Chapter

‘Nous’ et ‘les Autres’ The Politics of Complex Cultural Dialogue in a Global Civilization

Seyla Benhabib

in Multicultural Questions

Published in print October 1999 | ISBN: 9780198296102
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599583 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019829610X.003.0003
 ‘Nous’ et ‘les Autres’ The Politics of Complex Cultural Dialogue in a Global Civilization

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Seyla Benhabib's case for universalism is somewhat more cautious. She approaches the lead question through the negative, by contesting various fashionable versions of cognitive relativism, radical incommensurability, and untranslatability. She then shows the untenability of the (mosaic) multicultural version of relativism. Such relativism, Benhabib says, is ‘poor man's sociology’, relying upon a holistic view of cultures and societies (even evident in the work of Kymlicka) that is at odds with our mixed‐up global world, a context‐transcending ‘pluralist universalism’ becomes ever more a necessity, but fortunately also a reality.

Keywords: cultural preservation; Will Kymlicka; liberalism; relativism; societal culture; universalism

Chapter.  8431 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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