Foundations for Moral Relativism

Foundations for Moral Relativism Author: J. David Velleman
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-909254-44-2 £12.95
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-909254-45-9 £29.95
PDF ISBN: 978-1-909254-46-6 £5.95

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In Foundations for Moral Relativism a distinguished moral philosopher tames a bugbear of current debate about cultural difference. J. David Velleman shows that different communities can indeed be subject to incompatible moralities, because their local mores are rationally binding. At the same time, he explains why the mores of different communities, even when incompatible, are still variations on the same moral themes. The book thus maps out a universe of many moral worlds without, as Velleman puts it, "moral black holes”. The five self-standing chapters discuss such diverse topics as online avatars and virtual worlds, lying in Russian and truth-telling in Quechua, the pleasure of solitude and the fear of absurdity. Accessibly written, Foundations for Moral Relativism presupposes no prior training in philosophy.
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Title: Foundations for Moral Relativism
Author: J. David Velleman
Publication date: April 2013
Number of pages: x + 109
Dimensions: 6.14" x 9.21" | 234 x 156 mm
BIC subject codes: HPQ (Ethics and moral philosophy), HPS (Social and political philosophy), HR (Religion and beliefs)
ISBN Hardback: 978-1-909254-45-9
ISBN Paperback: 978-1-909254-44-2
ISBN Digital (PDF): 978-1-909254-46-6
ISBN Digital ebook (epub): 978-1-909254-47-3
ISBN Digital ebook (mobi): 978-1-909254-48-0
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0029

I. Introduction

II. Virtual Selves

III. Doables

IV. Foundations for Moral Relativism

V. Sociality and Solitude

VI. Life Absurd? Don’t Be Ridiculous


J. David Velleman is Professor of Philosophy at New York University. His work in the philosophy of action includes the book Practical Reflection (Princeton 1989) and a collection of papers, The Possibility of Practical Reason (reprinted 2009, University of Michigan). His papers on the self are collected in a volume entitled Self to Self (Cambridge 2006) and his book on the foundations of morality is entitled How We Get Along (Cambridge 2009). He has also published papers in bioethics and (with Paul Boghossian) on the metaphysics of color. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Guggenheim Foundation, and he serves (with Stephen Darwall) as founding co-Editor of Philosophers' Imprint.