Philosophical Service ProjectFor this assignment, you will perform some “philosophical community service.” The service you will provide is demonstrating to some members of your community how to think critically about moral issues using the logical methods we’ve practiced in this class. So, you will model thinking in systematic ways about moral issues, engage some arguments from your audience, and help them evaluate these arguments.Here’s what to do:1. Pick a “practical” or “applied” topic:    Polyamory and Monogamy2. Develop at least 5 arguments in logically valid form on this topic. Recall that the pattern here is:A is an X.All things that are X are Y.Therefore, A is a Y.orA is an X.If something is an X, then that something is a Y.Therefore, A is a Y.3. Find an audience of at least 3 people, not from this class. This can be three people from “real, in-person” life, or people online, say via Zoom or Skype or the like.4. Present your arguments to this audience. Given them an introduction to what you will do in your presentation. Explain to them what you will do and how you will do it: tell them what arguments are and what makes arguments good and bad and how you can tell (explain – with examples – the concepts of arguments logical validity, soundness, counterexamples). State and explain your five arguments in logically valid form and fully evaluate them as sound or not: explain whether each and every premise is true or false and why. Do not present any “question-begging” arguments, where the premises assume the conclusion; if your audience offers any question-begging arguments, you will need to identify those as question-begging and explain why they are inadequate. 5. Get at least 3 (ideally, at least 5) new arguments, or premises, on the same topic from the audience.6. With the audience, formulate these arguments in logically valid form and determine whether they are sound or not: address each and every premise.7. Formulate any conclusions from your discussion and conclude your discussion, reviewing what you did.8. Write up a report on what happened, using the headings below: cut and paste the text below into a document to use. Your final report here should be organized, clear, and easy to read.Philosophical “Community Service” Project:Report Form Your Class: Philosophical EthicsYour Name: Gerren WhitlockYour topic: Polyamory and MonogamySummarize the introduction to what you will do in your presentation. You will need to explain to the audience what you will do and how you will do it: you need to explain the methods that you will use to identify and evaluate moral arguments.Present at least 5 arguments on that topic, stated in logically valid form.Evaluate those 5 arguments as sound or not. Fully explain why they are sound or not: by explaining whether each and every premise is true or false (Note: merely stating whether an argument is sound or not does not explain why it is sound or not: explanations of whether each and every premise is true or false and why is needed).Your audience members’ names:Your audience’s reactions to the arguments that you presented and your evaluation of them:The 3-5 arguments from the audience:These arguments stated in logically valid form:Your, and the audience’s, evaluations of these arguments as sound or not:Your conclusions and summary of this activity that you presented to the audience.Your individual or group’s reflections on this experience: what went well? What was interesting? What was surprising? What was challenging? How was this experience, overall?This assignment results in students going all sorts of interesting places (bookstores, coffee shops, restaurants, etc.) to talk with interesting people (sometimes people they know, other times new people), to discuss all sorts of interesting topics. Typically, students appreciate the opportunity to “be the teacher” and confirm that they really learned something in the class, and they find their audiences appreciate learning some new, systematic ways of thinking about moral issues.Here’s a recent final reflection from a student (used with permission) that is representative of a common reflection on the experience:The whole activity went well. I believe that I explained moral arguments very well because the audience was able to understand the basic concepts of moral arguments. It was interesting to hear what arguments the audience would make. I thought it would be challenging for the audience to get the hang of making moral arguments, but it wasn’t hard for them at all. This was a great experience, I really enjoyed it and the audience enjoyed it as well. I really enjoyed being able to show what I have learned in this class. I also like the fact that I was able to benefit others with my knowledge.
Philosophical Service Project For this assignment, you will perform some “philosophical community service.” The service you will provide is demonstrating to some members of your community how to think
7/13/2021 Nathan Nobis, Ph.D. – Philosophy Professor and More: “Cultural Relativism” or “Moral Relativism” or “Ethical Relativism” or “Relativism” https://www.nathannobis.com/2018/09/cultural-relativism.html 1/5 Nathan Nobis, Ph.D. – Philosophy Professor and MoreNathan Nobis, Ph.D. – Philosophy Professor and More CV Publications Courses 1000 W ord Philosophy Abortion book Animals & Ethics 101 Ethics (T ext)Book Philosophical Counseling Writ TUESDA Y, SEPTEMBER 25, 2018 “Cultural Relativism” or “Moral Relativism” or “Ethical Relativism” or “Relativism” H ere i s a s h ort w ritin g t o b ette r u nders ta n d a m ora l t h eo ry c alle d ” C ultu ra l R ela tiv is m ” o r ” M ora l R ela tiv is m ” o r ” E th ic al R ela tiv is m .” S ee b elo w t h e f o ld f o r t h e d eta ils : T o m otiv ate t h e t h eo ry , w e m ig ht b eg in h ere , w ith t h is a ctiv ity : 1 . T hin k o f s o m e a ctio n s d on e i n o th er c u lt u re s t h at y o u , o r m an y o f u s, a re l ik ely t o j u dge a s m ora lly w ro n g. W rite a nd/o r d is c u ss: m ake a l is t o f t h ese t o pic s. 2 . I m agin e s o m eo n e r e sp on din g t o o u r t h in kin g t h at t h ese a ctio n s a re w ro n g w it h a r e a ctio n l ik e t h is : ” H ey, t h at’s t h eir c u ltu re ! T hat’s t h eir p ra c tic e! T hat’s t h eir t r a d itio n! A nd s o i t’s O K ! T hey a re O K w it h d oin g t h at i n t h at c u ltu re , a n d s o i t i s O K f o r t h em t o d o i t, s o y ou s h ould n’t j u dge, o r t h in k t h at w hat t h ey a re d oin g i s w ro ng! I t’s t