The philosophy of religion and theology are related to the culture in which they have developed. These disciplines provide a source of values and vision to the cultures of which they are part, while at the same time they are delimited and defined by their cultures. This book compares the ideas of two contemporary philosophers, John Hick and Seyyed Hossein Nasr, on the issues of religion, religions, the concept of the ultimate reality, and the notion of sacred knowledge. On (...) a broader level, it compares two world-views: the one formed by Western Christian culture, which is religious in intention but secular in essence; the other Islamic, formed through the assimilation of traditional wisdom, which is turned against the norms of secular culture and is thus religious both in intention and essence. (shrink)
René Guénon, metaphysician -- Ananda Coomaraswamy and traditional art -- Rudolf Otto, the East, and religious inclusivism -- Mircea Eliade and C.G. Jung: 'priests without surplices'? -- Allen Ginsberg, a Buddhist beat -- Swami Abhishiktananda, Fr. Jules Monchanin, and the Christian-Hindu encounter -- Frithjof Schuon, a sage for the times.
The debate concerning truth in Classical Chinese philosophy has for the most part avoided the possibility that pluralist theories of truth were part of the classical philosophical framework. I argue that the Eastern Han philosopher Wang Chong (c. 25-100 CE) can be profitably read as endorsing a kind of pluralism about truth grounded in the concept of shi 實 , or “actuality”. In my exploration of this view, I explain how it offers a different account of the truth (...) of moral and non-moral statements, while still retaining the univocality of the concept of truth (that is, that the concept amounts to more than the expression of a disjunction of various truth properties), by connecting shi with normative and descriptive facts about how humans appraise statements. In addition to providing insight into pluralist views of truth in early China, the unique pluralist view implicit in Wang’s work can help solve problems with contemporary pluralist theories of truth.  . (shrink)
Pluralism: The Philosophy and Politics of Diversity is the first volume to open the window on philosophical pluralism and link pluralist themes in philosophy and politics. It advances recent debates on political pluralism in a range of essays that challenge or defend the association of liberalism and pluralism. The volume is divided into three parts: an investigation of the philosophical sources of pluralism, including an essay on William James; the value of pluralism (...) and liberalism, discussing the compatibility of these ideas; and an investigation of difference in pluralism, with writing on women, ethnocultural, and the public-private distinction. (shrink)
This is the first comprehensive evaluation of Charles Taylor's work and a major contribution to leading questions in philosophy and the human sciences as they face an increasingly pluralistic age. Charles Taylor is one of the most influential contemporary moral and political philosophers: in an era of specialisation he is one of the few thinkers who has developed a comprehensive philosophy which speaks to the conditions of the modern world in a way that is compelling to specialists in (...) various disciplines. This collection of specially commissioned essays brings together twelve distinguished scholars from a variety of fields to discuss critically Taylor's work. The topics range from the history of philosophy, to truth, modernity and postmodernity, theism, interpretation, the human sciences, liberalism, pluralism and difference. Taylor responds to all the contributions and re-articulates his own views. (shrink)
Department of Geography and Planning, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands There is a growing sense of dissatisfaction among political philosophers with the practical sterility and empirical inadequacy of the discipline. Post-Rawlsian philosophy is wrestling with the need to construct a contextualized morality that is sensitive to the particularities and complexities of actual moral reasoning but does not succumb to the temptations of relativism. We argue that this predicament is due to its inability to take the pluralism of our (...) moral universe, the multi-layeredness of our social reality, the indeterminacy of our normative principles and the complexity of our practical reasoning seriously. To incorporate these properties of the human condition we have constructed a complex evaluative framework, balancing moral, ethico-political, prudential and realist criteria. We argue that political philosophy new style is well advised to adopt such a framework and to position itself, as a true art, between political philosophy old style and the social sciences. Thus political philosophy is better equipped to deal with the big tradeoffs of today, rekindle our utopian hopes and regain political bite. Key Words: comparative institutionalism evaluation studies political philosophy political theory. (shrink)
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". (shrink)
