The Questionable Questions of Intercultural Philosophy

Orbis Terrarum Nova et Accuratissima Tabula, Pieter Goos (1666)

 

The 9th International Conference on Intercultural Philosophy was held last month at the University of Costa Rica, and went under the banner of ‘Living together: Problems and possibilities in today’s world. An intercultural approximation’. The general objective of the conference was stated as: To know the various dimensions of human living together according to diverse current cultures of the world, particularly as ways of life in today’s societies. The ‘intercultural’ ethos of this particular event consisted in approaching the above objective in a tripartite manner:

1. Each of the various cultures’ perceptions regarding living together; 2. The discussion of the various proposals provided by each culture in relation to living together from an intercultural point of view; 3. The analysis of the possible interpretations of living together for human beings under the current conditions of today’s global society.

Representatives from Korea, Taiwan, Congo, Tunisia, Germany, Austria and much of Central and South America, convened for this occasion in order to share perspectives on the task of living together in the age of globalisation and all its attendant problems (‘…global warming, migration, cultural intolerance, terrorism of various sorts, economical crises…’). Continue reading “The Questionable Questions of Intercultural Philosophy”

Is There a Middle-Ground for Multiculturalism?

Mass migration is a fascinating subject. It’s been happening for hundreds of years and can often be an attributing factor to changes in course of the history of humanity. Personally, I think mass migration is a driving force of progress and inevitably improves the outlook of any society which is host to mass migration over time by virtue of the broadening of the outlook of that society as a whole (for a detailed account of immigration by a renowned philosopher I cannot recommend highly enough On Immigration and Refugees by the great Michael Dummett, in which he condemns the kind of nationalism which leads to suspicion of new comers into a society). Unfortunately this takes time, and can cause serious teething pain for both the host majority and the incoming minority. Continue reading “Is There a Middle-Ground for Multiculturalism?”

Who Needs Multiculturalism? We Do!

The Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday challenged “the doctrine of state multiculturalism”, which he claims to have been misguidedly introduced by the previous British government. In an address to the 47th Munich Security Conference, after taking the utmost care to repeatedly stress the differences between the peacefully practiced faith of Islam and the political ideology of Islamic extremism, the PM proceeded to conclude that the “hands-off” and “passive” tolerance contained within the ideal of multiculturalism in fact seeds tensions between groups by allowing them to live “separate lives, apart from each other and apart from the mainstream”. The PM demanded that the Islamic population in Britain begin to adopt British values, a position he named “muscular liberalism”. Unsurprisingly, the attack on multiculturalism has provoked angered responses, not least because it coincides with the anti-Islamic protests of the nationalist English Defence League in Luton this weekend.

Continue reading “Who Needs Multiculturalism? We Do!”