h eir c u lt u re a n d s o y ou s h ould re sp ect w hat t h ey d o!” Q uestio n: d o p eo ple s o m etim es s a y t h in gs l ik e t h is ? W hen ? A bout w hat t o pic s ( o th er t h an t h ose t h at y o u l is te d a bove)? W hat els e d o t h ey s a y a lo ng t h ese l in es? 3 . I f p eo p le s a y t h in gs l ik e t h is , t h ey m ig h t b e a ccep tin g a m ora l t h eo ry t h at’s o fte n c a lle d ” C ult u ra l R ela tiv is m ” o r ” M ora l R ela tiv is m ” o r ” E th ic a l R ela tiv is m .” ( B ut t h ey m ig ht n ot! ). M ora l t h eo rie s t r y t o e x pla in w hy actio ns a re w ro ng a n d n ot w ro ng, w hat m akes a ctio ns w ro ng o r n ot w ro ng ( u tilita ria n is m i s a m ora l th eo ry ; K an t’s c ate g oric al i m pera tiv es a re m ora l t h eo rie s, e tc ). S im plif ie d , ” R ela ti v is m ” i s t h is t h eo ry : If t h e m ajo rity o f p eo ple i n s o m e s o cie ty a ppro ve o f d oin g s o m e a ctio n, t h en t h at a cti o n i s p erm is sib le i n t h at s o cie ty . I f t h ey d is a ppro ve, i t’s w ro ng. W hat m akes a n a ctio n w ro n g , i n a s o cie ty , a cco rd in g t o t h is t h eo ry ? If t h e m ajo rity o f p eo ple d is a ppro ve o f i t. W hat m akes a n a ctio n p erm is sib le , s a y s t h is v ie w ? If t h e m ajo rity o f p eo ple a ppro ve, o r d on’t d is a ppro ve o f t h e a ctio n. W hat m akes an a ctio n ob lig ato ry , o n t h is v ie w ? If t h e m ajo rity o f p eo ple d is a ppro ve o f p eo ple n ot d oin g t h e a ctio n. ( p erh aps? ) W e c an s im plif y t h e v ie w e v en m ore : A s o cie ty ‘s m ajo rity v ie w o r a ppro va l d ete rm in es w heth er a ctio ns a re w ro ng o r n ot. F or a l e ss s im plif ie d s ta te m en t, J a m es a n d S tu art R ach els ‘ E le m en ts o f M ora l P hilo so phy sta te s r e la tiv is m a s c la im 2 h ere : “1 000-W ord P hilo so phy” “E ngag ed P hilo so phy” I n t A cad em ia .e d u A tla n ta U niv ers ity C en te r G oogle S ch ola r R ese arc h G ate PUBLICA TIONS, ETC. nath an. no [email protected] gm ail .co 4 0 4-4 8 0 -2 717 ( tex t f ir st CONT ACT Nam e Em ail * M essa g e * Send CONT ACT VIA WEB FOR “WHY WRITING BETTER YOU A BETTER PERSON OF HIGHER EDUCA TION 1000-WORD PHILOSOPH More [email protected] New Po 7/13/2021 Nathan Nobis, Ph.D. – Philosophy Professor and More: “Cultural Relativism” or “Moral Relativism” or “Ethical Relativism” or “Relativism” https://www.nathannobis.com/2018/09/cultural-relativism.html 2/5 This p ost o r h an dout h ere i s b ase d o n t h e u nders ta n din g o f C ultu ra l R ela tiv is m t h at R ach els p re se n t, a n d m an y o f t h eir a rg um en ts . 4 . T o r e ca p , h ere ‘s w hy w hat s o m e p eo p le s o m etim es s a y s u ggests t h ey m ig h t a ccep t C ult u ra l R ela tiv is m , a s l e a st i n t h e m om en t: If p eo ple s a y ” H ey, t h at’s t h eir c u ltu re ! T hat’s t h eir p ra ctic e! T hat’s t h eir t r a d itio n! A nd s o i t’s O K!” a n d ” T hey a re O K w it h d oin g t h at i n t h at c u ltu re , a n d s o i t i s O K f o r t h em t o d o i t, s o y ou s h ould n’t j u dge, o r t h in k t h at w hat t h ey a re d oin g i s w ro ng!” t h en t h ey m ig ht b e a p pealin g t o C ultu ra l R ela tiv is m . T hey a re s a yin g t h at t h e m ajo rity o f p eo ple i n t h at s o cie ty a ppro ve o f s o m e a ctio n a nd s o i t’s O K f o r t h em t o d o t h at a ctio n, a nd s o – s in ce i t ‘s O K f o r t h em t o d o i t – w e s h ould n’t t h in k th at t h at t h ey a re d oin g i s n ot O K. G iv en t h is , i t’s w orth w hile t o t h in k m ore a b out t h e t h eo ry a n d w heth er w e s h ould t h in k i t’s t r u e o r f a ls e a n d w hat, i f a n yth in g, i s g ood o r b ad a b out t h e t h eo ry a n d a n y r e la te d t h oughts . 5 . W hy m ig h t s o m eo n e t h in k t h at C ult u ra l R ela tiv is m i s a fa ls e m ora l t h eo ry ? H ere a re s o m e a rg um en ts a g ain st C ultu ra l r e la tiv is m , s o m e a rg um en ts t o t h in k t h at t h e v ie w i s f a ls e . a . T he m ajo rity i s n ‘t a lw ays c o rre ct: I f c u ltu ra l r e la tiv is m i s t r u e, t h en t h e m ajo rity ‘s m ora l v ie w i n a s o cie ty m ust a lw ay s b e c o rre ct. B ut t h e m ajo rity ‘s m ora l v ie w n eed n ot b e c o rre ct. S o c u ltu ra l r e la tiv is m i s f a ls e . S o, e .g ., i f t h e m ajo rity i n s o m e c u ltu re a p pro ves o f a n a ctio n, t h en – a cco rd in g t o c u lt u ra l r e la tiv is m – i t m ust b e p erm is sib le in t h at c u ltu re ( e .g ., f e m ale g en ita l c u ttin g i s p erm is s ib le i f t h e m ajo rity a re O K w it h i t) , y et t h e a ctio n i s r e all y w ro ng; a n d – a cco rd in g t o c u ltu ra l r e la tiv is m – o b lig ato ry (e .g ., t h at w om en m ust s u bm it to m en i n e v ery w ay ; t h at e v ery one m ust a g re e t o s o m e l e ad er’s p la n s, e tc .) , y et t h ere a re n o s u ch o blig ati o ns. b . O pin io n p olls d on ‘t t e ll u s w hat’s e th ic a l: I f c u ltu ra l r e la tiv is m i s t r u e, t h en w e c an f in d o ut w heth er a n a ctio n i s w ro ng o r n ot s im ply b y d oin g a n o pin io n p oll t o f in d o ut w hat t h e m ajo rity t h in ks. B ut y ou d on’t f in d o ut t h at a n a ctio n i s w ro ng o r n ot m ere ly b y a n o pin io n p oll: t h at o nly t e lls u s w hat p eo ple t h in k is w ro ng, n ot w hat r e a lly i s w ro ng. S o c u ltu ra l r e la tiv is m i s f a ls e . c. C ultu ra l c ritic s c a n b e r ig h t: I f c u ltu ra l r e la tiv is m i s t r u e, t h en a n yone w ho a rg ues t h at a ny o f t h e c o m mon, m ajo rity -a ccep te d m ora l v ie w s o f th eir s o cie ty a re w ro ng i s a lw ays m is ta k en . B ut s o m etim es , p eo ple w ho a rg ue t h at c o m mon, m ajo rity -a ccep te d m ora l v ie w s o f t h eir s o cie ty a re w ro ng a re c o rre ct. S o c u ltu ra l r e la tiv is m i s f a ls e . d . T here ‘s b een s o m e r e a l, o bje ctiv e p ro gre ss ( a n d d eclin e!): If c u ltu ra l r e la tiv is m i s t r u e, t h en t h ere h as b een n o m ora l p ro gre ss i n h is to ry , i n t h e s e n se o f w ors e v ie w s b ein g re p la ced w ith b ette r v ie w s ( e .g ., t h e v ie w t h at s la very i s n ot w ro ng bein g r e p la ced b y t h e v ie w t h at s la very i s a lw ays w ro ng ) b eca use n eed o f r e p la cem en t o r i m pro vem en t. H ap pin ess: W hat i s i t t o b A re W e A nim als ? A nim al Id en tity E th ic s a n d A bso