About this topic
Summary In ethics, a pluralist view is one that assumes that more than one principle or value provides the foundation for a certain ethical domain: in morality; in value theory (including but not restricted to moral theory); in politics; in aesthetics, and so on. Pluralism as such contrasts with monism, the view that there is only one basic principle or value in such domains. Monist views in moral theory include utilitarianism, divine command theory, and Kant's moral theory at least on some readings. Hedonism is a monist view in value theory: only pleasure is valuable for its own sake. Pluralist views include, for example, Ross's deontology and 18th c. ethical rationalism (Clarke, Price) whereby there are several basic, irreducible, duties; so-called 'ideal utilitarianism', whereby there are many goods besides pleasure that require to be promoted; so-called 'objective list' theories of well-being, whereby different elements (pleasure, knowledge, achievement, personal relationships etc.) compose a person's well-being; and some versions of virtue ethics - on which there is no single master virtue but different and possibly diverging ones (say, benevolence and justice). In the political area, Rawls's two principles of justice provide another example of pluralism, in this minimal sense outlined. Key questions under consideration include the arguments for and against pluralism (within one or more of these areas), how a pluralist view ought to deal with conflicts between heterogeneous principles or values, and whether some sort of unification of different values can be achieved without slipping into monism.
Key works Ross 1930 is a milestone for the elaboration of pluralist views both in morality and value theory. Bernard Williams provides arguments against monism based on the notion of rational regret, in his 'Ethical Consistency' (in Williams 1973). An important book-length defense of pluralism and its practical viability is Stocker 1989. Another defense is given by Nagel in 'The Fragmentation of Value' (in Nagel 1979). Hurka 1996 replies to some of the arguments for pluralism. Swanton 2003 provides a model for a pluralist virtue ethics based on the idea of different appropriate responses to value irreducible to one single kind of attitude. Similar points are raised, mainly against monism of a consequentialist sort, in Anderson 1993. In the political area, but still relevant to the overall debate on ethical pluralism, the classic is Berlin 2002. Hurka 2010 is an accessible statement of a working value theory that is at least pluralistic in spirit.
Introductions Mason 2008, Heathwood 2015, Schroeder 2008,
Related categories

78 found
Order:
1 — 50 / 78
  1. Value in Ethics and Economics.Elizabeth Anderson - 1993 - Harvard University Press.
    Women as commercial baby factories, nature as an economic resource, life as one big shopping mall: This is what we get when we use the market as a common ...
  2. Value Pluralism Does Not Support Liberalism.Richard J. Arneson - unknown
    Following hints in the writings of Isaiah Berlin, some political theorists hold that the thesis of value pluralism is true and that this truth provides support for political liberalism of a sort that prescribes wide guarantees of individual liberty.1 There are many different goods, and they are incommensurable. Hence, people should be left free to live their own lives as they choose so long as they don’t harm others in certain ways. In a free society there is a strong presumption (...)
  3. Pluralism Within the Limits of Reason Alone? Habermas and the Discursive Negotiation of Consensus.Samantha Ashenden - 1998 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 1 (3):117-136.
  4. Biocentric Consequentialism and Value-Pluralism: A Response to Alan Carter.Robin Attfield - 2005 - Utilitas 17 (1):85-92.
    My theory of biocentric consequentialism is first shown not to be significantly inegalitarian, despite not advocating treating all creatures equally. I then respond to Carter's objections concerning population, species extinctions, the supposed minimax implication, endangered interests, autonomy and thought-experiments. Biocentric consequentialism is capable of supporting a sustainable human population at a level compatible with preserving most non-human species, as opposed to catastrophic population increases or catastrophic decimation. Nor is it undermined by the mere conceivable possibility of counter-intuitive implications. While Carter (...)
  5. Giustizia E Conflitti di Valori (Justice and Conflicts of Values).Elvio Baccarini - 2011 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 11 (2):249-255.
  6. Isaiah Berlin: Liberty and Pluralism.Tani E. Barlow - 2006 - Contemporary Political Theory 5 (3):358-360.
  7. The Dissociative and Polemical Political: Chantal Mouffe and the Intellectual Heritage of Carl Schmitt.Martin Beckstein - unknown
    In her more recent work, Chantal Mouffe enters into what she calls a 'dialogue' with Carl Schmitt on the political. So far, interpretations of this dialogue suggest that Mouffe attempts to revise Schmitt's friend/enemy-distinction and carve out a theory of agonistic pluralism. An interpretation on these grounds, this article argues, reduces the dialogue to its analytical dimension and cannot comfortably be upheld. Mouffe indeed appropriates Schmitt's friend/enemy-distinction, but she also gets inspired by the metatheoretical facet of his intellectual heritage with (...)
