The Analysis of the Foundations of the Epistemic Relativism in the Secular Ethics

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD Student, College of Farabi, University of Tehran, Qom, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Colldge of Farabi, University of Tehran, Qom, Iran


Given the fact that moral relativism is rooted in the relativity of episteme, it is necessary to address its epistemic foundations. In this paper, three bases of rationalism, individualism, and reductionism will be examined. Since relativism may also be raised at the level of religious ethics, secular ethics will remove the first possibility out of discussion. As one of  the foundations of relativism, the minimalistic rationalism holds that the moral stimulus of the human being is not intellect, rather  emotion. Reason is simply  a prudent instrument under the control of desire. Here, t rationality disappears and the authority of all moral theories is destroyed. In individualism, all humans are equal and have the right to be free to determine ethical values. In this case, the "other" isn’t important at all. Non-awareness of all personal desires and the lack of solution as behavioral contradictions occur are the defeciencies of this foundation.  Reductionism as another foundation regards the human in one aspect and reduces the morality to subjective things and it serves ethics just for the purpose of the biological needs. Not only this foudnation destroys authority itself, but also  denies the lower values and needs by negating the higher values


  1. آربلاستر، آنتونی (1367).  ظهور و سقوط لیبرالیسم غرب، ترجمۀ عباس مخبر، تهران: نشر مرکز.
  2. افلاطون (1380). دورۀ آثار افلاطون (جمهوری)، محمد حسن لطفی، جلد 2، چ سوم، تهران: خوارزمی.
  3. توسلی، حسین (1390). فردگرایی بهمثابۀ عمق متافیزیکی اندیشۀ لیبرال، فصلنامۀ آیین حکمت، سال سوم، شمارۀ مسلسل 7.
  4. جوادی آملی، عبدالله (1372). شریعت در آینۀ معرفت، بی‌جا: نشر فرهنگی رجا.
  5. طباطبایی، محمد حسین (1369). قرآن در اسلام، قم: هجرت.
    1.  ــــــــــــــــــــــــ (1394). المیزان فی تفسیر القرآن، جلد 1، بیروت: مؤسسۀ الاعلمی للمطبوعات.
  6. ظاهر، عادل (1998). الاسس الفلسفیه العلمانیه، بیروت: دارالساقی.
    1. ویلیامز، برنارد (1383). فلسفۀ اخلاق، ترجمه و تعلیقات زهرا جلالی، قم: دفتر نشر معارف.
    2. هگل، گئورک ویلهلم (1378). عناصر فلسفۀ حق یا خلاصه‌ای از حقوق طبیعی و علم و سیاست و...، ترجمۀ مهبد ایرانی‌طلب، تهران: نشر قطره و پروین.
    3. هیوم، دیوید (1392). کاوش در مبانی اخلاق، ترجمۀ مرتضی مردیها، تهران: نشر مینوی خرد.

11 .Broadbeck, May,)1969( Readings in the philosophy of Social Sciences, university of Minnesota

12. Delanty, Gerard and Piet ,Strydom )2003(. philosophy of social  science , the classic and contemporary readings, open uni press, Philadelphia

13.Dubray, C,)1912(  .secularism. In the catholic Encyclopedia, new york, Robert Appleton company

 Encyclopedia of Ethics, Liberalism .14

15. Hegel, Georg Wilhelm,)1977.(phenomenology of spirit, oxford university press_

16.…………………….., )1967.(philosophy of right, Oxford university press. _

 17. J. Kellenberger,)2008(  .Moral Relativism, New York, Toronto, Row man and little field publishers, INC

 18. Kreeft, Peter)1999( Refutation of Moral Relativism, Ignatius Press, San Francisco

19. Quine w.v.o, )1953 .(From a logical point of view, harward university press.

20. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Liberalism, Routledge Inc. New York, 1998, V5

21. Stanford, Encyclopedi,)2004 .(moral relativism, Chris Gowwans

.22. Taylor Keneth, )2011.(conceptual Relativism in a companion to relativism, ed by steven hales, Black well

23. Norman, R )1998.( The moral philosophers: introduction to ethics, new York, oxford university press.

24.  Williams, Robert, )1992(,.recognition: Fichte and Hegel on the other. Albany, state university of new york press