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What are the differences between the moral universalism, the ethnocentric approach, and...

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isabella0927 | Student, Undergraduate | Honors

Posted January 13, 2011 at 9:07 PM via web

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What are the differences between the moral universalism, the ethnocentric approach, and ethical relativism?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 14, 2011 at 9:03 AM (Answer #1)

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I think that one of the critical differences between each of the philosophies is their particular aim.  Moral universalism, or absolutism, seeks to appropriate the world in accordance to the idea that there are moral certainties that can be articulated.  This sense of totality is how an individual perceives consciousness.  In the ethnocentric approach, the individual defines consciousness as one predicated upon the belief that one's own ethnic group is at the top of an imagined hierarchy.  As opposed to universalism, which places power in the absolutes being articulated, ethnocentrism stresses that power and authority is derived from one's own ethnic group.  In each, there is a certain position of power from which one speaks.  In ethical relativism, there is an assertion that judgments cannot be made because relativity is what defined consciousness.  In this light, judgments and all assertions are subject to social and cultural conventions.

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