lu te P ove an d E ff e ctiv e A ltr u is m F orm al L ogic : S ym boliz in S en te n tia l L ogic M oore ’s P ro of o f a n E xte r R esp ondin g t o E xte rn al W RECENT ARTICLES @ 1 PHILOSOPHY T hin kin g C ritic ally A bout THINKING CRITICALL Y A ABORTION Mis c arria g e & am p; A bort w ith S upport, R esp ondin g or B oth ? S ta r T re k : ” H um an r ig hts . n am e i s r a cis t.” T han k y ou n ote s, a g ain ! R esp onse t o K atie Y oder’ S ay s ‘ P ro -C hoic e E th ic s’ Is n ’t M urd er.” W hy t h e c ase a g ain st a b or eth ic ally s p eak in g “THINKING CRITICALL Y ABORTION” BLOG CHIMPANZEE RIGHTS: T PHILOSOPHERS’ BRIEF 7/13/2021 Nathan Nobis, Ph.D. – Philosophy Professor and More: “Cultural Relativism” or “Moral Relativism” or “Ethical Relativism” or “Relativism” https://www.nathannobis.com/2018/09/cultural-relativism.html 3/5 But t h ere h as b een s o m e m ora l p ro gre ss, w ors e v ie w s r e p la ced w ith b ette r v ie w s. S o c u ltu ra l r e la tiv is m i s f a ls e . T his a rg um en t c an a ls o b e d ev elo ped w ith s o m e p ote n tia l e x am ple s o f c u ltu ra l d eclin e , i f th ere a re s o m e w ay s i n w hic h so cie ty h as o vera ll c o m e t o a ccep t o bje ctiv ely w ors e m ora l v ie w s: i f c u ltu ra l r e la tiv is m i s t r u e, a ny c h ange t o a m ajo rity m ora l v ie w a lw ays r e su lts i n a c h ange t o a c o rre ct v ie w , w hic h i s n ‘t t r u e. T hese a re j u st a f e w a rg um en ts i n s u pport o f t h in kin g t h at t h e m ora l t h eo ry c alle d ” c u lt u ra l r e la tiv is m ” i s f a ls e . T hey c an a n d s h ould b e ex pla in ed i n g re ate r d eta il t o b ette r e v alu ate t h em . 6. W hy m ig h t s o m eo n e a ccep t t h e m ora l t h eo ry C ult u ra l R ela tiv is m ? a. T ole ra n ce M otiv a tio n s: P eo ple m ig ht a ccep t t h e m ora l t h eo ry C ultu ra l R ela tiv is m o ut o f a d esir e t o b e ” to le ra n t” a n d ” re sp ectf u l” o f c u lt u ra l d if f e re n ces. T his m otiv atio n r u ns i n to a b it o f p ara d ox, h ow ev er. C onsid er t h is c la im : We s h ould a lw ays b e t o le ra nt a nd r e sp ectfu l o f e very th in g t h at a ll o th er c u ltu re s d o. T his i s a m ora l c la im . A cco rd in g t o C ult u ra l R ela tiv is m , w e s h ould a ccep t i t o nly i f th e m ajo rity o f p eo ple i n o ur s o cie ty a ccep t i t. B ut, a t le ast i n o ur s o cie ty , t h is c la im i s r e je cte d . I n deed , i t’s p ro bab ly r e je cte d i n n early a ll c u lt u re s! S o, i f a ccep ti n g t h is c la im i n sp ir e s o ne t o a ccep t C ultu ra l R ela tiv is m , a ccep tin g C ultu ra l R ela tiv is m s h ould l e ad o ne t o r e je ct i t! A b ette r t h ought a b out t o le ra n ce a n d r e sp ect i s t h is : If a s o cie ty d oes s o m eth in g t h at i s m ere ly d iffe re n t , b ut n ot w ro ng , t h en w e s h ould t o le ra te a n d r e sp ect w hat t h ey d o. S om etim es w e f in d d if f e re n t w ay s o f d oin g t h in gs a b it ” sc ary ,” a n d w e m is ta k en ly i n te rp re t t h at a s ” w ro ng.” W e n eed t o g et o ver t h at ! J u st b eca use a noth er c u ltu re h as a d iffe re n t p ra ctic e f r o m u s d oes n ot m ea n t h at w hat t h ey a re d oin g i s w ro ng. I f i t i s w ro ng, w e c an t r y t o s h ow t h at b y a p pealin g t o K an tia n is m , o r u tilita ria n is m , o r s o m e o th er t h eo ry t h at p ro pose s t h at w hat m akes a ctio ns w ro ng o r n ot i s n ot A noth er g ood t h ought a b out t o le ra n ce a n d r e sp ect i s t h is : If a s o cie ty d oes s o m eth in g t h at i s d iffe re n t , b ut w ro ng , t h en w e s h ould not to le ra te a n d r e sp ect w hat t h ey d o. N ow , t h is d oesn ‘t a lw ay s m ean w e s h ould g o a ctu ally g o t r y t o d o s o m eth in g in t h at s o cie ty t o a d dre ss t h e i s su e ( b ut p erh ap s so m eo ne sh ould , a n d s o m eo ne e ls e i s i n a b ette r p ositio n t o d o s o t h an u s). B ut w e c an a t l e ast t h in k th at t h e a ctio n i s w ro ng a n d e x pre ss o ur dis a p pro val o f t h e a ctio n a n d w hy w e t h in k i t s h ould n’t b e d one. b . ” W e j u st d is a gre e” : A noth er a rg um en t i n f a v or o f a ccep tin g t h e m ora l t h eo ry c alle d C ultu ra l R ela tiv is m i s b ase d o n t h e o bse rv atio n t h at m any c u ltu re s so m etim es d is a gre e a bout w hat’s w ro ng a nd w hat’s n ot w ro ng . D oes e v ery one d is a g re e a b out e v ery th in g? N o. D o w e s o m etim es a g re e a b out s o m e t h in gs? Y es. T ry in g t o d ete rm in e e x actly h ow m uch w e d is a g re e, s in ce w e a ls o o fte n a g re e o n m an y t h in gs, i s c h all e n gin g. B ut th is o bse rv a tio n ofte n g iv en a s a c o re p re m is e i n f a v or o f t h e t h e m ora l t h eo ry C ultu ra l R ela tiv is m : Cultu re s ( s o m etim es) d is a g re e a b out w hat’s m ora l a n d i m mora l. I n deed s o m etim es th is c la im i s ( m is ta k en ly ) c alle d ” C ultu ra l R ela tiv is m ,” w hic h i s w hy I k eep s a y in g th e m ora l t h eo ry c a lle d ” C ultu ra l R ela tiv is m . ” T he c la im h ere i s j u st a n o bse rv atio n, a n d a s e em in gly t r u e o ne. C ultu ra l R ela tiv is m i s a m ora l t h eo ry , a n d a c o ntr o vers ia l o ne! H ow c o uld t h is t r u e o bse rv atio n s u pport C ultu ra l R ela tiv is m ? H ere I t h in k w e s h ould f o cu s o n a n a sp ect o f C ult u ra l R ela tiv is m t h at’s a l o gic al c o nse q uen ce o f i t, a n d t h in k a b out t h at c o nse q uen ce a s C ultu ra l R ela tiv is m f o r a m om en t. T his c o nse q uen ce i s t h at t h ere a re n o univ ersa l m ora l f a cts o r t r u th s : t h ere ‘s n oth in g t h at’s j u st p la in w ro ng, w here v er y ou a re i n s p ace o r t im e, a cco rd in g t o C ult u ra l R ela tiv is m , s in ce t h e m ora l f a cts d ep en d o n w hat c u ltu re y ou a re p art o f: e .g ., i f y ou a re i n a c u lt u re t h at g en era ll y l o oks t h e o th er w ay w hen s o m eo ne i s v ic tim iz ed , i t’s O K t o v ic tim iz e s o m eo ne i n t h at c u ltu re . S o w e h av e a n a rg um en t l ik e t h is : C ultu re s ( s o m etim es) d is a g re e a b out w hat’s m ora l a n d i m mora l. T here fo re , t h ere a re n o u niv ers a l m ora l f a cts o r t r u th s: C ultu ra l R ela tiv is m i s t r u e. T he p ro ble m i s t h e c o nnectio n b etw een t h e f ir s t p re m is e a n d t h e c o