This essay discusses the difference between the concepts of multiculturalism and interculturalism, both concepts which are current on the Canadian scene. It argues that the difference between the two is not so much a matter of the concrete policies, but concerns rather the story that we tell about where we are coming from and where we are going. In some ways, we could argue that interculturalism is more suitable for certain European countries.
Peter Winch's famous argument in "The Universalizability of Moral Judgments" that moral judgments are not always universalizable is widely thought to involve an essentially sceptical claim about the limitations of moral theories and moral theorising more generally. In this paper I argue that responses to Winch have generally missed the central positive idea upon which Winch's argument is founded: that what is right for a particular agent to do in a given situation may depend on what is and is not (...) morally possible for them. I then defend the existence of certain genuine moral necessities and impossibilities in order to show how certain first-person moral judgements may be essentially personal. (shrink)
It is widely held in contemporary moral philosophy that moral agency must be explained in terms of some more basic account of human nature. This book presents a fundamental challenge to this view. Specifically, it argues that sympathy, understood as an immediate and unthinking response to another's suffering, plays a constitutive role in our conception of what it is to be human, and specifically in that conception of human life on which anything we might call a moral life depends.
In this article I examine an example of sympathy -- the actions of one woman who rescued Jews during their persecution in Nazi Europe. I argue that this woman''s account of her actions here suggests that sympathy is a primitive response to the suffering of another. By primitive here I mean: first, that these responses are immediate and unthinking; and second, that these responses are explanatorily basic, that they cannot be explained in terms of some more fundamental feature of human (...) nature -- such as some particular desire or sentiment that we possess. My conclusion is then that our sympathetic responses are themselves partially constitutive of our conception of what is to be a human being. (shrink)