Value Pluralism: Crucial Complexities

Abstract

Discussing the crucifix case, Beata Polanowska-Sygulska concludes that the decision on appeal fits with Berlinian value pluralism, while the initial judgement was ethically monist. Her assumption is that pluralism favours cultural diversity against uniform law. This assumption is too simple and needs to be qualified by several considerations. First, we should be clear that, under pluralism, a moral question may have ‘one right answer’ if this is contextual. Second, so far as pluralism connects with cultural diversity, this has multiple dimensions, applying not just among societies but within them as well. Third, pluralists ought to be concerned primarily with promoting a diversity of values rather than cultures. When these matters are properly taken into account, it can be seen that a uniform law may be more pluralist than a multiplicity of local laws, depending on the circumstances.

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The Journal is devoted to the fundamental issues of empirical and normative social theory, and is directed at social scientists and social philosophers who combine commitment to political and moral enlightenment with argumentative rigour and conceptual clarity. Published articles develop social theorizing in connection with analytical philosophy and philosophy of science.

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