[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [xmca] The Missing Part

Carol, one of the things about cross-cultural comparison is that we can only, I believe, compare like with like, or to putting this another way, two things can only be compared on some shared scale.

So for example, if we want to compare a nuclear physicist with a witchdoctor, would we be comparing them on the scale of their contribution to world peace, or maybe to settling local feuds, of their annual salary?

Comparison is valid. Some societies are much better at producing motor cars than others and some societies are better at producing long-distance runners. The type of comparison which is not valid is comparison of human beings and their ways of life *as a whole*.

I think this was implicit in David's paradox.

Carol Macdonald wrote:
But, for me relativism is a farce--e.g. the witchdoctor having the same
power as a nuclear physicist? USAID and DFiD don't believe this, and neither
do I.

xmca mailing list