  8. Healthcare for Unique Individuals: What We Can Learn From Santayana.Michael Brodrick - 2015 - Bulletin of the Santayana Society 33 (33):45-55.
  9. The Meaning of Pluralism.H. G. Callaway - 2008 - In William James, A Pluralistic Universe, A New Reading.
    American philosopher William James (1842-1910) traveled to Oxford, England and Manchester College in 1908. Between 4 May and 28 May, he deliver the Hibbert Lectures, which were originally published in 1909 as A Pluralistic Universe. This was to be the last major book James published during his lifetime. Manchester College had been founded in the English city of Manchester in 1786 for the education of nonconformists, and moved to Oxford in 1888. Some considerable emphasis on religion in the Hibbert Lectures (...)
  10. William James, A Pluralistic Universe: A New Philosophical Reading.H. G. Callaway (ed.) - 2008 - Cambridge Scholars Press.
    This book is my new scholarly edition of William James, A Pluralistic Universe. The original text has been recovered, annotations to the text added to identify James' authors and events of interest, there is a new bibliography chiefly based on James' sources, a brief chronology of James' career, and I have added an expository and critical Introduction and a comprehensive analytical index.
  11. Liberalism and Pluralism: The Politics of E Pluribus Unum.Craig L. Carr - 2010 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    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 -- (...)
  12. Putting Together Morality and Well-Being.Ruth Chang - 2004 - In Peter Baumann & Monika Betzler (eds.), Practical Conflicts: New Philosophical Essays. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 118--158.
    Conflicts between morality and prudence are often thought to pose a special problem because the normativity of moral considerations derives from a distinctively moral point of view, while the normativity of prudential considerations derives from a distinctively prudential point of view, and there is no way to ‘put together’ the two points of view. I argue that talk of points of view is a red herring, and that for any ‘prumoral’ conflict there is some or other more comprehensive value – (...)
  13. Don't Blame the 'Bio' — Blame the 'Ethics': Varieties of (Bio) Ethics and the Challenge of Pluralism. [REVIEW]Max Charlesworth - 2005 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 2 (1):10-17.
    We tend to think that the difficulties in bioethics spring from the novel and alarming issues that arise due to discoveries in the new biosciences and biotechnologies. But many of the crucial difficulties in bioethics arise from the assumptions we make about ethics. This paper offers a brief overview of bioethics, and relates ethical ‘principlism’ to ‘ethical fundamentalism’. It then reviews some alternative approaches that have emerged during the second phase of bioethics, and argues for a neo-Aristotelian approach. Misconceptions about (...)
  14. Dimensions of Consequentialism: Ethics, Equality, and Risk. [REVIEW]Michael Cholbi - 2013 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2013:1-2.
  15. Institutional Pluralism and the Limits of the Market.Rutger J. G. Claassen - 2009 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 8 (4):420-447.
    This paper proposes a theory of institutional pluralism to deal with the question whether and to what extent limits should be placed on the market. It reconceives the pluralist position as it was presented by Michael Walzer and others in several respects. First, it argues that the options on the institutional menu should not be principles of distribution but rather economic mechanisms or ‘modes of provision’. This marks a shift from a distributive to a provisional logic. Second, it argues that (...)
  16. Value Pluralism, Diversity and Liberalism.George Crowder - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (3):549-564.
    Few would disagree that contemporary society is characterized by ‘pluralism’, but what this means is widely disputed. Among the many senses of pluralism current in contemporary political theory, ‘value pluralism’ is one of the most keenly contested. The classic account is found in Isaiah Berlin, who sees basic human values as irreducibly multiple, often conflicting, and sometimes incommensurable with one another.Berlin’s pluralist views are scattered throughout his work, but major statements include the Introduction and last section of ‘Two Concepts of (...)
  17. Liberalism and Value Pluralism.George Crowder - 2002 - Continuum.
    This is the first book-length defence of liberalism on the basis of value pluralism, complementing and extending the work of Berlin and others.
  18. From Value Pluralism to Liberalism.George Crowder - 1998 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 1 (3):2-17.
  19. Fighting Fair: The Ecology of Honor in Humans and Animals.Dan Demetriou - 2015 - In Jonathan Crane (ed.), Beastly Morality. Columbia University Press. pp. 123-154.
    This essay distinguishes between honor-typical and authoritarian behavior in humans and animals. Whereas authoritarianism concerns hierarchies coordinated by control and obedience, honor concerns rankings of prestige determined by fair contests. Honor-typical behavior is identifiable in non-human species, and is to be expected in polygynous species with non-resource-based mating systems. This picture lends further support to an increasingly popular psychological theory that sees morality as constituted by a variety of moral systems. If moral cognition is pluralistic in this way, then the (...)