nclu sio n. I t i s r e ach ed ( th at i s , t h e a rg um en t i s m ad e l o gic ally v alid ) , b y a p re m is e l ik e t h is : If c u ltu re s d is a gre e a bout a t o pic , t h en t h ere a re n o u niv ersa l f a cts o r t r u th s a bout t h at t o pic . T his a ssu m ptio n i s f a ls e : j u st b ecau se p eo ple d is a g re e d oesn ‘t m ean t h ere i s n o f a ct o f t h e m att e r. I t m ig ht b e t h at o ne p arty t o t h e d is a g re em en t i s j u st m is ta k en . F or e x am ple , t h ere w as ( a n d i s !) d is a g re em en t a b out t h e s h ap e o f t h e e arth . B ut t h e E arth i s n ot r o und f o r so m e c u ltu re s a n d fla t f o r o th er c u ltu re s . S om e b elie v e i t’s f la t, b ut b elie v in g s o m eth in g t o b e t r u e d oesn ‘t m ean i t i s t r u e. ( If y ou m ere ly ANIMALS & ETHICS 101 REAL LIFE: THIS IS NOT PERSONAL FINANCE FO ADUL TS (PAPERBACK) REAL LIFE: THIS IS NOT PERSONAL FINANCE FO ADUL TS (KINDLE) 7/13/2021 Nathan Nobis, Ph.D. – Philosophy Professor and More: “Cultural Relativism” or “Moral Relativism” or “Ethical Relativism” or “Relativism” https://www.nathannobis.com/2018/09/cultural-relativism.html 4/5 belie ve y ou a re a b illio nair e , t h at d oes n ot m ean t h at y ou a re , i n f a ct, a b illio nair e ). M an y m ore e x am ple s m ak e t h e p oin t t h at d is a g re em en ts d on’t p ro ve a l a ck o f u niv ers a l f a cts o r t r u th s. S o t h is a rg um en t f a ils : i t g iv es n o g ood r e aso n t o a ccep t t h e m ora l t h eo ry c alle d C ultu ra l R ela tiv is m . 7. C on clu sio n s: W e h av e u nders to od t h is t h eo ry a n d r e v ie w ed s o m e a rg um en ts a g ain st i t, t h at i s , r e aso ns t o t h in k t h e t h eo ry i s f a ls e , a s w ell a s a rg um en ts in i ts f a v or, t h at i s , r e aso ns t o a ccep t t h e t h eo ry . O n t h e b asis o f a ll t h at, w hat d o y ou t h in k o f t h e t h eo ry ? W hat d o y ou t h in k y ou s h ould s a y o r t h in k i f p eo ple s a y t h in gs l ik e t h is ? ” H ey, t h at’s t h eir c u ltu re ! T hat’s t h eir p ra c tic e! T hat’s t h eir t r a d itio n! A nd s o i t’s O K ! T hey a re O K w it h d oin g t h at i n t h at c u ltu re , a n d s o i t i s O K f o r t h em t o d o i t, s o y ou s h ould n’t j u dge, o r t h in k t h at w hat t h ey a re d oin g i s w ro ng!” O ne p ossib le b asic r e sp onse : ” L ook, j u st b eca use s o m e c u ltu re a ppro ves o f s o m e a cti o n d oesn ‘t m ake i t n ot w ro ng. A c u lt u re c o uld b e m is ta ken , j u st a s i n div id ual c o uld b e m is ta ken . S o i t’s i n te re stin g ( a nd m ayb e t r o ubli n g!) t h at t h is c u lt u re a ppro ves o f d oin g t h is _ __, b ut th at d oesn ‘t m ea n i t’s r ig ht t o d o t h at.” S o i f y o u r e je ct c u ltu ra l r e la tiv is m a n d t h in k i t’s a f a ls e t h eo ry , w hat s h ou ld y o u t h in k? Y ou s h ould t h in k t h at w hat a c u ltu re t h in ks o f a n actio n does n ot m ak e t h e a ctio n w ro ng o r n ot w ro ng. W hat d oes m ak e a ctio ns w ro ng o r n ot w ro ng t h en ? T hin gs t h at d on’t d ep en d o n a n y cu ltu re ‘s b elie fs o r a ttitu des, s u ch a s w heth er t h e a ctio n h arm s o r b en efits t h ose w ho a re a ff e cte d b y t h e a ctio n ( a s c o nse q uen tia lis ts a rg ue), o r w heth er t h e a ctio n i n volv es u sin g a n yone a s a ” m ere m ean s” ( a s K an tia n s a rg ue), o r w heth er t h e a ctio ns d one f o llo w r u le s t h at e v ery one c o uld a g re e o n ( a s K an tia n s a n d R aw ls ia n s a rg ue). T he f o llo w in g i s s o m e f u rth er d is c u ssio n o f m atte rs r e la te d t o c u ltu ra l r e la tiv is m : 8. C ult u ra l O bse rv atio n s: P eo ple s o m etim es a ccu se e ach o th er o f b ein g C ultu ra l R ela tiv is ts . T his i s u su ally t a k en t o b e a n i n su lt, a n d t h e i n su lts o fte n f ly a lo ng p arty lin es. 1 . ” C on se rv a tiv es” v ersu s ” L ib era ls ” ” C onse rv ativ es” s o m etim es a ccu se ” lib era ls ” o f b ein g c u ltu ra l r e la tiv is ts , s in ce a b out so m e actio ns, ” lib era ls ” t h in k t h at p eo ple s h ou ld b e ab le t o d o w hat t h ey w an t ( e .g ., e n gag e i n v ario us s e x ual o r r o m an tic p ra ctic es; u se v ario us i lle g al d ru gs; h av e a n a b orti o n, e tc .) . I t m ig ht b e t h at l ib era ls a re c la im in g if s o m eo ne, o r g ro up o f p eo ple , w ant t o d o s o m eth in g – t h ey a re O K w ith i t b ein g d one – i t’s O K f o r t h em t o d o it, a n d t h at k in da s o unds l ik e r e la tiv is m . ( O r t h ey m ig ht j u st b e s a y in g t h at s o m e p ote n ti a lly i m mora l a ctio ns s h ould n’t b e c rim in ali z ed ). M ore l ik ely , h ow ev er, ” lib era ls ” a re a rg uin g t h is : ” T hese v ario us a ctio ns ( s u ch a s…) a re a ctu ally n ot w ro ng, a lth ough t h ere i s a l o ng t r a d itio n o f t h em b ein g m is ta ken ly b elie ved to b e w ro ng. B ut t h ey a re n ot w ro ng, a n d s o if p eo ple w an t t o d o t h em , t h at’s O K, s in ce t h ey a re n ‘t d oin g w ro ng: p eo ple s h ould b e a b le t o d o a ctio ns t h at a re n ‘t w ro ng, i f t h ey w an t! ” U nders to od t h is w ay, ” lib era ls ” c le arly d o n ot a ccep t c u ltu ra l r e la tiv is m . T hey d o n ot t h in k t h at t h e m ajo rity i s a lw ay s r ig ht. 2 . “C onse rv ativ es” s o m etim es a p peal t o t h e B ib le f o r m ora l g uid an ce. T he B ib le , h ow ev er, s e em s t o c o nta in so m e b ad m ora l g uid an ce co ncern in g, a m ong o th er t h in gs, s a y, i n ap p ro pria te a n d e x cessiv e v io le n ce, t o p ut i t m il d ly . W hen ” lib era ls ” o bse rv e t h is a d vic e, a n d s o a rg ue t h at t h e B ib le i s n ‘t a n i n fa llib le s o urc e o f m ora l g uid an ce, ” c o nse rv ativ es” s o m eti m es r e sp ond, ” W ell, t h at w as t h e c u lt u re a t t h e tim e; t h ey w ere j u st f o llo w in g t h eir o w n s ta n dard s, a n d s o w hat t h ey d id b ack t h en w asn ‘t w ro ng, a n d s o B ib li c al g uid an ce i s s till a lw ay s p erfe ct.” T his so unds lik e a n a p peal t o m ora l r e la tiv is m . G re ta C hris tin a h as d ev elo ped t h is a rg um en t, a n d y ou s h ould r e ad w hat s h e h as t o s a y . 