Defending diversity: contemporary philosophical perspectives by Lawrence Foster

By Lawrence Foster

Lately the results of "multiculturalism" for American society were the topic of a lot debate. to a couple, the time period has come to indicate the fragmentation of culture and the coherent values that derive from it. To others, it indications the arrival of a extra inclusive, tolerant, and really democratic society. Drawing on philosophy's longstanding problem with problems with pluralism and relativism, at the traditions of yankee pragmatism, and on sleek theoretical strategies, the essays during this quantity carry readability to this dialogue via reading the underlying values and assumptions of every part. They current a diverse, insightful, and well-reasoned safety of the virtues of range, outdoors in addition to contained in the partitions of the academy.

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One's ally in promoting a moral position on one issue becomes a potential adversary on another issue. The moral worth of accommodation is not only intrinsic but also derives from the worth of other moral ends that are shared. 19 Living with others in productive ways, despite our moral differences with them, can itself be morally valuable. It can be a particularly strong form of respect Page 23 for persons, and being able to show this kind of respect is a sign of moral maturity. The willingness to live with others despite moral differences promotes cooperation on the moral ends that are shared.

While sharing a commitment to diversity the writers are also united in their recognition of the need to respect and negotiate rather than negate differences. But here puzzles and problems abound, and the articles address many of them. For, if diversity and difference in society and the university are to be valued and promoted, as the authors of these pieces argue, then how does one deal with the serious disagreements that such diversity and difference inevitably entailboth within and outside the camp of diversity's advocates?

We also are very grateful to our editor, Paul M. Wright, for sage advice, numerous constructive suggestions, and constant encouragement and support. Notes 1. See, for example, Stephen L. Carter, Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby (New York: Basic Books, 1991), and consider current Associate Justice Clarence Thomas's curious positions and decisions as chair of the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission under President Reagan. 2. See, for example, Paul Feyerabend, Against Method (London: Verso, 1978); Nelson Goodman, Ways of Worldmaking (Indianapolis: Hacket, 1978); and Thomas S.

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