Pluralism, Diversity, and Preserving Cultural Communities

Jacob T. Levy

in The Multiculturalism of Fear

Published in print August 2000 | ISBN: 9780198297123
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599767 | DOI:
Pluralism, Diversity, and Preserving Cultural Communities

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Examines and criticizes a number of more common arguments for the moral importance of political action that protects cultural variety. It argues that different cultures do not embody different moralities which are incommensurable and incapable of judging one another. Whatever the truth of the idea of moral or value pluralism, cultural pluralism is not its march through the world. Arguments grounded in diversity fail to take sufficiently seriously the freedom of group members, and lead to an aestheticization of group difference that actively condemns cultural fluidity. Arguments for cultural preservation that are based in collective action problems typically also fail to take group members’ freedom seriously, and require the imputation of preferences to them that the state has no way to truly discern.

Keywords: Isaiah Berlin; collective action; cultural pluralism; cultural preservation; difference; diversity; freedom; moral pluralism; preferences; Charles Taylor

Chapter.  11025 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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