9 . W hat’s a C ult u re A nyw ay? N ote : T his d is c u ssio n h as a ssu m ed t h at w e u nders ta n d w hat c u ltu re s a re . I t w ould b e w orth w hil e t o t h in k a b out w hat c u lt u re s a re t h ough, an d w hic h c u ltu re s e ach o f u s a re m em bers o f. W e p ro bab ly a re a ll m em bers o f m an y d if f e re n t c u lt u re s, a ll a t t h e s a m e t im e. T hese d if f e re n t c u ltu re s a ls o p ro bab ly a ls o g en era lly a p pro ve o f d if f e re n t t h in gs: e .g ., ” c o ll e g e c u lt u re ” m ig ht a p pro ve o f d oin g X , w here as a r e lig io us c u ltu re m ig ht d is a p pro ve o f d oin g X , a n d s o o n. I n t h ese c ase s, w hat i s s o m eo ne w ho i s a m em ber o f b oth c u lt u re s ( e .g ., a r e lig io us c o lle g e s tu den t) t o d o? T hin kin g t h ro ugh h ow w e m ig ht a n sw er t h is q uesti o n m ig ht r e v eal e v en d eep er p ro ble m s f o r C ult u ra l R ela tiv is m . 10. D if fe re n t ” C ult u ra l R ela tiv is m s” A noth er n ote : V ery d if f e re n t v ie w s a re s o m etim es c alle d ” c u ltu ra l r e la tiv is m ” s o w e n eed t o b e a tte n ti v e t o w hat p eo ple m ean w hen t h ey c all s o m eth in g ” re la tiv is m .” SEARCH THIS BLOG 244,37 T OT AL P AGEVIEWS eth ic s (1 06) te a b io eth ic s (7 2) an philo so phy (2 7) sc ie n publis h in g (1 4) w ritin g ( vid eo s (1 2) ra ce (9 ) co unse lin g (7 ) care ers LABELS FOLLOW BY EMAIL Email address…assig nm en ts ( 4 ) public p hilo (4 ) co m men ts ( 3 ) co m mun health ( 3 ) in te rv ie w s (2 ) ju re la tiv is m (2 ) IA CU C (1 ) ex perim en ta tio n (1 ) an im al re s (1 ) dis c u ssio n (1 ) dra ft (1 ) dru g eth ic al th eo rie s (1 ) eth ic s o f b e meta p hysic s (1 ) pers o nal id en poverty ( 1 ) public atio ns (1 ) re lig 7/13/2021 Nathan Nobis, Ph.D. – Philosophy Professor and More: “Cultural Relativism” or “Moral Relativism” or “Ethical Relativism” or “Relativism” https://www.nathannobis.com/2018/09/cultural-relativism.html 5/5 New er P ost O ld er P ost H om e Subsc rib e t o : P ost C om men ts ( A to m ) Lab els : e th ic s ,re la tiv is m ,te ach in g S om etim es b y ” c u ltu ra l r e la tiv is m ” p eo p le j u st m ean t h at d iffe re n t s o cie tie s h ave s o m e d iffe re n t m ora l v ie w s . T his v ie w , o f c o urs e , i s t r u e, b ut i t’s n ot t h e s a m e a s t h e m ora l t h eo ry calle d ” c u ltu ra l r e la tiv is m ” d is c u sse d a b ove. A bove, t h is v ie w i s s e en a s a pre m is e i n a n a rg um en t fo r c u ltu ra l r e la tiv is m , t h e m ora l t h eo ry , w hic h w as a rg ued t o b e a n u nso und a rg um en t. A ls o , s o cia l s c ie n tis ts ( e .g ., s o cio lo gis ts , a n th ro polo gis ts , p sy ch olo gis ts , e tc .) s o m eti m es c all ” c u lt u ra l r e la tiv is m ” t h e v ie w t h at f o r t h e purp ose s o f l e a rn in g a bout a c u ltu re , w e s h ould ” su sp en d” a ny m ora l j u dgm en ts a bout t h e c u lt u re i n t h e c o urse o f o ur i n vesti g atio n . T his is l ik ely a u se fu l m eth od: i f , s a y, s o m eo ne w an te d t o t r y t o u nders ta n d w hat c a use s so m e p eo ple t o b e a ttr a cte d t o , s a y, W hite N atio nalis m o r t h e K KK, i t m ig ht b e m ost e ff e ctiv e, f o r t h e m om en t, t o s e t a sid e t h e m ora l j u dgm en t t h at t h ese g ro ups a re e v il . T his i s j u st a str a te g y fo r s o cia l s c ie n ce i n vestig atio n, h ow ev er, a n d t h e t e ch niq ue c an b e s e t a sid e a fte r t h e r e se arc h i s d one a n d o ur m ora l j u dgm en ts a re b ro ught b ack i n to o ur t h in kin g, e .g ., ” T he K K K i s a w ic k ed o rg an iz atio n, b ut n ew r e se arc h g iv es u s a b ett e r i d ea w hy s o m e p eo ple a re a ttr a cte d t o i t, s o n ow w e a re i n a b ette r p ositio n t o i n te rv en e a n d l e sse n t h e c h an ce t h at p eo ple w il l w an t t o j o in h ate g ro ups a n d b e p art o f th at e v il.” T he p oin t i s t h at t h is s o cia l s c ie n ce s tr a te g y i s f u lly c o m patib le w ith r e je ctin g c u lt u ra l r e la tiv is m a s a m ora l t h eo ry a n d t h in kin g th at s o m e, m an y, a ctio ns a re p ro fo undly w ro ng i n a n y a n d a ll c u ltu re s t h ey o ccu r. T o b e c o n tin ued ! A s h ort v id eo o n s o m e o f t h e a bove c o n te n t: Relativism: Mor al, Ethical, CuRelativism: Moral, Ethical, Cu …… Sign out Notify me Comment as: Nathan Nobis ( PublishPublish PreviewPreview Enter your comment… No comments: Post a Comment Nath an .N obis @ gm ail.c o m . P ic tu re W in dow t h em e. T hem e i m ag es b y m erry m oonm ary . P ow ere d b y B lo gger .
Philosophical Service Project For this assignment, you will perform some “philosophical community service.” The service you will provide is demonstrating to some members of your community how to think
7/13/2021 A philosopher makes the case for polyamory – Vox https://www.vox.com/conversations/2017/2/23/14684236/monogamy-valentines-day-polyamory-marriage-love 1/11 ” It ’s u nhealt hy to f o rc e p eo p le in to a ch oic e t h at m ight n o t f it t h em .” B y S ean I llin g @ se an illin g se an .illin [email protected] vo x.c o m U pdate d Fe b 1 6 , 2 0 18 , 6 :4 7a m E S T A p hilo so p her m ake s th e c ase f o r p oly a m ory There i s s till a t a b oo a ro und o p en r e la tio nsh ip s i n o ur c u lt u re . P eo p le w ho o p enly p ra c tic e n o nm ono ga m y, i f n o t q uit e o stra c iz e d , a re c e rt a in ly s te re o ty p ed . This i s p art o f t h e r e aso n C arrie J e nkin s, a p hilo so p hy p ro fe sso r a t t h e U niv e rs it y o f B rit is h C olu m bia , h as b eco m e a r e lu cta n t d efe nd er o f p oly a m ory . J e nkin s, w ho se n ew b ook i s c alle d W hat L ove I s : An d W hat It C ould B e , s a ys o ur c o nce p t o f r o m an tic l o ve i s t o o narro w , t o o e xc lu siv e , t o o “ m ono no rm ativ e .”Shutte rs to ck 7/13/2021 A philosopher makes the case for polyamory – Vox https://www.vox.com/conversations/2017/2/23/14684236/monogamy-valentines-day-polyamory-marriage-love 2/11 “ T he f a c t t h at t h e s o cia l c o nstru ct e xc lu d es m e i s n o t a r e aso n t o f e el l ik e I ‘m d oin g so m eth in g w ro ng,” s h e t o ld m e. “ It ‘s a r e aso n t o c h alle nge t h e s o cia l c o nstru ct.” T he s im ple st d efin it io n o f p oly a m ory i s p art ic ip atio n i n m ult ip le l o vin g r e la tio nsh ip s a t t h e sa m e t im e. F o r t h e p ast f o ur y e ars , J e nkin s h as h ad b oth a l o vin g husb an d a n d a l o vin g b oyfr ie nd , a n d e ve ry o ne k n o w s a b out e ve ry o ne e ls e . T here a re n o s e cre ts , n o d ece p tio ns, n o j e alo usie s. B ut, s o cia l s tig m as b ein g w hat t h ey a re , J e nkin s s p ent s e ve ra l y e ars h id in g th is p art o f h er l if e . E ve n i n t h e l ib era l e ncla ve o f a c ad em ia , m ono no rm ativ it y p ers is ts . S o sh e d ecid ed t o w rit e t h is b ook a n d , a s s h e p ut i t , “ s ta rt a c o nve rs a tio n.” I n t h is i n te rv ie w , I t a lk t o J e nkin s a b out w hat s h e h o p es t o a c co m plis h w it h t h is b ook. I a sk h er w hat a p ro p erly e xp an siv e c o nce p t o f l o ve l o oks l ik e , w hy i t ’s a m is ta ke t o r e d uce fo rm s o f l o ve t o s e x, a n d w hat o ur c u lt u re g e ts r igh t — a n d w ro ng — a b out m ono ga m y. S ean I llin g W hat d is tin gu is h es p oly a m ory f r o m o th er f o rm s o f n o nm ono ga m y? C arrie J e n k in s T his i s o ne o f t h o se d if fic u lt d efin it io nal q uestio ns. I c an o nly t e ll y o u w hat i t m ean s t o m e. I t h in k o f i t i n t e rm s o f i t s e ty m olo gy , w hic h m ean s m ult ip le l o ve s. I u se i t f o r m ys e lf b ecau se I’m i n m ore t h an o ne l o vin g re la tio nsh ip . S o n o nm ono ga m y m ore g e nera lly c o uld i n clu d e p eo p le w ho a re i n o ne l o vin g re la tio nsh ip b ut t h ey a ls o h ave o th er s e xu al p art n ers o uts id e of t h at r e la tio nsh ip — p eo p le w ho a re s w in ge rs , f o r e xa m ple . S ean I llin g H ow l o ng have y o u p ra c tic e d p oly a m ory ? C arrie J e n k in s I’v e b een o p enly n o nm ono ga m ous f o r f iv e o r s ix y e ars . O ve r t h e l a st f o ur y e ars , I ’ v e b een in vo lv e d i n s e ve ra l l o ng-te rm s im ult a n eo us r e la tio nsh ip s, a n d s o t h e t e rm p oly a m ory h as fe lt m ore a p pro p ria te . S ean I llin g D o y o u o b je ct t o m ono ga m y o n m ora l o r p hilo so p hic al g ro und s? O r d o y o u j u st p re fe r p oly a m ory ? C arrie J e n k in s 7/13/2021 A philosopher makes the case for polyamory – Vox https://www.vox.com/conversations/2017/2/23/14684236/monogamy-valentines-day-polyamory-marriage-love 3/11 I d on’t o b je ct t o m ono ga m y a t a ll. I j u st d on’t c h o ose i t f o r m ys e lf . I t h in k m ono ga m y i s t h e b est f it f o r a l o t o f p eo p le . I ‘m j u st n o t o ne o f t h o se p eo p le . S ean I llin g S o y o u’r e n o t a n ti- m ono ga m y; y o u’r e j u st p ro -p oly a m ory . C arrie J e n k in s Y e s, e xa c tly . I ‘m n o t a n ti- a n yth in g. I ‘m a rg u in g th at e ve ry b od y s h o uld b e a b le t o d o w hate ve r t h ey w an t. T he p ro b le m i s I d on’t f e el l ik e I ’ m a llo w ed t h is f r e ed om , a t l e ast n o t i n a s o cia lly a c ce p ta b le w ay. S ean I llin g I t a ke i t t h at’s w hy y o u w ro te t h is b ook, b ecau se y o u f e lt l ik e y o u h ad t o c o nce al t h is p art o f yo ur l if e ? C arrie J e n k in s A ctu ally , t h e b ook h as a f a ir ly l a te -s ta ge o p enness. W e w ere a lr e ad y f a ir ly o p en b efo re t h e b ook, b ut w e f e lt t h e n eed t o t a lk a b out t h is , p art ly b ecau se w e f e lt l ik e w e w ould b e ju d ge d i f w e w ere s e en w it h a n o th er p art n er t h at w asn ’t o ur w if e o r h usb an d . W e t h o ugh t p eo p le m igh t a ss u m e w e’r e c h eatin g, a n d w e a ls o t h o ugh t t h at e ve n i f p eo p le k n ew w e w ere n’t c h eatin g, t h ey m igh t h ave a l o t o f s te re o ty p es i n t h eir m in d a b out w hat i t m ean s t o b e i n a n o p en r e la tio nsh ip , a n d s o w e w an te d t o a d dre ss s o m e o f t h e o b je ctio ns w e’v e h eard . W e a ls o w an te d t o m od el s o m eth in g dif fe re nt, s o m eth in g th at l o oke d l e ss l ik e s o m e o f t h e ste re o ty p es, a n d s o m eth in g th at, a s f a r a s w e c o uld t e ll, w as a h ealt h y a lt e rn ativ e . [A ut ho r’s n o te : J e nkin s an d h e r h usb an d p ub lis h ed a n o p en l e tte r in t h e j o ur nal Off T o p ic r e sp ond in g t o t h e m ost c o m mon o b je ctio ns t o p oly am ory .] 7/13/2021 A philosopher makes the case for polyamory – Vox https://www.vox.com/conversations/2017/2/23/14684236/monogamy-valentines-day-polyamory-marriage-love 4/11 S ean I llin g A c o m mon a ss u m ptio n a b out r o m an tic l o ve t h at i t c an o nly e xis t b etw een t w o p art n ers a t o ne t im e. W hat i s f la w ed a b out t h at a ss u m ptio n? 7/13/2021 A philosopher makes the case for polyamory – Vox https://www.vox.com/conversations/2017/2/23/14684236/monogamy-valentines-day-polyamory-marriage-love 5/11 C arrie J e n k in s I a m r e ally i n te re ste d a n d p hilo so p hic ally i n ve ste d i n t h at c la im f o r o bvio us r e aso ns. I h ave a t h eo ry a b out w hat r o m an tic l o ve i s : I t ‘s p art b io lo gi cal, s o t h e b ra in c h em is try a n d eve ry th in g th at’s e vo lv e d i n u s a s a s p ecie s, a n d p art s o cia lly c o nstru cte d . R om an tic l o ve a s a s o cia l c o nstru ct, i n t h is t im e a n d p la c e , s till i n clu d es a s tro ng m ono ga m y c o m ponent. S o i f y o u’r e t h in kin g ab out t h e s o cia l s id e o f r o m an tic l o ve , w hat i t i s r ig h t n o w , t h en t h ere is a s e nse i n w hic h w hat I d o, f o r e xa m ple , i s j u st a b ad f it f o r t h at s o cia l c o nstru ct. T he p eo p le w ho s a y I ‘m n o t r e ally i n l o ve b ecau se I h ave t h at r e la tio nsh ip w it h t w o p eo p le a re h alf w ay r igh t, i n t h e s e nse t h at t h ey a re a c c u ra te ly s a yin g th e s o cia l c o nstru ct e xc lu d es m e. B io lo gi cally s p eak in g, w hate ve r i s g o in g on i n m y b ra in i s t h e t h in g th at r o m an tic l o ve i s s u p pose d t o l o ok l ik e , o r w hat i t l o oks i n o th er p eo p le w ho a re i n m ono ga m ous l o ve . T he fa c t t h at t h e s o cia l c o nstru ct e xc lu d es m e i s n o t a r e aso n — a n d t h is h as b een m y m ost h ard -w on p ie ce o f w is d om — t o f e el l ik e I ‘m d oin g so m eth in g w ro ng. I t ‘s a r e aso n t o c h alle nge t h e s o cia l c o nstru ct. S ean I llin g S o y o u’r e l o okin g to p re se rv e t h is d ic h o to m y o f l o ve a s b oth a s o cia l c o nstru ct a n d a b io lo gi cal i m puls e ? C arrie J e n k in s R om an tic l o ve h as i t s b io lo gi cal s id e, a n d i t h as i t s s o cia lly c o nstru cte d s id e. W hat I ‘m r e ally in te re ste d i n i