The moral and political philosophy of pluralism has become increasingly influential. To pluralists, when values genuinely conflict we should aim to strike an appropriate balance or trade-off between them, though this means accepting that compromise will be inevitable. Politics, as a result, appears as a thoroughly tragic affair. Drawing on a "hermeneutical" conception of interpretation, the author develops an original account of practical reasoning, one which assumes that, though making compromises in the face of conflicts is indeed often (...) unavoidable, there are times when reconciliation, as distinct from compromise, is feasible. For this to be so, however, citizens must strive to converse--and not just negotiate--with each other, thus fulfilling the good that is at the heart of their shared political community. This is the central message of the patriotic alternative to pluralist politics that the author defends here. (shrink)
The paper examines some presuppositions of toleration and pluralism and explores two models, a deontological and a consequentialist model, that could support the view that rational agents should act in a tolerant way. Within the first model two arguments are given in favor of the view that people are better off and more rational if they are tolerant. The first argument draws upon a principle of charity that one usually makes use of in philosophy of mind and (...) class='Hi'>philosophy of language, but which could work equally well with regard to this foundational issue in ethics and philosophy of action. The second argument is built upon the epistemic principle of fallibilism and is meant to show that from this vantage point acting in a tolerant way is the rational thing to do. (shrink)
Pluralism in Theory and Practice not only brings McKeon to the attention of contemporary philosophers and students; it also puts his theories into practice. Some of the essays explicate aspects of McKeon's thought or situate him in the context of American intellectual and practical engagement. Others take the concerns he raised as starting points for inquiries into urgent contemporary problems, or, in some cases, for reexamining McKeon's work as fertile ground for shaping the direction of new investigation.
Introduction : At a turning point -- Everyday life -- Modes of reflection -- Philosophical problems -- The pluralistic approach -- The meaning of life -- The possibility of free action -- The place of morality in good lives -- The art of life -- The nature of human self-understanding --Conclusion : The human world.
Table of Contents: Politics, morality, and pluralism -- Liberal morality and political legitimacy -- Political legitimacy and social justice -- Williams's concept of the political -- Legitimacy, stability, and morality -- The politics of morality -- A moral point of view -- Manners and morality -- Morality and conflict -- Moral conflict and political theory -- The morality of politics -- Feminism and multiculturalism -- A defense of culture -- Politics and normative conflict -- The political as moral viewpoint (...) -- Morality and politics: a review -- Political unity and pluralism -- The liberal archipelago -- Loose linkage and political legitimacy -- Political unity and the body politic -- Social justice and political unity -- The bonds of civility -- Nationhood and the liberal polity -- The nature of nationhood -- Pluralism and nationalism -- Nationalism and social justice -- Deliberative democracy and the liberal polity -- Liberalism and democracy -- Democracy and deliberative discourse -- The terms of deliberative discourse -- Normative discourse and political legitimacy -- Deliberative democracy and intragroup politics -- Group autonomy and intergroup discourse -- Politics, history, and reason -- Principle and justice in the liberal polity -- Liberal institutions and liberal ideals -- Stopping history -- Rationalism and politics. (shrink)
In this book, Robert Talisse critically examines the moral and political implications of pluralism, the view that our best moral thinking is indeterminate and that moral conflict is an inescapable feature of the human condition. Through a careful engagement with the work of William James, Isaiah Berlin, John Rawls, and their contemporary followers, Talisse distinguishes two broad types of moral pluralism: metaphysical and epistemic. After arguing that metaphysical pluralism does not offer a compelling account of value and (...) thus cannot ground a viable conception of liberal politics, Talisse proposes and defends a distinctive variety of epistemic pluralism. According to this view, certain value conflicts are at present undecidable rather than intrinsic. Consequently, epistemic pluralism countenances the possibility that further argumentation, enhanced reflection, or the acquisition of more information could yield rational resolutions to the kinds of value conflicts that metaphysical pluralists deem irresolvable as such. Talisse’s epistemic pluralism hence prescribes a politics in which deep value conflicts are to be addressed by ongoing argumentation and free engagement among citizens; the epistemic pluralist thus sees liberal democracy is the proper political response to ongoing moral disagreement. While developing his view, Talisse engages central issues in contemporary liberal political theory, including toleration, state neutrality, public justification, and the accommodation of illiberal sub-cultures. This book will be of interest to ethicists, political philosophers, and political scientists. (shrink)
