The article discusses Nicholas Rescher’s metaphilosophical view of orientational pluralism. In his essay Philosophical Disagreement: An Essay towards Orientational Pluralism in Metaphilosophy Rescher explains a substantial difference between philosophy and science—namely, that philosophers—differently than scientists— continuously propose and undermine various solutions to the same old problems. In philosophy it is difficult to find any consensus or convergence of theories. According to Rescher, this pluralism of theoretical positions is caused by holding by philosophers different sets and hierarchies of cognitive values, i.e. methodological orientations. These orientations are chosen in virtue of some practical postulates, they are of axiological, normative, but not strictly theoretical character. Different methodological orientations yield different evaluations of philosophical theses and arguments. This article shows that Rescher’s account does not determine clearly acceptable cognitive values. If there are no clear criteria of evaluation of methodological orientations, then the described view seems to be identical to relativism adopting the everything goes rule. In addition, accepting orientational pluralism it is hard to avoid the conclusion that discussions between various philosophical schools are futile or can be reduced to non-rational persuasion.
It is nearly impossible to study behaviour effectively without any reference to its context. This is because it is generally known in the psychological literature that behaviour is partially a product of its environment. This suggests that many behavioural processes may be universal but there are significant variations in their manifestations. For instance, love may be a universal process but its manifestation varies from one society to another. Given that ethical decision-making is a behavioural process, it stands to reason that its manifestation will vary from one culture to another. It is against this premise that this paper seeks to demonstrate that despite the existence of the ‘universal’ normative ethical principles, ethical decisions will be expected to vary across cultural space and even evolve with time. This paper achieves this objective by employing typical ethical dilemmas that Ghanaian psychologists and other health professionals encounter to show how and why what is ethical in one culture becomes unethical in the Ghanaian context and what is unethical in the Ghanaian context becomes ethical in another culture.