s h o w c an w e i m pro ve i t a n d i n clu d e b oth h alv e s i n t h e p ic tu re . B ut f o r t h e so cia lly c o nstru cte d s id e, w e h ave a l o t o f c o ntro l o ve r t h at, n o t a n y o ne i n d iv id ual b ut co lle ctiv e ly . B ecau se a s o cia l c o nstru ct m ean s w e c o lle ctiv e ly a re c o nstru ctin g a n d m ain ta in in g [it ] , a n d i t d oes c h an ge o ve r t im e. Y o u c an s e e t h is , f o r e xa m ple , i n t h e m ove to w ard g re ate r i n clu sio n o f s a m e-s e x l o ve i n m y l if e tim e. A nd i n t h e g e nera tio n b efo re t h at, a s im ila r m ove t o w ard t h e i n clu sio n o f i n te rra c ia l l o ve . S o t h is s o cia l c o nstru ct t h at u se d t o e xc lu d e c e rt a in k in d s o f r e la tio nsh ip s h as c o m e t o in clu d e t h em , s o i t ‘s p oss ib le f o r u s t o c h an ge w hat i s o r i s n ‘t i n clu d ed u nd er t h at h ead in g. K no w in g th at w e h ave a s o cia lly c o nstru cte d p heno m eno n o n o ur h an d s i s w hat e m pow ers u s t o c h alle nge a n d c h an ge i t . S ean I llin g 7/13/2021 A philosopher makes the case for polyamory – Vox https://www.vox.com/conversations/2017/2/23/14684236/monogamy-valentines-day-polyamory-marriage-love 6/11 I f w e’r e t a lk in g ab out a s o cia l c o nstru ct, i t m ake s n o s e nse t o t a lk a b out w hat’s “ n atu ra l,” b ut t h ere ’s c e rt a in ly a s c h o ol o f t h o ugh t t h at s a ys m ono ga m y i s p syc h o lo gic ally u nhealt h y b ecau se i t f o rc e s u s t o r e p re ss b io lo gi cal d riv e s. C arrie J e n k in s It ’s u nhealt h y t o f o rc e p eo p le i n to a c h o ic e t h at m igh t n o t f it t h em . Y o u c an t h in k o f t h e m od el o f c o m puls o ry h ete ro se xu alit y , i n w hic h t h e o nly k in d o f s e x t h at’s p erm is s ib le o r th e o nly s e x o ne c an c o nte m pla te i s s tra igh t s e x. W hat’s u nhealt h y t h ere i s s o m e p eo p le a re g o in g to b e f o rc e d t o w ard s o m eth in g th at d oesn ‘t s u it t h em , d oesn ‘t f it t h em , a n d fo rc e d a w ay f r o m w hat w ould a c tu ally b e t h e n atu ra l, h ealt h y l if e f o r t h em . I t ‘s n o t t h at stra igh t s e x i s n ‘t h ealt h y. I t ‘s t h at f o rc in g eve ry o ne i n to o ne b ox i s u nhealt h y. I t h in k t h e s a m e a b out m ono ga m y. S ean I llin g W hat’s y o ur r e sp onse t o p eo p le w ho s a y p oly a m ory i s r e ally a b out s e x, n o t l o ve ? C arrie J e n k in s I c an o nly d esc rib e m y e xp erie nce a n d t h e e xp erie nce s o f o th er p eo p le I k n o w . I a m i n l o ng- te rm , l o vin g re la tio nsh ip s w it h t w o p eo p le , a n d t h ere ‘s s o m uch t o t h ese r e la tio nsh ip s t h at I c an h ard ly b egi n t o d esc rib e t h e k in d s o f v a lu e t h ey b rin g to m y l if e . S ean I llin g C an y o u gi ve m e a n e xa m ple o f w hat y o u m ean h ere ? C arrie J e n k in s S ure . W hen I w as w rit in g m y b ook i n i t s e arly s o rt o f m an usc rip t s ta ge s, I w as h esit a n t t o s h o w i t t o a n yo ne I d id n’t h ave r e ally d eep t ru st w it h . I s h o w ed m y h usb an d , w ho’s a ls o a p hilo so p her, a n d I s a id , h ey, a m I m ak in g an y b ad p hilo so p hic al e rro rs ? H elp m e o ut h ere , ch eck i t a ll t h ro ugh f o r m e. B ecau se w e h ave t h e k in d o f r e la tio nsh ip w e d o, I d id n’t f e el u nco m fo rt a b le s h arin g w it h h im a t a ll. M y b oyfr ie nd i s a w rit e r a n d p oet, a n d h e’s t a u gh t c re ativ e w rit in g fo r m an y y e ars . I w as a b le t o s h are t h e m an usc rip t w it h h im a n d s a y, h ey, i s m y w rit in g re ally b ad , c an y o u h elp m e w it h t h e w rit in g? I n t h e s a m e w ay, i t d id n’t f e el b ad t o s h are w it h h im , b ecau se e ve n th o ugh I k n ew i t w as f u ll o f m is ta ke s a n d p ro b ab ly f u ll o f b ad w rit in g, I l o ve h im a n d t ru st h im . I c o uld s h are w it h h im . 7/13/2021 A philosopher makes the case for polyamory – Vox https://www.vox.com/conversations/2017/2/23/14684236/monogamy-valentines-day-polyamory-marriage-love 7/11 S o I h ave t h at k in d o f r e la tio nsh ip w it h b oth o f t h ese p eo p le , a n d i t p la ys s u ch a h uge r o le i n m y l if e t h at t o s a y t h at i s j u st a b out s e x w ould b e t o m is s t h e p oin t e ntir e ly . Auth o r C arrie J e nkin s. S ean I llin g|Jo nath an J e nkin s I c h ik a w a 7/13/2021 A philosopher makes the case for polyamory – Vox https://www.vox.com/conversations/2017/2/23/14684236/monogamy-valentines-day-polyamory-marriage-love 8/11 W hy d o y o u t h in k p eo p le a re d esp era te t o r e d uce p oly a m ory — o r r e ally a n y f o rm o f l o ve — t o s e x? C arrie J e n k in s I h ave t h o ugh t a b out w hy p eo p le d o t h at. I f y o u c an r e d uce p oly r e la tio nsh ip s — o r s a m e- se x r e la tio nsh ip s, f o r t h at m atte r — t o s e x, i t b eco m es e asie r t o d is m is s t h em a n d n o t h ave to f e el l ik e t h ere ‘s a n yth in g re sp ecta b le t h ere . T hat, u lt im ate ly , i s w hat i t ’s a b out. S ean I llin g C an w e d is e nta n gl e l o ve f r o m s e x? S ho uld w e? C arrie J e n k in s Y e s a n d y e s. F o r a l o t o f p eo p le , l o ve a n d s e x g o a lo ng to ge th er a n d t h at w ork s w ell, j u st a s m ono ga m y w ork s w ell f o r a l o t o f p eo p le . O th er p eo p le a re a se xu al a n d s till f a ll i n r o m an tic lo ve , s o t h at’s o ne k in d o f r e aso n t o d is e nta n gl e t h em . In t h e o th er d ir e ctio n, y o u c an b e h avin g se x w it h s o m eo ne y o u’r e n o t i n l o ve w it h , j u st a h o oku p o r f r ie nd s w it h b enefit s . S ex a n d l o ve c o m e a p art i n b oth d ir e ctio ns. Y o u c an h ave o ne w it h o ut t h e o th er. I t ‘s j u st c o nce p tu ally c o nfu se d i f y o u p re te nd t h ey’r e t h e s a m e. B ut fo r a l o t o f p eo p le t h ey o ve rla p , a n d t h at’s g re at t o o. I t d oesn ‘t m ean t h ey d o f o r e ve ry o ne. S ean I llin g W hat d oes a p ro p erly e xp an siv e c o nce p t o f l o ve l o ok l ik e ? C arrie J e n k in s T hat’s r e ally th e q uestio n, i s n ’t i t ? I ’ v e t a lk e d a b out t w o p oss ib ilit ie s, a n d t h ese a re a b out ro m an tic l o ve . I ‘m n o t t a lk in g ab out l o ve t h at p eo p le f e el f o r t h eir f r ie nd s o r f a m ily o r t h eir k id s o r w hate