Skillful solidarity

Inquiry 38 (1 & 2):65 – 74 (1995)
Abstract
This discussion of ?Disclosing New Worlds? by Charles Spinosa, Fernando Flores, and Hubert Dreyfus raises four groups of questions. First, do skills, which are largely unreflective, need to be distinguished more sharply from strategies for social action, which are more reflective and deliberative? Second, is there a tension between the article's emphasis on the importance of background practices, which are collective and nonindividual, and its frequent appeal to examples of single individuals (the entrepreneur, the cultural hero) who are able to transform these practices? Third, why does the appeal to solidarity not undermine democratic action, since solidarities compete and conflict with one another, and are often formed by excluding others? Or are the ideas of solidarity and universality not necessarily inconsistent with each other? Fourth, without universalistic values how will a theory of pluralistic solidarities explain social resistance to perceived oppression? Is the authors? notion of being willing to die for the group's commitments too extreme a test for social solidarity? Even if it were offered as only a limiting case, is it an adequate test for the value or justice of the commitments themselves?
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