By Claes G. Ryn
a very good problem of the twenty-first century is the chance of clash among people, peoples, and cultures, between and inside of societies. In a standard Human floor, Claes Ryn explores the character of this challenge and units forth a concept approximately what's helpful for peaceable kin to be attainable. Many within the Western international belief in “democracy,” “capitalism,” “liberal tolerance,” “scientific progress,” or “general enlightenment” to address this challenge. even supposing every one of those, adequately outlined, may perhaps give a contribution towards assuaging disputes, Ryn argues that the matter is way extra advanced and significant than is generally famous. He purposes that, such a lot essentially, stable family between participants and countries have ethical and cultural preconditions. What can predispose them to mutual appreciate and peace? One Western philosophical culture, for which Plato set the trend, continues that the one technique to actual cohesion is for ancient variety to yield to universality. The implication of this view for a multicultural international will be a peace that calls for that cultural specialty be effaced so far as attainable and changed with a common tradition. a truly diverse Western philosophical culture denies the life of universality altogether. it truly is represented at the present time by way of postmodernist multiculturalism—a view that leaves unanswered the query as to how clash among diversified teams will be prevented. Ryn questions either one of those traditions, arguing for the aptitude union of universality and particularity. He contends that the 2 needn't be enemies, yet actually want one another. Cultivating person and nationwide particularities is almost certainly suitable with strengthening and enriching our universal humanity. This quantity embraces the suggestion of universality, whereas even as historicizing it. utilizing wide-ranging examples, Ryn provides a firmly sustained and systematic argument centering in this imperative factor. His process is interdisciplinary, discussing not just political rules, but additionally fiction, drama, and different arts. Scholarly and philosophical, yet now not really expert, this ebook will attract basic readers in addition to intellectuals.
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Extra resources for A Common Human Ground: Universality and Particularity in a Multicultural World
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.
To understand the past is to understand oneself and contemporary society better. To study history does not serve an antiquarian purpose but is the necessary foundation for well-informed, wise action. ”2 Each people has less than admirable traits and inheritances of which it would do well to try to divest itself, but a people also cannot give its best without being itself, without its present efforts somehow expressing, or being adapted to, its historically evolved cultural identity. Every other kind of effort would be mechanical imitation of alien patterns, an artiﬁcial appendage possibly destructive of that identity.
In so doing it does in a sense create independence from the past. Though deeply indebted to the exemplars of a tradition, a creative individual, Croce writes, “works afresh from 3. Edmund Burke, Reﬂections on the Revolution in France (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1987), 19, 30; Croce, Story of Liberty, 302; Babbitt, Rousseau and Romanticism, lxxiii (emphasis in original). 4. Croce, Story of Liberty, 355; Irving Babbitt, Democracy and Leadership (New York: Houghton Mifﬂin, 1924; with a new foreword, Indianapolis: Liberty Classics, 1979), 127–28.
A Common Human Ground: Universality and Particularity in a Multicultural World by Claes G. Ryn