MORAL PLURALISM is also known as ethical pluralism or
value pluralism. Moral pluralism is the idea that there are
several values which may be equally correct and fundamental, and
yet in conflict with each other.
Moral pluralism also postulates that such incompatible
values may be incommensurable, in the sense that there is no objective ordering of them in
terms of importance. Moral pluralism is an alternative to both moral relativism and moral
absolutism. An example of moral pluralism is the idea that the moral life of a nun is
incompatible with that of a mother, yet there is no purely rational measure of which is
Under moral pluralism, moral decisions often require
radical preferences with no rational calculus to determine which alternative is to be
selected. Pluralism describes a society where individual and
group differences are present and are celebrated as enriching the social fabric.
Moral Pluralism and the Origin of Political
Conflict, Ferrell, Jason
Abstract: Political institutions have frequently been justified as a response to conflict.
Consequently, assumptions about the nature of conflict often shape our conceptions of what
Two of the most prevalent interpretations of conflict perspectives regard it as either a contest
of interest or a competition for resources. While interpretations of conflict are
instructive, they provide partial accounts of the sources of conflict. There is another
conception of conflict, one tied to the idea of moral pluralism, which offers a different
interpretation of this idea, and therefore prompts a reconsideration of how we justify our
institutions. To show this I will review arguments concerning the origin of conflict as
understood by game theorys conception of the prisoners dilemma. For from the perspective of
pluralism, moral conflict often escapes explanation in terms of self-regard or scarcity.
Moral Pluralism and Liberal Democracy: Isaiah
Berlin's Heterodox Liberalism
William A. Galston, The Review of Politics (2009), 71:85-99 Cambridge University Press
Abstract: While Isaiah Berlin considered himself principally as a political theorist in
the liberal tradition, his was an unorthodox liberalism in
both method and substance, rooted in the confluence of three traditions, British, Russian,
and Jewish. Unlike many liberals, he wrestled with the tension between universalism and
particularism, and also between individualism and
Moral Pluralism in Business Ethics Education: It is About Time, Brian K.
Burton, Craig P. Dunn, Western Washington University, Michael Goldsby, Ball State
University, Journal of Management Education, Vol. 30, No. 1, 90-105 (2006)
The teaching of business ethics is almost inherently pluralistic, but little evidence of
explicitly pluralistic approaches exists in teaching materials besides the available
decision-making frameworks. In this article, it is argued that the field needs to
acknowledge and adopt pluralism as the standard pedagogical approach, whether the
individual teacher uses a philosophical approach or a more applied approach, to best serve
students and society.
Moral Pluralism and the Environment, Andrew Brennan
Several kinds of value are identified, by no means all commensurable with one another, a
situation with which both economics and contemporary ethical theory must come to terms. A
radical moral pluralism is recommended as in no way incompatible with the requirements of
rationality, which allows that the business of living decently involves many kinds of
principles and various sorts of responsibilities. In environmental ethics, moral pluralism
offers the hope of reconciling various rival theories, even if none of them is universally
Lawyers, Justice and the Challenge of Moral Pluralism, Katherine R.
Kruse, William S. Boyd School of Law, UNLV, Minnesota Law Review, Vol. 90, No. 2,
This article focuses attention on a subject that has been largely missing from the debate
among lawyering theorists: the challenge of moral pluralism. Moral pluralism has been
widely discussed in political and moral philosophy, but its implications for lawyering
theory have been less fully explored. This article explores those implications by
surveying what political and moral theorists say about the sources of moral pluralism. The
article then uses this analysis to examine the shortcomings of both the traditional model
of morally neutral lawyering, and the alternative social justice lawyering models, in the
face of moral pluralism. The existence of moral pluralism also alleviates the concern that
lawyers will act in moral concert.
Moral pluralism in abortion, Gardell MA, In: Abortion and the status of
the fetus, edited by William B. Bondeson, H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr., Stuart F. Spicker
and Daniel H. Winship. Dordrecht, Netherlands, D. Reidel Publishing, 1984. (Philosophy and
Medicine Volume 13)
Abstract: This discussion argues that the state of moral pluralism characterizing the
abortion debate reflects an acceptance of both the implications of human reason and the
obligation to reflect the autonomy of competent individuals.
Reproductive tourism as moral pluralism in motion, Dr G Pennings,
Department of Philosophy, Free University Brussels, Pleinlaan 2, lokaal 5 C 442, B-1050
Brussels, Belgium, Journal of Medical Ethics 2002;28:337-341.
Reproductive tourism comes under the broader term medical
tourism. Three possible solutions are discussed: internal moral pluralism, coerced
conformity, and international harmonisation. Reproductive tourism is moral pluralism
realised by moving across legal borders.