Conscience and Culture

Conscience and Culture

James Wilson contends that there is a universally human moral sense that makes possible the existence of stable human ‘societies. He divides his moral sense into four parts: sympathy, fairness, self-control, and duty.Wilson thinks that many prevailing doctrines in and around the social sciences deny the existence of such a sense, most notably the cultural relativism propounded by anthropologists and postmodernist philosophers, but also Freudianism, behaviorism, and the egoistic utilitarianism favored by economists. He therefore seeks to ground his moral sense in nature itself, specifically in human biology. Yet most sociologists, including this writer, would find little that is questionable in Wilson’s general conception, although they would probably attribute his moral sense to the socialization process that creates human beings out of unformed biological organisms. They would equate sympathy with the formation

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Wurgraft | University of California Press Lima