Presentation on theme: "Dialogue, Cultural Traditions and Ethics Lecture 5 The Possibility of Moral Knowledge William Sweet The Dialogue of Cultural Traditions: a global perspective."— Presentation transcript:
Dialogue, Cultural Traditions and Ethics Lecture 5 The Possibility of Moral Knowledge William Sweet The Dialogue of Cultural Traditions: a global perspective
Culture as ways of living, ways of meaning, and ways of knowing Relation of culture and traditions and practices Ethical traditions as cultural traditions
How to respond to challenges? Criticism / response Providing a positive view Criteria: Meaning Truth Relevance Sufficient evidence
The tradition of reason and rationality a) foundationalism b) the turn to the subject Its criticisms of religious and ‘tradition-based’ ethics i) rationalist-based natural law ii) Enlightenment (and post-Enlightenment) rationalism and scepticism
Some contemporary ‘post modern’ approaches Alasdair MacIntyre Jurgen Habermas John Rawls? Kai Nielsen Jean Ladriere?
Postmodern criticisms (a summary) a) versus rationalism b) versus anthropomorphism c) versus essentialism, natures and natural laws, universal character of morality d) historicity
We cannot know nature or reality in itself Truth is not a correspondence of thing to the world And if it were, how does ‘morality’ fit with the world; what is? There is no ‘ground’ for any of our beliefs We can provide only explanations and narratives There can be explanations, but they are made within a context We can try to ‘awaken’ or ‘educate’ the sentiments We can provide sentimental education The aim is ‘solidarity’ in ethics There is moral progress
Responding to post modern approaches We can know reality footprints Not all opinions are ‘on a par’ There is a purpose to sentimental education We look for explanations of our feelings Why are babies worth more than bugs? Is solidarity ‘reasonable’?
Responding to skepticism What is moral knowledge? How do we acquire this knowledge? Relation of moral theory and moral education Why dialogue? What kind of dialogue?