  20. Pluralism and Integrity.Pavlos Eleftheriadis - 2010 - Ratio Juris 23 (3):365-389.
    One of the theoretical developments associated with the law of the European Union has been the flourishing of legal and constitutional theories that extol the virtues of pluralism. Pluralism in constitutional theory is offered in particular as a novel argument for the denial of unity within a framework of constitutional government. This paper argues that pluralism fails to respect the value of integrity. It also shows that at least one pluralist theory seeks to overcome the incoherence of pluralism by implicitly (...)
  21. Can Modus Vivendi Save Liberalism From Moralism? A Critical Assessment of John Gray's Political Realism.Rossi Enzo - forthcoming - In John Horton, Manon Westphal & Ulrich Willems (eds.), The Political Theory of Modus Vivendi. Dordrecht: Springer.
    I argue that John Gray's modus vivendi-based justification for liberalism is preferable to the more orthodox deontological or teleological justificatory strategies, at least because of the way it can deal with the problem of diversity. But then I show how that is not good news for liberalism, for grounding liberal political authority in a modus vivendi undermines liberalism’s aspiration to occupy a privileged normative position vis-à-vis other kinds of regimes. So modus vivendi can save liberalism from moralism, but at cost (...)
  22. Bioregionalism and Cross-Cultural Dialogue on a Land Ethic.Richard Evanoff - 2007 - Ethics, Place and Environment 10 (2):141 – 156.
    This paper argues against the view that a single environmental ethic can be formulated that could be universally applied in all geographic settings and across cultures. The paper specifically criticizes Callicott's proposal that Leopold's land ethic be adopted as a global environment ethic, and develops an alternative bioregional perspective which suggests that while there can be a great deal of variety in how different cultures think about and interact with their local environments, there is nonetheless the need for cross-cultural dialogue (...)
  23. Reflexive Pluralism.A. Ferrara - 2010 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 36 (3-4):353-364.
    Reflexive pluralism is here put forward as the conception that is most reasonable for supporters of political liberalism to hold at a period when the reasons justifying acceptance of political and religious pluralism seem inadequate.
  24. Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy.Maria Paola Ferretti - 2006
    Since the 1950`s in Britain, and perhaps in the rest of the world, the term pluralism is almost invariably associated with the name of Isaiah Berlin and his formulation of ‘value pluralism’. The core idea is that values (but also, on some interpretations, ends, duties and obligations) are irreducibly plural and heterogeneous, and nevertheless objective.
  25. Pluralism.Maria Paola Ferretti - 2006 - In A. C. Grayling Andrew Pyle (ed.), The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy. pp. 2528-2530.
    Since the 1950`s in Britain, and perhaps in the rest of the world, the term pluralism is almost invariably associated with the name of Isaiah Berlin and his formulation of ‘value pluralism’. The core idea is that values (but also, on some interpretations, ends, duties and obligations) are irreducibly plural and heterogeneous, and nevertheless objective (...).
  26. Value Pluralism and Coherentist Justification of Ethical Advice.Ellen-Marie Forsberg - 2007 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 20 (1):81-97.
    Liberal societies are characterized by respect for a fundamental value pluralism; i.e., respect for individuals’ rights to live by their own conception of the good. Still, the state must make decisions that privilege some values at the cost of others. When public ethics committees give substantial ethical advice on policy related issues, it is therefore important that this advice is well justified. The use of explicit tools for ethical assessment can contribute to justifying advice. In this article, I will discuss (...)
  27. Liberal Pluralism: A Reply to Talisse.William Galston - 2004 - Contemporary Political Theory 3 (2):140-147.
    Liberal pluralism is a comprehensive account and justification of liberal democracy that rests on three premises: an account of the structure of morality ; an account of the structure of political life ; and an account of action oriented toward a conception of the good . In a critique, Robert Talisse contends that no coherent path can lead from value pluralism to the justification of liberalism. The only coherent options are to: affirm value pluralism while denying the general validity of (...)
  28. Liberal Pluralism: The Implications of Value Pluralism for Political Theory and Practice.William A. Galston - 2003 - Political Theory 31 (6):891-896.
    William Galston is a distinguished political philosopher whose work is informed by the experience of having also served from 1993–5 as President Clinton's Deputy Assistant for Domestic Policy. He is thus able to speak with an authority unique amongst political theorists about the implications of advancing certain moral and political values in practice. The foundational argument of this 2002 book is that liberalism is compatible with the value pluralism first espoused by Isaiah Berlin. William Galston defends a version of value (...)
