Cultural Relativism And Its Impact On The World

1915 WordsDec 9, 20148 Pages
Cultural relativism is the idea that all cultures are equal and no one is better than another. This way of thinking was created and elaborated on by three main philosophers. Franz Boas, Alain Locke and Robert Lowie were nineteenth century philosophers who shaped the ideas on concepts of Cultural Relativism. These three men focused on the idea that one cannot judge other cultures because they only see through eyes that have been influenced by their surroundings. They used relativist ideas that existed already and expressed them on the world and the many different cultures that exist in it. They created a mainly atheistic viewpoint in which the idea of a central moral truth and a higher power was discounted. Only the people within a culture could create moral codes and laws for themselves. Franz Boas was born on July 19, 1858 in Minden, Germany. Boas grew up in a well educated family and was encouraged to follow his own beliefs and think for himself. From a very young age, Franz Boas was interested in natural history and studied it throughout his years of schooling. He continued his studies and graduated with a degree in physics, even though he considered himself more of a geographer than a physicist. This interest in geography is what drove him to delve deeper into the ideas of cultural difference and led to the beginnings of cultural relativism. Through his studies, Franz Boas became drawn to anthropology, the study of humankind. He became interested in
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