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I'm currently writing an essay on the plausibility of moral relativism and have been looking at agent and appraiser forms of relativism as described by David Lyons
One of the issues with appraiser relativism is that entails a contradiction where two people can say opposite things but if they're part of different cultures with different norms then what they're saying is both true to their cultures. But of course, it is a contradiction to say 'abortion is wrong' and 'abortion is not wrong' are both true

So, I am wondering if anyone can help me, has anyone replied to this contradiction to try and save appraiser relativism or does anyone have any ideas about how to refute that this is a contradiction?
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Report 2 years ago
Not sure on the precise application because I've never had truck with relativism, but I guess that some variations of paraconsistent logic can get you out of situations such as this. That's if you really want to head down a logic route, anyway. Graham Priest would be the obvious one to start with because he does a lot of work on how a statement can be true, not true, both true and not true, neither true nor no true.

EDIT - I'm not convinced that two people from two different cultures claiming opposite values about the same thing are necessarily in contradiction. It is only a contradiction if you have a predilection to objective ethics/morality, viz, one must be wrong and one must be right, owing to some fact about the world that can be objectively determined. If you do not accept that maxim (that there are objective ethical truths), then this simply not a problem. So a way to settle the 'contradiction' would be to build a good argument that there are no objective moral truths.

In such a case, I'd imagine an ethical objectivist to be deeply dissatisfied even with something like a dialetheist approach.

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