By Claes G. Ryn
a superb problem of the twenty-first century is the risk of clash among folks, peoples, and cultures, between and inside societies. In a standard Human floor, Claes Ryn explores the character of this challenge and units forth a thought approximately what's invaluable for peaceable family members to be attainable. Many within the Western global belief in “democracy,” “capitalism,” “liberal tolerance,” “scientific progress,” or “general enlightenment” to address this challenge. even supposing each one of those, appropriately outlined, may well give a contribution towards assuaging disputes, Ryn argues that the matter is far extra advanced and critical than is mostly famous. He purposes that, such a lot essentially, sturdy family members between members and international locations have ethical and cultural preconditions. What can predispose them to mutual recognize and peace? One Western philosophical culture, for which Plato set the trend, continues that the single solution to actual cohesion is for ancient range 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 various Western philosophical culture denies the lifestyles of universality altogether. it really is represented at the present time by means of postmodernist multiculturalism—a view that leaves unanswered the query as to how clash among assorted teams could be avoided. Ryn questions either one of those traditions, arguing for the capability union of universality and particularity. He contends that the 2 don't need to be enemies, yet in truth desire one another. Cultivating person and nationwide particularities is possibly appropriate with strengthening and enriching our universal humanity. This quantity embraces the inspiration of universality, whereas while historicizing it. utilizing wide-ranging examples, Ryn provides a firmly sustained and systematic argument centering in this primary factor. His method is interdisciplinary, discussing not just political rules, but additionally fiction, drama, and different arts. Scholarly and philosophical, yet no longer really good, this ebook will attract common readers in addition to intellectuals.
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Extra resources for A Common Human Ground: Universality and Particularity in a Multicultural World
This will not only threaten its own social cohesion, but will also inevitably undermine international harmony. The view of human nature and society just alluded to was until the last century or two wholly dominant in the Western world. It is similar to beliefs long inﬂuential in the East. A central feature of the traditional Western understanding of the human condition is the mentioned belief that human nature is in constant tension between desires that will enhance and complete existence and ones that, though they may bring short-term satisfaction, are destructive of a deeper harmony of life.
Sociopolitical arrangements can aid but not replace inner moral striving. That this ancient view should not be as popular as modern rationalistic or romantic notions of progress and peace is not difﬁcult to understand, for it places the burden of responsibility squarely on the shoulders of the individual. It makes reform of self the precondition for improving social life. Rationalism and Rousseauism are more comfortable to the particular person in that they emphasize abstract ratiocination or allegedly beautiful sentiment and corresponding political reform as the way to improving human existence, none of which requires painful moral self-scrutiny or prolonged difﬁcult personal action upon self.
This self stands in constant opposition to whatever demeans human existence; it is the potentiality for goodness and union within and among human beings. Because different cultures have spoken of this higher self in many different ways, referring to it in nonsectarian language is appropriate to ecumenical discussion. Babbitt often calls it A Common Ethical Center 41 the “inner check” to indicate that in a crucial respect it is a restraint upon impulse. 3 One reason for Babbitt’s interest in Buddhism is that it seems to him a corrective to a tendency in Western Christianity to become overly dogmatic and metaphysical.
A Common Human Ground: Universality and Particularity in a Multicultural World by Claes G. Ryn