By Claes G. Ryn
an outstanding problem of the twenty-first century is the chance of clash among individuals, peoples, and cultures, between and inside societies. In a standard Human flooring, Claes Ryn explores the character of this challenge and units forth a conception approximately what's priceless for peaceable family members to be attainable. Many within the Western international belief in “democracy,” “capitalism,” “liberal tolerance,” “scientific progress,” or “general enlightenment” to deal with this challenge. even though every one of those, safely outlined, may possibly give a contribution towards assuaging disputes, Ryn argues that the matter is far extra complicated and critical than is mostly well-known. He purposes that, such a lot essentially, sturdy family between contributors and countries have ethical and cultural preconditions. What can predispose them to mutual admire and peace? One Western philosophical culture, for which Plato set the development, continues that the single technique to actual solidarity is for historic variety to yield to universality. The implication of this view for a multicultural international will be a peace that calls for that cultural strong point be effaced so far as attainable and changed with a common tradition. a truly diversified Western philosophical culture denies the life of universality altogether. it really is represented this present day by means of postmodernist multiculturalism—a view that leaves unanswered the query as to how clash among assorted teams should be avoided. Ryn questions either one of those traditions, arguing for the capability union of universality and particularity. He contends that the 2 needn't be enemies, yet in truth want one another. Cultivating person and nationwide particularities is in all probability appropriate with strengthening and enriching our universal humanity. This quantity embraces the idea of universality, whereas whilst historicizing it. utilizing wide-ranging examples, Ryn offers a firmly sustained and systematic argument centering in this primary factor. His strategy is interdisciplinary, discussing not just political principles, but in addition fiction, drama, and different arts. Scholarly and philosophical, yet now not really expert, this ebook will entice common readers in addition to intellectuals.
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Extra resources for A Common Human Ground: Universality and Particularity in a Multicultural World
Fashion, especially as shaped by the entertainment industry, and advertising powerfully affect their tastes. The personal lives of many modern human beings brings to mind the kind of personality that Plato associates with “democratic” society. 34 A Common Human Ground The Republic may be criticized for a one-sided view of popular government, but its account of “democratic man” appears to describe strong trends in today’s Western society: [Democratic man] lives from day to day, indulging the pleasure of the moment.
A better life, they argue, depends on man’s applying science and rationality, as they deﬁne them, to the problems of life. Improving human existence is a matter of restructuring society in accordance with scientiﬁc insights. The issue of moral character as traditionally deﬁned seems to the Enlightenment rationalists marginal or irrelevant. Rousseauistic sentimental virtue and Enlightenment rationalism might seem to represent entirely different approaches to life, but they share elements that have made them frequent allies, both theoretically 2.
Though the point has in a way already been made, it may be useful to emphasize that the highest common ground between societies and civilizations must not be confused with whatever consensus may exist among peoples or societies at a particular time. The “mainstream” of opinion is sometimes in sharp conﬂict with humanity’s highest standards. This kind of consensus may be little more than superﬁcial fashionable views or a “herd” mentality whipped up by demagogues. Neither should the humility just described be confused with a pursuit of mediocrity or with the kind of “slave morality” that Nietzsche condemned.
A Common Human Ground: Universality and Particularity in a Multicultural World by Claes G. Ryn