Philosophy, Culture, and Pluralism

Abstract
In this paper I outline some ways in which philosophy can contribute to the study of culture and pluralism, and how such a study may lead to a better understanding of philosophical enquiry. Building on earlier work (Sweet, 2002), I focus on four areas in which these contributions might be made. The first concerns the methodological, ideological, and historical presuppositions of culture and multiculturalism. The second area considers how philosophical discourse affects a culture's "self-understanding". The third area focuses on how (and how far) philosophy may enable a culture to allow diversity and pluralism within the larger community. The fourth area deals with philosophy's dialectical relation with culture -how far philosophy is a product of culture, and whether that affects philosophy's participation in culture. An exploration of these areas will show both what role philosophy has to play in the analysis of culture, and why it is important for philosophers -especially in the English-speaking world- to engage in the "philosophy of culture"
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