Chapter

PLURALISM, PERSONAL IDENTITY, AND FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE

Kenneth A. Strike

in Citizenship and Education in Liberal-Democratic Societies

Published in print August 2003 | ISBN: 9780199253661
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191601972 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199253668.003.0004
PLURALISM, PERSONAL IDENTITY, AND FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE

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Kenneth Strike’s essay on pluralism, personal identity, and freedom of conscience, takes up the concept of identity, and contrasts cultural and religious pluralism. He argues that the issues of affiliational obligation and recognition are often different in these two types of pluralism, and that religious groups are often asking for something very different from cultural groups. Strike makes a case for a more fluid conception of the idea of identity and against its essentialist form; he holds, e.g. that some of his affiliations are stronger than others and more tied to his sense of a larger self, but it is questionable, he argues, whether any of these affiliations could not be re-evaluated without loss of the larger idea of the self. Strike does allow that members of groups more oppressed than his might certainly rally around the attributes that they hold in common, and he is sympathetic to this strategic function of identity. Nevertheless, he wants to hold onto the individualized and phenomenological conception of identity: identity is whatever the agent feels it to be.

Keywords: affiliational obligation; affiliational recognition; cultural identity; cultural pluralism; freedom of conscience; idea of self; personal affiliations; personal identity; pluralism; religious pluralism

Chapter.  9415 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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