Ethics, Human Rights and Culture: Beyond Relativism and - download pdf or read online

Human Rights

By Xiaorong Li (auth.)

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Additional info for Ethics, Human Rights and Culture: Beyond Relativism and Universalism

Example text

Sparing the women thus does not violate God’s mandate.

Specifically, in this chapter, I begin with a relatively less controversial textbook definition generally accepted in today’s cultural anthropology and sociology. I first trace how it has emerged from debates among competing schools. I then analyze and elaborate the paradoxical features of culture understood as such. ’ Let me first lay out what I identify as the less controversial textbook definition. 8 Accordingly, a moral culture is such a body of morally relevant knowledge. To know a culture is to know the informal codes of conduct.

A person taught in the Kantian or utilitarian theoretical traditions, or well-versed in Confucian or Christian texts, may not have internalized the ideas and may not be motivated to act accordingly. 36 This discrepancy leads us to the broad view of tradition, which recognizes that cultural traditions have something to do with dispositions cultivated through social learning and experiences, and with lived ideas. Social learning, through which informal knowledge is transmitted and contested, thus involves more than understanding and reflection.

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