The Application of Relativism in the Judicial System: An Argument for a Jury of Cultural Peers

Anthony Kennedy, Dr. Quentin Hunter, School of Business and Communication, Lindsey Wilson College, 210 Lindsey Wilson Street, Columbia KY, 42728.

Cultures cannot be avoided, as everyone is brought up with some specific language and religion.  Culture informs community identity and identity within the community but regardless of geographic region, one still has their cultural practices. Via literature review, I attempt to determine if it is morally permissible to allow the action of holding one’s cultural beliefs and practices above another.  Through ideas by Immanuel Kant, David Hume, Terence Crawford, and others, I conclude that modifying the current system of holding a trial with a jury of peers to holding a trial with a jury of cultural peers preserves culture and is therefore more culturally relative.  Through examination of claims made by cultural relativists, I argue that cultural relativism is not an appropriation of cultural artifact (e.g., cultural fairs, ethnic foods), but rather allowing a tolerance for differing cultures as it would be arrogant to try and judge the conduct of other people and their culture.  I also argue that it is not morally justified to hold one standard of a culture above that of another culture as cultures are justified in their very being through their own practices still remaining.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Anthony Kennedy

Institution: Lindsey Wilson College

Type: Poster

Subject: Philosophy, Ethics, & Religious Studies

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 9
Date/Time: Wed 12:00pm-1:00pm
Session Number: 6093