Logical positivism is widely associated with an illiberal technocratic view of politics. This view is a caricature. Some members of the left Vienna circle were explicit in their criticism of this conception of politics. In particular, Neurath's work attempted to link the internal epistemological pluralism and tolerance of logical empiricism with political pluralism and the rejection of a technocratic politics. This paper examines the role that unified science played in Neurath's defence of political and social pluralism. Neurath's (...) project of unified science addressed problems that lie at the centre of recent debates around liberalism concerning the possibility of social co-operation in conditions of pluralism. His response is distinctive in calling upon an empiricist tradition that differs from Kantian proceduralist approaches that have predominated in recent liberalism. While Neurath's position has problems, it deserves reconsideration, especially in so far as it questions the Kantian assumption that a thin language of abstract rights provides the best basis for the cosmopolital lingua franca required by conditions of social pluralism. An investigation of the role that unified science plays in Neurath's politics also gives reasons for revising common misconceptions about the nature of the unity of science programme itself. (shrink)
In this paper I argue against readings of Hertz that overly assimilate him into the thought of late 20th century anti-realists and pluralists. Firstly, as is well-known, various images of the same objects are possible according to Hertz. However, I will argue that this envisaged pluralism concerns the situation before all the evidence is considered i. e. before we can decide whether the images are correct and appropriate. Hertz believes in final and decisive battles of the kind he participated (...) in while doing experiments in electrodynamics. Secondly, I will argue that the concept of representation is still quite appropriately applied to important aspects of images, namely when it comes to fundamental physical equations. In this context Hertz explicitly allows that “characteristics of our image, which claim to represent observable relations of things, do really and correctly correspond to them” (Hertz  1956, 9). A final consideration is Hertz’s consistent appeal to the concept of the hypothesis. I will argue that his use of the concept does not indicate that he contributed to an increasing hypothetization of science, if this trend is understood in a strong sense, i. e. as the belief that the correctness of scientific theories cannot be established for principled reasons. As mentioned, when it comes to experimental evidence Hertz believes in decisive battles. (shrink)
In the Critique of Judgment, Kantattempts to unravel the problem of Übergang that threatens his CopernicanRevolution. Having opened up a ``chasm'' betweensensible and supersensible, betweenepistemological and ontological, Kant facesboth the specter of empirical chaos in whichthe noumenal refuses to conform to theunderstanding's attempts to legislate over themanifold of intuition, and the problem offinding a place for freedom to have effectswithin the seamless phenomenal realm ofefficient causality. Central to Kant's attemptto overcome these problems is his notion of theheautonomy of reflective judging, (...) in whichjudgment subjectively legislates its ownactivity. The net effect of this strategy isto preserve the integrity of the architectonicby permitting judgment use of ontologicalprinciples in regulating its own activity, butalways placing these ontological principlesunder an epistemological ``as if'' that cannot becarried over into the noumenal realm (e.g.,judgment can subjectively operate under theprinciple that the world appears ``as if'' it haspurpose, but this cannot be thought to apply tothe noumenal). Kant shields his architectonicby allowing it to encounter onlyepistemologically neutered noumena. This paperargues that Hick faces an analogousÜbergang problem, explores his``heautonomous'' attempt to blunt the problem,and concludes that the attempt fails, leavingHick with an unresolved problem of``onto-ethical discontinuity.''. (shrink)
Raimon Panikkar is one of the most sophisticated and most profound among contemporary pluralists of religion. His pluralism is radical because it is rooted in the very nature of things, in the pluralism of being itself, beyond all perspectivalism and indeed beyond truth and falsity taken as intellectual categories. I discuss several issues regarding his position. Is he indeed a pluralist or a monist in disguise? Does he do justice to the uniqueness of each religion? Is he not (...) prematurely introducing the eschatological ideal of the harmony of opposites into the historical world where opposites often produce bloody conflicts? (shrink)
This is a collection of John Hick's essays on the understanding of the world's religions as different human responses to the same ultimate transcendent reality. Hicks is in dialogue with contemporary philosophers (some of whom contribute new responses); with Evangelicals; with the Vatican and other both Catholic and Protestant theologians. The book is alive with current argument for all interested in contemporary philosophy of religion and theology.
