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Ethical Relativism

Muhammad A. Shomali
Published by the Islamic College for Advanced Studies (ICAS),
133 High Road
London NW10 2SW
United Kingdom
256pp £16.95

‘The importance of the book lies firstly in the fact that the various kinds of ethical relativism are clearly distinguished; and secondly, the two authors singled out for special discussion, Harman and Wong, present the most up-to-date and plausible versions of relativism. A skilful analysis of the types of ethical relativism and a critique of the two best versions is clearly something to be warmly welcomed. I recommend it for the serious attention of anyone interested in philosophical ethics.’
-- A. Harry Lesser, Chairperson of the Centre of Philosophy, The University of Manchester
‘The book provides an excellent overview of current and recent thinking on ethical relativism. The author’s arguments against relativism are worthy of serious consideration.’
-- Prof. Robert L. Arrington, Department of Philosophy, Georgia State University
‘An impressively detailed and up-to-date analysis of the entire field of ethical relativism, as well as two of its major contemporary exponents, along with a sure-handed and balanced critique.’
-- Prof. George F. Mclean, Director, Centre for the Study of Culture and Values, The Catholic University of America
Today the issue of relativism is not only an academic subject, it has also become a vital concern in sociology and politics, along with the issue of globalization.
This book studies ethical relativism in its most profound and recent forms, and argues that a non-relativist account of morality is capable of validating our moral experiences without undesirable implications.
The author demonstrates that, unlike during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, support for ethical relativism is now in decline. He proposes that the most promising strategy is first to settle the issue of the foundations of morality, and then to develop a new theory of morality based on self-love, moral ideals and the process of decision-making.
Ethical Relativism brings a fresh perspective to the on-going debate on post-modernism and relativism, and should be of interest to all who study philosophy, theology and cultural studies, and those interested in spirituality.
Mohammad Ali Shomali was born in Iran in 1965. He is a graduate of the seminary of Qum and has an M.A. in western philosophy from the University of Tehran. He earned his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Manchester. His publications include Self-Knowledge (1996). He currently teaches ethics and philosophy at the Islamic College for Advanced Studies, London.

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