  29. Liberal Pluralism: The Implications of Value Pluralism for Political Theory and Practice.William A. Galston - 2002 - Cambridge University Press.
    William Galston is a distinguished political philosopher whose work is informed by the experience of having also served from 1993–5 as President Clinton's Deputy Assistant for Domestic Policy. He is thus able to speak with an authority unique amongst political theorists about the implications of advancing certain moral and political values in practice. The foundational argument of this 2002 book is that liberalism is compatible with the value pluralism first espoused by Isaiah Berlin. William Galston defends a version of value (...)
  30. [Book Review] Liberal Purposes, Goods, Virtues, and Diversity in the Liberal State. [REVIEW]William A. Galston - 1992 - Ethics 103 (2):393-397.
    This book is a major contribution to the current theory of liberalism by an eminent political theorist. It challenges the views of such theorists as Rawls, Dworkin, and Ackerman who believe that the essence of liberalism is that it should remain neutral concerning different ways of life and individual conceptions of what is good or valuable. Professor Galston argues that the modern liberal state is committed to a distinctive conception of the human good, and to that end has developed characteristic (...)
  31. Liberal Purposes: Goods, Virtues, and Diversity in the Liberal State.William A. Galston - 1991 - Cambridge University Press.
    This book is a major contribution to the current theory of liberalism by an eminent political theorist. It challenges the views of such theorists as Rawls, Dworkin, and Ackerman who believe that the essence of liberalism is that it should remain neutral concerning different ways of life and individual conceptions of what is good or valuable. Professor Galston argues that the modern liberal state is committed to a distinctive conception of the human good, and to that end has developed characteristic (...)
  32. Reasonable Pluralism and the Domain of the Political: How the Weaknesses of John Rawls's Political Liberalism Can Be Overcome by a Justificatory Liberalism.Gerald F. Gaus - 1999 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 42 (2):259 – 284.
    Under free institutions the exercise of human reason leads to a plurality of reasonable, yet irreconcilable doctrines. Rawls's political liberalism is intended as a response to this fundamental feature of modern democratic life. Justifying coercive political power by appeal to any one (or sample) of these doctrines is, Rawls believes, oppressive and illiberal. If we are to achieve unity without oppression, he tells us, we must all affirm a public political conception that is supported by these diverse reasonable doctrines. The (...)
  33. The Pluralistic Universe of Law: Towards a Neo-Classical Legal Pragmatism.Susan Haack - 2008 - Ratio Juris 21 (4):453-480.
    After a brief sketch of the history of philosophical pragmatism generally, and of legal pragmatism specifically (section 1), this paper develops a new, neo-classical legal pragmatism: a theory of law drawing in part on Holmes, but also on ideas from the classical pragmatist tradition in philosophy. Main themes are the "pluralistic universe" of law (section 2); the evolution of legal systems (section 3); the place of logic in the law (section 4); and the relation of law and morality (section 5).
  34. Monism and Pluralism About Value.Chris Heathwood - 2015 - In Iwao Hirose & Jonas Olson (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Value Theory. Oxford University Press. pp. 136-157.
    This essay discusses monism and pluralism about two related evaluative notions: welfare, or what makes people better off, and value simpliciter, or what makes the world better. These are stipulatively referred to as 'axiological value'. Axiological value property monists hold that one of these notions is reducible to the other (or else eliminable), while axiological value property pluralists deny this. Substantive monists about axiological value hold that there is just one basic kind of thing that makes our lives or the (...)
  35. On Reconciling Happiness and Autonomy.Lewis P. Hinchman - 1991 - The Owl of Minerva 23 (1):29-48.
  36. Virtue Ethics From a Global Perspective: A Pluralistic Framework for Understanding Moral Virtues.Lawrence M. Hinman, Alcalá Park & San Diego - unknown
    The title of our session today is “Virtue Ethics from a Global Perspective.” In my remarks, I would like to sketch out an account of what a global perspective on virtue ethics would look like. Here’s how I’ll proceed. First, I would like to explore some of the reasons why we need a global perspective on virtue ethics. This leads naturally to the second issue, which is a clarification of what we mean by a global perspective on virtue ethics. I (...)
  37. The Impossibility of Political Neutrality.Noriaki Iwasa - 2010 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 10 (2):147-155.
    For some contemporary liberal philosophers, a huge concern is liberal neutrality, which is the idea that the state should be neutral among competing conceptions of the moral good pursued by the people. In The Morality of Freedom, Joseph Raz argues that we can neither achieve nor even approximate such neutrality. He shows that neutrality and fairness are different ideas. His notion of neutrality is stricter than John Rawls's and Ronald Dworkin's. Raz shows that both helping and not helping can be (...)
