Check Your Understanding

CheckYour Understanding

CheckYour Understanding

  1. What is the difference between a moral judgment and an aesthetic judgment?

Asalient difference is observed in relation to moral judgments, andaesthetic judgments. Moral judgments are those that are decided uponon the grounds of whether a person, a thing or an opinion is good orbad. Nevertheless, it should be noted that the judgments often leantoward the good as compared to the bad. On the other hand, aestheticjudgments are those that are concerned with the appreciation of thebeauty of people, things or opinions. In fact, Kant’s aestheticsreckon that aesthetic judgments are pleased by things because theyare judged as beautiful rather than rendering them beautiful becauseit was pleasing. Moral judgments deal with the good whilst aestheticjudgments focus on the beauty(Shafer-Landau, 2013).

  1. Define cultural relativism.

Itis widely known that ethics are important in the lives of humanbeings. Cultural relativism and the concept of ethics are closelyrelated in regard to the definition of the former. As a result,cultural relativism refers to the fact there is existence of ethicaljudgments, and that those judgments are directly related to aspecific culture. In fact, it is through culture that the grounds andprinciples of ethics are often set. Nevertheless, it is important torealize that there are drawbacks in relation to cultural relativism.Due to the presence of many different cultures, grouping individualsinto their respective cultures proves a task in most cases. Also,this concept outlines the fact that persons should not interfere withother people’s cultural beliefs (Shafer-Landau,2013).

Fromthe reading assignment, the example used clearly depicts the conceptof cultural relativism in the scenario where an individual belongsto more than one cultural group, it may be difficult to pick betweenthe two cultures.

  1. Describe the problems with cultural relativism. In light of its problems, are there any valuable insights the theory brings to moral theorizing?

Asaforementioned in question two, cultural relativism has a good numberof drawbacks. In fact, as observed above, the problem of differentcultures is the most salient one. The different types of culturesthat exist make it difficult to group people accordingly. Also, thereis a problem realized in the event where an individual belongs tomore than one ethnic group. It becomes a great problem as theindividual fails to know their precise ethnic group. With culturalrelativism, it is noted that ethical progress gradually slows down,and this is yet another problem associated with the concept. Ethicsshould not be relative to culture however, cultural relativism doesnot object the relation between the two. Moreover, culturalrelativism has the tendency of depicting the ethical concerns ofpeople as minute, and of no value (Shafer-Landau,2013).

Regardlessof the problems, cultural relativism brings about valuable insightsin relation to morals. The concept assists in eradicating bigotry inregard to different values upheld by different cultures. Culturalrelativism dismisses that all values are equal, and none deservessuperiority over the other. Also, this concept makes it possible forindividuals not to meddle in the cultures of other people(Shafer-Landau,2013).

  1. What is a moral saint?

SusanWolf defines a moral saint as, “Aperson whose every action is as morally good as possible, a person,that is, who is as morally worthy as can be.” In fact, there aretwo types of saints the loving saint, and the rational saint. Susandescribes the loving saint as that person whose happiness comes firstas opposed to that of other persons. The rational saints place otherpeople before them, and their needs come second. Nevertheless, Wolfoutlines that irrespective of the category of saints one appears, thebottom line remains that saints aim at being morally good(Shafer-Landau,2013).Additionally, the term “moral saint” should be looked into indepth, and not confused for something good simply because of the word“moral.”

  1. Why does Susan Wolf have a problem with the idea of moral saints?

SusanWolf believes that the moral saints act in contrary to their title.As aforementioned in question four, the word “moral” should notdupe people into assuming that moral saints are good people.According to Susan Wolf, moral saints are boring, and lifelesspeople. She has a problem with the idea of moral saints because Wolfbelieves that those people do not have all that is required to lead ahealthy, normal life. In the case of the rational saint, they willalways sacrifice themselves for the sake of other people, and thisgesture seems undesirable. In a nutshell, moral saints are people whodo not make the best in life. Also, these individuals constantly goabout their lives with the mindset of being morally correct, and theyhave no time to enjoy the other pleasant things that life has tooffer (Shafer-Landau,2013).

  1. How does value pluralism differ from political pluralism? Can one be a value pluralist without being a political pluralist? Explain.

Thereis a salient difference between value pluralism, and politicalpluralism. The former leans toward upholding of legitimate multiplevalues. On the other hand, political pluralism incorporates thefreedom given to citizens to allow them to go about their own values.However, these citizens get the freedom on grounds that they do notinfringe the rights, and freedoms of other citizens. To be a valuepluralist, it is not necessary that one be a political pluralist. Infact, it is the vice versa it is political pluralism that depends onvalue pluralism. Additionally, it is possible for an individual to bea political pluralist, and still not endorse value pluralism(Shafer-Landau,2013).


Shafer-Landau,R. (2013). Ethicaltheory: An anthology.Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell.