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Title: Universal Morality in Japanese Tradition
Keywords: moral universalism, cultural particularism, tradition, morality, Shinto, Japan
Issue Date: 8-Dec-2009
Citation: RYOKO KITASAKA (2009-12-08). Universal Morality in Japanese Tradition. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This thesis analyses the tension persisting in the debate on moral universalism versus cultural particularism by reassessing two common assumptions: 1) that traditions are either universal or particular, and 2) that persuasion is the appropriate method of cross-cultural conversation. Examining Japan?s Shinto, a seemingly particularist creed, I argue against the first assumption: Shinto displays both particular and universal perspectives. This in turn suggests the plurality of universal moralities across traditions. Henceforth I move onto the second assumption: how to recognize one another?s moral principles. Although embracing universal elements, Shinto ideas constitute particular backgrounds with specific ideals. Moreover, Shinto?s moral teaching begins with individual morality. Therefore, I argue that one should recognize Shinto morality voluntarily rather than as a result of persuasion. Reconsidering the universalist/particularist debate, this thesis aims to broaden one?s view on other people?s traditions.
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Open)

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