The Ethics and Politics of Cultural Preservation

Journal of Value Inquiry 49 (1-2):205-220 (2015)


Multiculturalism is, by this point, a well-worn topic in social and political philosophy. Still, in what follows, I hope to usefully contribute to the philosophical discussion of multiculturalism by asking and trying to answer some foundational questions about the practical significance of cultural membership. Specifically, I want to investigate the normative concerns associated with the goal of preserving culture. In the first part of this article, I raise questions about the ethics of cultural preservation. Is it a permissible or impermissible goal? If it is permissible, is it obligatory or at least praiseworthy? Does it even make sense to treat the fact that something is part of your culture as the primary reason for valuing or doing it? To what extent should the idea of preserving your culture be seen as in conflict with the valuable orientation of being open to learning from all cultures?In the second part, I consider the politics of cultural preservation, a topic that political p ..

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Chike Jeffers
Dalhousie University

References found in this work

Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women?Susan Moller Okin (ed.) - 1999 - Princeton University Press.
Immigration and the Significance of Culture.Samuel Scheffler - 2007 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 35 (2):93–125.
What is Cosmopolitan?Jeremy Waldron - 2000 - Journal of Political Philosophy 8 (2):227–243.

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Citations of this work

The Ethics of Historic Preservation.Erich Hatala Matthes - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (12):786-794.
Multiculturalism, Autonomy, and Language Preservation.Ethan Nowak - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6.
Art and Cultural Heritage: An ASA Curriculum Diversification Guide.Erich Hatala Matthes - 2017 - American Society for Aesthetics, Curriculum Diversification Guides.

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