  38. Democracy in a Multireligious and Cultural Setting: The Nigerian Context.Marinus Iwuchukwu - 2003 - World Futures 59 (5):381 – 390.
    Nigeria is indeed a typical pluralistic society with innumerable differences in culture, ethnicity, tribe, religion, and class. Yet there exists in Nigeria certain dominant cultures, ethnic nationalities, religions, and classes. In some parts of the country the influence of a dominant culture or ethnic group is more pronounced than in others. This paper is therefore an attempt to look into our pluralism and see how it can enhance the development and promotion of democracy in the country. This paper will address (...)
  39. A Pluralistic Universe: Hibbert Lectures at Manchester College on the Present Situation in Philosophy, by William James; A New Philosophical Reading.William James (ed.) - 2008 - Cambridge Scholars Press.
    This new edition of William James’s 1909 classic, A Pluralistic Universe reproduces the original text, only modernizing the spelling. The books has been annotated throughout to clarify James’s points of reference and discussion. There is a new, fuller index, a brief chronology of James’s life, and a new bibliography—chiefly based on James’s own references. The editor, H.G. Callaway, has included a new Introduction which elucidates the legacy of Jamesian pluralism to survey some related questions of contemporary American society. -/- A (...)
  40. Moral Pluralism and Conflict.Ferrell Jason - 2014 - Journal of Political Science 42.
    Institutions have often been characterized as responses to conflict, and assumptions about the nature of conflict have frequently determined the structure and scope of political activity. Two prevalent interpretations of conflict portray it as either a conflict of interest or a competition for resources. Yet there is another view of conflict that regards it in terms of a contest of values, something that raises a different set of questions and issues. These issues involve concerns about the incommensurability and incompatibility of (...)
  41. 'Nicolai Hartmann: Proper Ethics is Atheistic (Dordrecht; Boston; London, 2002), Pp. 175-96'.Robert Welsh Jordan - 2002 - In John J. Drummond Lester Embree (ed.), Phenomenological Approaches to Moral Philosophy. A Handbook. Kluwer Academic Publishers.
    Hartmann's axiology is intuitionist like that of Max Scheler and acknowledges ,like Scheler's a hierarchy of ideal values. The two also agree that the primary intuitive consciousness of axiotic traits is emotional. Values themselves are ideal entities entailing laws regarding what ought to be and what ought to be done. The requirements about what ought to be are more likely to come into prominence or exigence for the emotional sense of what is of value when real, temporal things are not (...)
  42. [Book Review] Against Liberalism. [REVIEW]John Kekes - 1997 - Ethics 108 (3):602-606.
  43. The Morality of Pluralism.John Kekes - 1993 - Princeton University Press.
  44. A Relative Defence.Michael Lacewing - 2002 - Think 3 (3):69-75.
    I defend a form of moral relativism that draws upon value pluralism and incommensurability.
  45. An Alternative to Moral Relativism.Lawrence Lengbeyer - 2010 - In Christina Hoff Sommers & Fred Sommers (eds.), Vice and Virtue in Everyday Life. Wadsworth.
  46. Ethical Pluralism: An Alternative to Objectivism and Relativism.Lawrence Lengbeyer - 2004 - Teaching Ethics 5 (1):23-29.
  47. What It Means to Be a Pluralist.Jacob T. Levy - manuscript
    Michael Walzer has made great contributions to the appreciation of both moral and cultural pluralism in political theory. Nonetheless, there are ways in which Walzer's arguments appear anti-pluralistic. The question of this essay is: why is there so little pluralism in Walzer's political theory, or why does its pluralism run out so soon? Focusing on Spheres of Justice and Nation and Universe, it examines the effect of Walzer's nationalism/statism on his theory, and the constraints his theory faces in considering multiculturalism (...)
  48. Review of David Wong, Natural Moralities: A Defense of Pluralistic Relativism.Diego E. Machuca - 2009 - Philosophy in Review 29 (2):148-150.
  49. Moral Coherence and Principle Pluralism.Patricia Marino - 2014 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 11 (6):727-749.
    This paper develops and defends a conception of moral coherence that is suitable for use in contexts of principle pluralism. I argue that, as they are traditionally understood, coherence methods stack the deck against pluralist theories, by incorporating norms such as systematicity—that the principles of a theory should be as few and as simple as possible. I develop and defend an alternative, minimal, conception of coherence that focuses instead on consistency. It has been suggested that consistency in this context should (...)
  50. Value Pluralism.Elinor Mason - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
1 — 50 / 78