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The Practice of Value$
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Joseph Raz and R. Jay Wallace

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199278466

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199278466.001.0001

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The Thesis

The Thesis

(p.14) (p.15) The Thesis
The Practice of Value


Oxford University Press

Quoting from the philosophical idea of Protagoras that ‘Man is the measure of all things’, this chapter discusses how the philosopher’s maxim disagrees with the author’s views on social relativism. Two formulations of social dependence of values are presented based on the special and general aspects. Sustaining practices are identified as well, apart from showing examples and explanations of dependence without reduction or conventionalism and other justifying considerations. Although applicable to cultural values, the scope and limitations of special dependence thesis are pointed out and it is also emphasised that the values giving a meaning and a purpose to life are socially dependent. Outlined in this chapter is the motivation to view social dependence of values as free from relativism.

Keywords:   Protagoras, social relativism, social dependence, values, relativism

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