Radical Multiculturalism versus Liberal Pluralism

Ethical Perspectives 11 (4):238-249 (2004)
Radical multiculturalism claims that cultural groups, not the individual, should be the yardstick for considerations of justice, because the group offers the individual the indispensable good of being rooted in a community and since membership in a culture is not voluntary, abolition of culture would lead to uprooting of individuals. Thus, by taking this good away on grounds of justice, liberalism perpetrates another injustice. Against this, liberalism upholds the principle of normative methodological individualism, arguing that groups cannot be defined without recourse to the individual. Furthermore, the concept of cultural group is notoriously vague and not suitable to replace normative methodological individualism. Moreover, radical multiculturalism risks falling prey to self-defeating normative relativism. Since there is also a danger for the liberal to fall prey to culture-centrism, both parties agree on internal universalism. They also agree on the difference between membership in an association and membership in a cultural community. However, the liberal concludes that the state must not add its might to cultural dependency, but enable the individual to grow out of it. Furthermore, liberalism maintains that normative methodological individualism is sufficient for even group-related needs provided the group conforms to basic principles of justice. To this, radical multiculturalism objects that even if all cultural groups abide by the principles of justice of the larger society, liberalism still produces injustices for those whose language is not among the official languages of the polity. Since any democratic polity needs a medium of debate and deliberation that is universally understood, liberalism has to grant this point. Liberalism can only diminish its impact through intermediate levels of government and subsidiarity
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2143/EP.11.4.519089
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
S. Misra (2012). Friend, Not Foe: Mill's Liberal Multiculturalism. European Journal of Political Theory 11 (3):273-291.
V. Kaul (2011). Multiculturalism and the Challenge of Pluralism. Philosophy and Social Criticism 37 (4):505-516.
Steven Weimer (2007). Polyglot Multiculturalism and Social Progress. International Journal of Applied Philosophy 21 (2):275-288.
Will Kymlicka (1998). Introduction: An Emerging Consensus? [REVIEW] Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 1 (2):143-157.
John Gray (1998). Where Pluralists and Liberals Part Company. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 6 (1):17 – 36.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

12 ( #205,927 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.