ve r. I ‘m t a lk in g ab out w hat i s t h e i d eal v e rs io n o f r o m an tic l o ve . O ne p oss ib ilit y t h at I ‘v e t a lk e d a b out i s t h at w e e lim in ate i t . T hat w e s a y r o m an tic is m i s n o t a u se fu l w ay t o d is tin gu is h a c e rt a in k in d o f l o ve . A nd t h ere h ave b een s o m e p hilo so p hers t h at h ave a rg u ed f o r t h at, b ecau se t h ey s a y r o m an tic l o ve i s j u st b ound u p w it h h ete ro no rm ativ it y . I t ‘s b ound u p w it h b ad g e nd er s te re o ty p es. I t ‘s b ound u p w it h a ll k in d s of h is to ric al a sso cia tio ns w it h w om en b ein g pro p ert y a n d gi ve n a w ay b y t h eir f a th ers t o t h eir h usb an d s. A ll t h ese s to rie s w e t h in k o f a s r o m an tic a re f u ll o f p ro b le m atic b ag ga ge . No w, I t h in k r o m an tic l o ve i s s a lv a ge ab le . B ut t h at r e q uir e s b ein g aw are o f t h e n atu re o f lo ve a s i t i s n o w , w hic h i s p art o f t h e r e aso n I ‘m w rit in g th is b ook. T here i s s till a l o t o f 7/13/2021 A philosopher makes the case for polyamory – Vox https://www.vox.com/conversations/2017/2/23/14684236/monogamy-valentines-day-polyamory-marriage-love 9/11 g e nd er s te re o ty p in g asso cia te d w it h r o m an tic l o ve . T here a re s till n o rm ativ e a ss u m ptio ns th at y o u’r e g o in g to g e t m arrie d , h ave b ab ie s, b e m ono ga m ous, a n d b e a p erm an ent, lif e lo ng co up le , a n ucle ar f a m ily . A nd t h at’s a f in e m od el, b ut i t d oesn ‘t w ork f o r e ve ry o ne. S o I t h in k w e n eed t o s te p a w ay f r o m t h e w ays t h at w e u se r o m an tic l o ve t o b ox p eo p le i n . R om an tic l o ve i s n o t o ne t h in g, a n d w e n eed a m od el t h at c ap tu re s t h is . S ean I llin g Y o u m entio ned g e nd er s te re o ty p es j u st n o w , a n d I w ond er i f y o u s e e t h e i n stit u tio n o f m ono ga m y a s e sp ecia lly o p pre ss iv e f o r w om en? C arrie J e n k in s C ert a in ly t h e h is to ric al a sso cia tio ns h ave b een e sp ecia lly o p pre ss iv e t o w om en. S o i f y o u th in k a b out t h e o rigi ns o f m ono ga m ous m arria ge , i n t h e gi vin g aw ay o f w om en f r o m o ne m an t o a n o th er, t h at i s c e rt a in ly o p pre ss iv e . T he f a c t t h at t h ere a re s till e ch o es o f t h is t o d ay i s c e rt a in ly a p ro b le m . T here a re s till a l o t o f g e nd er s te re o ty p es t h at a re a liv e a n d ac tiv e i n c o nte m pora ry m ono ga m ous, h ete ro r e la tio nsh ip s. F o r e xa m ple , i t ‘s s till v e ry s ta tis tic ally u nusu al f o r t h e w if e i n a h ete ro c o up le t o e arn m ore . T here ‘s a ls o s o m e p syc h o lo gi cal e vid ence a b out w om en w ho h ave r o m an tic f a n ta sie s o f b ein g sw ep t u p b y a P rin ce C harm in g fig u re . T hat f a n ta sy, i f t h ey’r e n o t a w are o f i t , i s c o rre la te d w it h h avin g lo w er a m bit io n f o r t h em se lv e s p ers o nally a n d p ro fe ss io nally . S o t h ere i s d efin it e ly a b und le o f c u lt u ra l a sso cia tio ns w it h m ono ga m y t h at a re t h e s o rts o f th in gs I a m r e sis ta n t t o a s a f e m in is t a n d a m t ry in g to p re ss b ac k o n. T hat’s n o t n ece ss a rily b ound u p w it h m ono ga m y p er s e . I t ‘s j u st t h e w ay i t ‘s b een p ra c tic e d . B ut t h ere ‘s a ls o a p ro b le m w it h p atria rc h al m ono ga m y, w hic h i s t h e p ra c tic e o f a ss u m in g th at w om en a re t o b e t h o ugh t o f a s b asic ally a k in d o f p ro p ert y o f t h eir h usb an d s o r i n s o m e w ays a s e co nd ary p art n er i n t h e p art n ers h ip . T hat i s a ls o a p ro b le m , a n d I ‘m n o t ad vo catin g fo r t h at e it h er. T he p ro b le m w it h p atria rc h al p oly g a m y a n d m ono ga m y i s t h e s a m e. I t ‘s n o t t h e m ono ga m y or p oly g a m y — i t ‘s t h e p atria rc h y. S ean I llin g Y o u’r e a n a c ad em ic p hilo so p her w ho h as d ecid ed t o w rit e a c o ntro ve rs ia l b ook a b out a c h arg e d t o p ic f o r a v e ry p ub lic a u d ie nce . W hy d o t h at? 7/13/2021 A philosopher makes the case for polyamory – Vox https://www.vox.com/conversations/2017/2/23/14684236/monogamy-valentines-day-polyamory-marriage-love 10/11 C arrie J e n k in s I w an t t o s ta rt a c o nve rs a tio n. I d on’t c are w heth er e ve ry o ne a g re es w it h w hat I s a y. I j u st w an t p eo p le t o b e t a lk in g ab out t h is . I t h in k t h at’s t h e w ay p ro gre ss g e ts d one. Y o u c an ‘t m ake p ro gre ss b y d ecid in g w hat’s r igh t o r w ro ng an d t h en t e llin g eve ry b od y e ls e . B ut I t h in k w e c an m ake p ro gre ss i f w e g e t m ore p eo p le t h in kin g ab out m ono ga m y, a b out ro m an tic l o ve , a n d w hy i t l o oks t h e w ay i t d oes a n d h o w m uch c o ntro l w e h ave o ve r t h at. I k e ep c o m in g bac k t o t h is i d ea t h at w e h ave s o m uch c o ntro l o ve r w hat l o ve i s , w hat l o ve lo oks l ik e , w hat s to rie s w e t e ll, w hat i s d ep ic te d i n r o m an tic c o m ed ie s, w hat s to rie s a re t o ld i n r o m an ce n ove ls . A ll o f t h ese w ays w e d ete rm in e w hat l o ve i s a re a s o cia l c o nstru ct. W e h ave s o m uch c o ntro l o ve r t h at. T hat m ean s w e a re r e sp onsib le f o r g e tt in g i t r ig h t. I f w e don’t , w e’r e e xc lu d in g peo p le f r o m t h e s o cia l c o nstru ct o f r o m an tic l o ve w it h o ut ju stif ic atio n, a n d t h at m ake s i t d if fic u lt f o r t h em t o l iv e t h e w ay t h ey w an t t o o r t h e w ay th ey n eed t o . W ill y o u s u p port V ox ’s e x pla n ato ry j o urn alis m ? Millio ns t u rn t o V ox t o u nd ers ta n d w hat’s h ap penin g in t h e n ew s. O ur m is s io n h as n eve r b een m ore v it a l t h an i t i s i n t h is m om ent: t o e m pow er t h ro ugh u nd ers ta n d in g. F in an cia l c o ntrib utio ns f r o m o ur r e ad ers a re a c rit ic al p art o f s u p port in g our r e so urc e -in te nsiv e w ork a n d h elp u s k e ep o ur j o urn alis m f r e e f o r a ll. P le ase c o nsid er m ak in g a c o ntr ib utio n to V ox t o d ay f r o m a s l it tle a s $ 3 . 7/13/2021 A philosopher makes the case for polyamory – Vox https://www.vox.com/conversations/2017/2/23/14684236/monogamy-valentines-day-polyamory-marriage-love 11/11




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