The Concise Oxford Dictionary (p925) describes morality as: '1) Principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behaviour; a system of value and moral principles. 2) The extent to which an action is right or wrong'. What is morally right in relation to one moral framework can be morally wrong in relation to another, and unfortunately no one moral framework is the final word in true morality. We all live our lives by moral rules, the statement in the essay question states the relativist thesis about justification of out moral principles. This essay will look at the different approaches to morality.
Relativism and absolutism are theories which are concerned with morality and the justification of our moral judgements. Relativists believe that all moralities are equally valid, that there is no single true morality, and that there are many different moral frameworks, none of which are any more correct than the others.
Relativism has been criticised quite heavily because it implies the validity even of the view that relativism is false, and because of such views they are undermining the act to try and improve the way in which we think. Moral rules, values, and beliefs, vary from society to society and relativists claim that even if our society see other societies values as 'bad', it is just as correct as our own values, they argue that even if something is wrong, as long as we thought it was right at the time then it was.
Few philosophers describe themselves as relativists, but some include, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Thomas Kuhn, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, and Emile Durkheim. There are many different types of relativism. Two of these are individual relativism (subjectivism), and social relativism. Individual relativism makes the claim that individual humans are responsible for their morals,