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Analysis of Moral Isolationism

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This then leads to Midgley’s third question of whether the isolating barrier prevents outsiders from making both positive and negative criticisms (35). It is a known fact that praises are most welcome when it is given and usually, people do not question if the person giving the positive criticism is an outsider or not, whether he or she understands their culture or not. In this case, then, the isolating barrier becomes null when it comes to praises, which then negates moral isolationism as praise is just positive criticism. Midgley notes that praise and blame constitute the same thing—and that is, in order for one to be able to praise or criticize something, one must first be able to weigh the pros and cons accordingly as to how can one know the positive if not compared to the negative?

  In this sense, Midgley poses her next question and argument: “What is involved in judging?” (35). Here, she points out a significant difference between making crude judgments and making intelligent criticisms based on knowledge and experience. It is logical to object to crude judgments, however, moral isolationists prohibit any and all kinds of judgment. This is all based on the premise that outsiders do not understand other cultures and so, they should respect them by not forming any kind of opinion. But then, people do not completely understand their own cultures. Does this mean that they are also incapable of judging their own cultures? If we can't judge other cultures, can we really judge our own? Our efforts to do so will be much damaged if we are really deprived of our opinions about other societies because these provide the range of comparison, the spectrum of alternatives against which we set what we want to understand (36). This is Midgley’s last and most logical argument. If people cannot evaluate other cultures, it would not be possible for cultures to merge and evolve. It would stunt growth in all aspects—knowledge, morality, and ethics. It would even kill the chances for people to gain expertise on certain fields as for how would one know he or she is an expert if there is no point of comparison?.

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preview essay on Analysis of Moral Isolationism
  • Pages: 7 (1750 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Culture
  • Level: Masters
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