By Claes G. Ryn

  an outstanding problem of the twenty-first century is the chance of clash among individuals, peoples, and cultures, between and inside of societies. In a typical Human flooring, Claes Ryn explores the character of this challenge and units forth a thought approximately what's important for peaceable relatives to be attainable. Many within the Western international belief in “democracy,” “capitalism,” “liberal tolerance,” “scientific progress,” or “general enlightenment” to address this challenge. even though each one of those, effectively outlined, could give a contribution towards assuaging disputes, Ryn argues that the matter is way extra advanced and significant than is mostly famous. He purposes that, such a lot essentially, sturdy family between members 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 development, continues that the one technique to real solidarity is for old range to yield to universality. The implication of this view for a multicultural global will be a peace that calls for that cultural specialty be effaced so far as attainable and changed with a common tradition. a truly diversified Western philosophical culture denies the life of universality altogether. it's represented this present day by way of postmodernist multiculturalism—a view that leaves unanswered the query as to how clash among assorted teams can be prevented. Ryn questions either one of those traditions, arguing for the capability union of universality and particularity. He contends that the 2 needn't be enemies, yet in truth desire one another. Cultivating person and nationwide particularities is very likely appropriate with strengthening and enriching our universal humanity. This quantity embraces the idea of universality, whereas even as historicizing it. utilizing wide-ranging examples, Ryn offers a firmly sustained and systematic argument centering in this primary factor. His technique is interdisciplinary, discussing not just political rules, but additionally fiction, drama, and different arts. Scholarly and philosophical, yet no longer really expert, this e-book 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

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A genuine humanism must grow primarily in a particular cultural soil. But humanism is never closed in upon a single heritage. Genuine humanism is, by its very nature, an opening-up of the human personality to the rich possibilities of the higher life. It wishes to know as much as it can of the values that may enhance existence. That an element of cosmopolitanism is integral to humanism does not make it rootless and free-floating, for a real cosmopolitan is strongly attached to his own primary culture.

In the West, perhaps the most radical and influential challenge to this view of human nature has been that of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778). Rousseau was, among other things, the main intellectual inspiration for the French Jacobins, who spearheaded the French Revolution. Rousseau considers the view of human nature just described to be profoundly mistaken. Contrary to Christianity, he sees in man no lower inclinations, no original sin. Man is born good, and his nature remains good. Man as he once existed in his primitive state, before the appearance of society, was a pure, simple, peaceful, happy creature.

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. Buddhism places less stress on ratiocination than it does on the need to act to change self. Being right on doctrine is for Buddhism less important than acting rightly. ” Babbitt reprimands Westerners who simply assume their superiority over Easterners in moral and religious matters. 4 3. The common element in the higher religions is discussed in Irving Babbitt, “Buddha and the Occident,” in The Dhammapada.

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