Moral Landmarks

Albert Borgmann

in Real American Ethics

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780226066349
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226066356 | DOI:
Moral Landmarks

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This chapter argues that the underlying norms of equality, dignity, and liberty are binding on everyone today. They are gradually spreading around the globe and sometimes clash with traditional forms of privilege, subservience, and bondage. But they must and will prevail. Thus, beyond absolutism and relativism lies what we may call epochalism—the realization that every epoch in history has its uniquely characteristic and valid norms. The norms of equality, dignity, and liberty are clearest and most authoritative when they are violated. It is this moral fact that reveals the rise and force of epochal moral norms.

Keywords: equality; dignity; liberty; epochalism; epochal norms; absolutism; relativism

Chapter.  3232 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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