The politics of cultural diversity : a survey in the liberal-communitarian debate
This thesis explores the politics of cultural diversity through a survey in the debate between liberal and communitarian thinkers. My aim is to show which side of the debate represents a more adequate position in relation to the politics of the existing cultural diversity in western liberal democracies compatible with the claims of multiculturalism which have emerged in the past two decades. In order to do so, I have chosen a selection of philosophers from each group: Alasdair Macintyre, Charles Taylor and Michael Walzer from the communitarians: and John Rawls, Joseph Raz and Will Kymlicka from the liberals. The critical examinations of their arguments which are presented here concern the normative aspects of the problem and concentrate on three main themes: (i) their concept of the self; (ii) their accounts of the foundations of political morality: and (iii) their suggestions for the politics of cultural diversity. Apart from the Introduction and the Conclusion, the thesis consists of two main parts: Part I contains an introduction to the communitarian critique of modernity and liberalism, followed by three chapters on the selected communitarians. In the same way, Part II consists of an introduction to liberal political thought and three chapters on the selected liberal thinkers. In appreciation of the extent to which cultures may differ from each other in their ideal models of morality, the role which culture plays in constituting one's identity and the extent to which it is affected by communal relationships, and the significance of conceptions of the good life in political morality, communitarians' arguments seem more adequate and fruitful than those of their liberal counterparts, in respect of the politics of cultural communities. The politics of cultural diversity. i.e. the political relations between cultural communities, however, seems to be left with modus vivendi models which can be developed into a model of civil association of cultural communities.