Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Moral Relativism and Moral Universalism: a Coherentist Approach

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posted on 2021-11-07, 23:53 authored by Cole, Damien Anthony

In the following work I examine the long-standing dispute between the moral relativist and their opponent, who I call the moral universalist. I examine this dispute from a coherentist perspective. For both moral relativism and moral universalism I identify a key conviction underlying the position and I attempt to deliver a theory that accommodates both of these two convictions in a coherent fashion. This involves distinguishing between distinct types of moral principle and showing how the relativist's conviction is a reaction to one type while the universalist's conviction is a reaction to another type. These types of moral principle are not mutually exclusive, however, and a large part of my project will be to explain how each type of principle is able to be included as part of a coherent whole.


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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Doctor of Philosophy

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Doctoral Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations


Agar, Nick