are forced to self-criticism and self-control and lead to a new concept

of objectivity” [3, c. 46]. As the researchers note, actually K. Mannheim became the founder of

the positive development of the methodology of relativism in the field of knowledge [see .: 4,

c. 141].

Concept of methodological relativism found justification in the works of Paul Feyerabend,

who harshly criticized the established narrow understanding of rationality as the observance

of rules and methods of scientific knowledge [see .: 10]. He believed that the way to maintain

a solid and absolutely mandatory algorithms scientific activities, encounters great difficulties

in correlation with the fruits of scientific research. Based on the true story of science, he

showed that a breach of the rules (intentional or unintentional) often led to a variety of

significant achievements in the natural sciences. Thus, in particular, have been established:

the stereochemistry, dispersion theory, the wave theory of light, and others. In other words,

methodological anarchism Advancement of Science.

As stated by Paul Feyerabend, relativity rules and principles (“liberal practice”) for natural

science, “reasonable and absolutely necessary” for its evolution. He drafted a relativistic

(“anarchist”, as he puts it) techniques, the basic principle is: hypotheses objecting well-founded

theories or well-documented observations, facts and experimental fruits. Paul Feyerabend

proceeded from the fact that the theory can be reincarnated as a “rigid ideology”, and then the

machine concepts and theories of emotions generated by its use, permeate all research tools. It

may seem that the truth finally achieved, however, found that “any contact with the world was

lost, and reached under the guise of absolute truth stability is none other than as a result of

absolute conformity” [op. by: 4, c. 143].

Paul Feyerabend seeks to show that the claim ka¬kih any methodological rules on universal

significance in the real history of science were always justified, and makes a fundamental

conclusion: “All methodological predpi¬saniya have their limits, and the only rule that is stored

is usually “anything goes” ‘[10, c. 451].

From the standpoint of philosophical understanding of relativism in general and moral

relativism in particular the most interesting is the position of Richard Rorty. He identifies two

traditions that are inherent in modern philosophy.

First - it is a tradition of Plato - Kant - Hegel, who understood the truth movement as a

movement toward the right idea about the world so, “as it is in itself” and, and had seen the

foundation of true judgments “clear ideas” and the sense data. The second tradition is Richard

Rorty conventionally characterized as “relativism.” To her followers, he considers European

philosophers Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Foucault, Derrida, Sartre, Gadamer, American thinkers

Dewey, James and himself, and Kuhn, Davidson, Putnam, Quine [8, c. 13 - 18].

According to Rorty, moral relativism - it is nothing like speaking out against “secularism

of the Enlightenment”, against the fact that education has put on the representations of the

supernatural light that illuminates the truth, against the idea of the ability of quasi-divine

forces, referred to as “mind”. Of all the critical arguments about the role of “reason” in ethics

and moral philosopher identifies the most shocking “moral choice - it is not a choice between

the absolutely correct and absolutely false, and is always a compromise between competing

principles” [8, c. 33].

Critics of moral relativism, if there is no absolute, if not of what is not far off the divine

intransigence regarding human weaknesses, then relativists no incentive to fight evil. If evil -

this is only the smallest benefit, if any moral choice - it’s only a consensus among competing

principles, then, believe criticism of moral relativism, there is not the slightest importance in

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the struggle for the good [see .: 8, c. 37]. Thus, the existence of those who lost their lives

resisting injustice, have been given in vain.

Rorty prefers to call himself and his supporters are not relativists, and pragmatics, and says:

“But for us, the pragmatists, the struggle for good is integral to the struggle for suschest¬vovanie,

so that there is no sharp boundary separating the unjust and unreasonable, angry and nepolez¬

tion. For pragmatists important finding ways to reduce human suffering and to uveliche¬niyu

human equality, to increase voz¬mozhnostey for each child to start life with rav¬nymi chance

at happiness “[8, c. 36 - 37].

American philosopher analyst N. Resher offered his own point of view on the role of the

subjective factor in the mechanism of cognitive relativism. Of particular interest are his

thoughts on the relationship of cognitive relativism with the problems of ethics. He starts from

the fact that the “real truth” is one, however, in the history of the knowledge of each of the

mass of researchers has various representations of it depending on the circumstances and time.

So, as the theory of relativity is based on the recognition of “the base manifold”, or potentially

volatile beginning of knowledge, and “basic equality” of all standards of evaluation.

N. Resher believes that the cognitive process required to be manifested due to moral

properties - for example, proper modesty, if one realizes that the set standards are not perfect

and quite rightly being different perspectives and measures, of which there are, for example, we

do not observe. Should “come to terms with the realities of epistemological” - various options

available information divergence people experience cognitive variability values, incomplete

facts, respectively - a difference in the beliefs, estimates, views. Take a specific position on

Resheru - this means that to assume the burden of responsibility. As remarked Resher, because

just “relativism reflects a regrettable lack of readiness to take on intellectual responsibility”

[op. by: 4, c. 146].

