Argument against cognitive relativism essay

It would also include the evidence of thought of various kinds in the case of people who are profoundly deaf, but have not yet learned to sign properly. It wants for itself the very thing objectivity that it denies exists. If any such thesis is to be made out, then enough has to be said about the nature of consciousness to make it seem plausible.

This kind of historicism was taken up by Karl Marxwho thought that every kind of intellectual structure -- religion, philosophy, ethics, art, etc.


Similar claims have been made about emotions, object representation, and memory. On the contrary, it is a crucial component of the argument against Fodor, as will begin to emerge in the opening chapter.

Wittgenstein's theory is just a theory about the nature of language, and as such it is merely the creation of his own language game. Trivial versions allow that the world can be described in different ways, but make no claims to the incompatibility of these descriptions. We cut nature up, organize it into concepts, and ascribe significances as we do, largely because we are parties to an agreement to organize it in this way—an agreement that holds throughout our speech community and is codified in the patterns of our language [ Wittgenstein called the rules established by a particular language a "game" that we play as we speak the language.

While their actions in expressing these views may be questionable, they are still able to distinguish that disrespecting their parents would be a bad thing. The previous example also illustrates how moral relativism can go against natural instincts.

There is no separate or objective truth apart from how each individual happens to see things. Shogenji for a criticism of Hales on this point. It is often commented that there are two very different species of philosophy widely practised within the English-speaking world.

What is true or false is always relative to a conceptual, cultural, or linguistic framework. We can see this happen in the most important modern form of moral relativism: However Whorf was concerned with how the habitual use of language influences habitual behavior, rather than translatability.

The Philosophies of Cultural Relativism: An Essay

I also benefited from the comments of an anonymous referee for Cambridge University Press, and from discussions with colleagues and students at seminars in Manchester, MIT, Oxford, Sheffield, and Cambridge.

I shall refer to this theory of the role and significance of natural language as the communicative conception of language. The key difficulty facing conceptual relativism is that of formulating the position in a coherent but non-trivial manner.

They are therefore vulnerable to counter-attack from those who can provide further recalcitrant data, and may reasonably be rejected by anyone who can provide a better explanation of the phenomena in question.

Arguments Against Moral Relativism

What they really want is that easy out, so as not to need to face the awesome task of justifying or discovering the true nature of being and value. Another modern kind of cognitive relativism is linguistic relativism, that truth is created by the grammar and semantic system of particular language.

The anthropological world has had a tough time coming to grips with this, because of Mead's prestige and because of the weight of ideological conclusions that has rested on it; but the whole story is now out in a book, Margaret Mead and Samoa, by an anthropologist from New Zealand named Derek Freeman.

The speakers of these languages belong to four distinct culture areas More recently, Peng and Nisbett, using experimental data, have argued that Chinese and American students have different attitudes towards the Law of Non-Contradiction.

Ethical Relativism

Sapir also thought because language represented reality differently, it followed that the speakers of different languages would perceive reality differently. In this way, it could be determined whether the differing color categories of the two speakers would determine their ability to recognize nuances within color categories.

While I share many of my premises with him, as will be seen from the latter half of Chapter 1, I disagree in my conclusions, particularly in relation to the role of natural language in cognition.


The relativistic theory exists in order to support an absolutist doctrine. The relativists however, could respond that truth is relative to a group conceptual scheme, framework and they take speakers to be aiming a truth relative to the scheme that they and their interlocutors are presumed to share.

Whether conceptual systems are absolute or whether they can evolve Whether the similarity criterion is translatability or the use of linguistic expressions Whether the focus of linguistic relativity is in language or in the brain Lakoff concluded that many of Whorf's critics had criticized him using novel definitions of linguistic relativity, rendering their criticisms moot.

Whorf also examined how a scientific account of the world differed from a religious account, which led him to study the original languages of religious scripture and to write several anti- evolutionist pamphlets. The difference in actions taken to show respect to the parents in either culture does not diminish the fact that beneath them, there lies a common moral principle of respect and caring for their parents.

The lineaments of their language will thus correspond to the direction of their mentality.The strongest form of the theory is linguistic determinism, which holds that language entirely determines the range of cognitive processes.

The hypothesis of linguistic determinism is. His basic argument against relativism is called the "Turning the Tables" Generally, we can distinguish cognitive relativism, which is about all kinds of knowledge, from moral relativism, which is just about matters of value. Protagoras's principle is one of cognitive relativism.

Most researchers have assumed, without argument, that if they were to accept any form of cognitive conception of language, then that would commit them to Whorfian linguistic relativism and radical empiricism, and would hence be inconsistent with their well-founded beliefs in modularity and nativism (see Pinker, ).

Linguistic relativity

The Argument of Abortion - Philosophy Essay The Argument of Abortion - Philosophy Essay In On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion, Mary Anne Warren discusses a few arguments against abortion, namely bringing into play whether the fetus is actually a person, or “not a.

Free Essay: Argument against moral relativism This paper will debate advantages and disadvantages of both moral relativism and deontology. I will argue. Ethical Relativism A second view, which is sometimes called "cultural relativism," is the view that ethical judgments and moral rules always reflect the cultural context from which they are derived and cannot be immediately applied to other cultural contexts.

Argument against cognitive relativism essay
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