Wednesday, 19 July 2006

Fewtril #106

It seems no western intellectual comes to espouse cultural relativism except through an ulterior ideological motive, as is revealed in the exercise of his moral rationale: custom is reason enough, except when that custom is ours, in which case it is no reason at all.


dearieme said...

I've never understood exactly what's meant by "self-hating Jew", but "self-hating Westerner" is pretty easy.

Cirdan said...

Depends on what you mean by 'cultural relativism'. All the same, I think I have a counterexample from Burke:

If we undertake to govern the inhabitants of such a country, we must govern them upon their own principles and maxims, and not upon ours. We must not think to force them into the narrow circle of our ideas; we must extend ours to take in their system of opinions and rites, and the necessities which result from both: all change on their part is absolutely impracticable. We have more versatility of character and manners, and it is we who must conform

Edmund Burke, "Speech Opening the Impeachment, first day, Friday, February 15, 1788" at the Trial in Parliament of Warren Hastings, esquire, late Governor-General of Bengal, for High Crimes and Misdemeanors, pp. 378–79.

Deogolwulf said...

Sounds like Mr Burke was being pragmatic (in the non-philosophical sense).