I describe the emergence of Floridi’s philosophy of information (PI) and information ethics (IE) against the larger backdrop of Information and Computer Ethics (ICE). Among their many strengths, PI and IE offer promising metaphysical and ethical frameworks for a global ICE that holds together globally shared norms with the irreducible differences that define local cultural and ethical traditions. I then review the major defenses and critiques of PI and IE offered by contributors to this special issue, and highlight Floridi’s (...) responses to especially two central problems – the charge of relativism and the meaning of ‹entropy’ in IE. These responses, conjoined with several elaborations of PI and IE offered here by diverse contributors, including important connections with the naturalistic philosophies of Spinoza and other major Western and Eastern figures, thus issue in an expanded and more refined version of PI and IE – one still facing important questions as well as possibilities for further development. (shrink)
Culturally diverse liberal democracies on both sides of the Atlantic are currently faced with serious questions about the education of their future citizens. What is the balance between the need for social cohesion, and at the same time dealing justly with the demands for exemptions and accommodations from cultural and religious minorities? In contemporary Britain, the importance of this question has been recently highlighted by the concern to develop political and educational strategies capable of countering the influence of extremist voices, (...) in both the majority and minority communities. Starting from recent debates in North America about possible accommodations to meet the concerns of non-liberal religious groups, the book goes on to examine several issues centered on education in culturally-diverse societies. Neil Burtonwood argues persuasively that the work of Isaiah Berlin, the British philosopher and historian of ideas, has considerable potential for illuminating questions about a properly liberal response to pluralism, and the education of cultural minority children in a liberal democracy. This is the first book to bring his writing to bear on education. Berlin's liberalism is distinctive in attending to the benefits that individuals gain from their memberships of cultural identity groups and religious communities, while remaining committed to Enlightenment values based on individual freedom. Yet his need to find compromises to balance the claims of individuals and groups makes Berlin's version of liberal pluralism so relevant to many vital questions of education policy and practice that concern philosophers of education today. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- The Roots of Diversity in Pragmatist Thought--James Campbell * The Context of Diversity vs. The Problem of Diversity--William J. Gavin * Reading Dewey and Mouffe on Democratic Norms--Larry A. Hickman * Cultivating Pragmatist Cosmopolitanism: The Diverse Democratic Community after Huntington and Benhabib--Judith M. Green * Democracy: Practice as Needed--Michael Eldridge * Dewey and Levinas on Pluralism, the Other, and Democracy--Jim Garrison * Reconstruction of Philosophy and Inquiry into Human Affairs: Deweyan Pragmatism in Dialogue (...) with the Postmodern Sociology of Zygmunt Bauman--Stefan Neubert and Kersten Reich * Diverse Communities-Dewey's Theory of Democracy as a Challenge for Foucault, Bourdieu, and Rorty--Kersten Reich * The Future of Democratic Diversity. (shrink)
Much has been said on the religious pluralism of John Hick but little attention has been given to a key step in his argument for religious pluralism. This key step is the observation that the universe is religiously ambiguous. Hick himself is ambiguous about what he means by ‘religious ambiguity’. In this essay I will attempt to rectify this ambiguity by analysing the notion of ‘religious ambiguity’ and arguing what interpretation of this term Hick must commit himself to.