Reshera the theory implies that “human-’approach is the appropriate way, on the basis of

which is required to be based epistemology, which includes moments of relativity. Truth does

not have an absolute character, it is relative and argued only in the context of our objectives of

positing. Impartiality truth is interpreted as immutability “our” relative truths. Identification

and selection of prospects scheme criteria and standards - a direct path to the truth within a

certain framework conditions; indifference when all alternatives are equal, leads to a denial

of the truth. It’s all in the eyes of Reshera permits to remove the negative consequences of

relativism without losing at the same time a certain relatedness to the truth [see details .: 6;

4, c. 145 - 146].

Professor Liechtenstein D. Seifert criticizes relativism, based on its internal contradictions:

a relativist, claiming that truth is relative, first of all, self-refuting, because it announces a

genuine own position. He states that his views are true because they correspond to reality. In

other words, truth is relative, so that relativism is recognized only right. Consequently, each

relativist believes comprehensive truth in his position, especially in terms of the relativity of

all truths. However relativism at the same time implies loyalty of all the arguments, what led

to the relativist, argue own position. Exposes the internal contradictions of relativism, Seifert

emphasizes that relativism is not able to be true [1].

Referring to the many obvious truths in mathematics, in the understanding of human existence,

Seifert draws attention to the fact that these truths are seen in mathematical subjects and the

Laws which govern them, in the moral order in the nature of love. That the movement implies

the existence of time that each cause has its effect, that respect for the rights of another person

is good, whereas humiliation, murder and violence is not just evil, but evil is moral - these and

many other universal truths, in fact, completely clear to the mind. From the point of view of

Seyfert, direct access to the indisputable truth no matter how complex it may appear a path that

leads to the obvious truth - this is another confirmation of the insolvency of relativism, more

weighty than the disclosure of contradictions inside it.

Consistent critic of relativism professor of the University of Notre Dame R. Makineri argues

that, trying to consistently defend their beliefs, relativists do not get nothing but trouble. One

need only recall Rorty, Nietzsche and other nihilists. As a result, they do not try to argue their

own relativism. They did not find his true or relativists, they would not. In fact, they were

only on certain aesthetic views. R. Makineri believes it is their right, but argues that if a sane

individual will attempt to become a relativist, he will find that it is impracticable. In order to

map out their own position, he will have to initially deny it. Makineri convinced that this is the

most suitable reductionist argument against relativism [1].

Russian religious philosopher Lossky many of his works devoted to the study of the dialectics

of good and evil, of moral values, and in this regard, special attention is paid to the analysis of

the circumstances that contribute to the spread of the relativistic doctrine of values. First of all,

he drew attention to the fact that the inorganic world necessarily lead to relativism axiology;

experience also provides a lot of facts in support of this conclusion of the inorganic world.

Inorganic world view he opposes the idea of being psihomaterialnogo and argues that in the

space of this being a truly great many contents and actions being has belonging to the sphere

of relative good, in other words, forced associated with evil. In addition, the absolute values

themselves, in fact, only the subject of desire (as well as the faith and follow-up) for activists

psihomaterialnogo potency without being their absolute realization, what are achievable only

in the kingdom of God. Efforts in implementing psihomaterialnom being absolute values are

associated with evil; one who does not see that it is not the absolute value of nature is evil is

born, and from imperfect expression of her or of her imperfect use the erroneous conclusion

reached, if the absolute value does not exist at all [2, c. 118].

Lossky sees another significant circumstances surrounding relativism: should recognize the

behavioral norms and values, corresponding to them, and to understand what one is capable of

value in different circumstances, be a source of different, sometimes even completely contrasting

norms. So, for example, the thesis of “a price equal to the price of a personality personality” can

become a cause in different circumstances, the two polar norms, “care for others” and “worry

about yourself,” [2, c. 118; see details .: 5, p. 240 - 241]

You can not overestimate the importance of consolidated Christian position on relativism.

Speaking to young people May 20, 2009, the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill stated,

“Postmodernism - it is a philosophy of life, which involves the equivalent position of all the ideas

and views of all - each person can choose; There is no truth, truth is subjective. For postmodern

philosophy there is no system of values that could lay claim to being a true system. This creates

a relativistic approach to the human perception of information <...> Where there is moral

relativism, there is no morality “[op. for 11].

Similar ideas are set out in the letter of Pope Benedict XVI for the World Day of Peace, 1

January 2011 .: “The illusion that moral relativism is a key to peaceful coexistence is actually

the source of divisions <...> It becomes obvious that if relativism is perceived as essential

component of democracy, then we risk perceive secularism as the only exception, or rather the

rejection of the social role of the religious factor “[op. 11].

Both the church hierarchy are trying to justify the need for religion through morality (not

self-worth, and the right to deal with environmental problems and the financial crisis). They say,

“to morality was, to have faith in God,” not “to be moral, because it is God’s will.” Morality - the

reason for belief in God, not in front of God - the cause and the source of moral precepts [see

details .: 11].

The problem of ethical relativism has become particularly important in today’s society.

Understanding the nature of this problem requires recourse to philosophical methodology.

Since relativism is always related to social norms, its concrete manifestations depend on the

specific system requirements and an understanding of its essence is defined understanding of

the role of social norms (their absolute or relative) in the regulation of social relations.

Ключевые слова/Tags1: ethics, relativism, absolutism, ethical relativism, ethical values, truth, good and evil.