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Respect as the Ethic of the Open Society

Gattei, Stefano Respect as the Ethic of the Open Society. Learning for Democracy, 2 (3). pp. 5-20. (2006)

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Karl Popper’s description of the open society in terms of respect, rather than mere tolerance, appears to be highly relevant today. Although he never explicitly addressed the issues of multiculturalism and valuepluralism in contemporary societies, Popper’s idea of respect provides an effective way to approach them. For, on the one hand, it may help to reframe current debates about multiculturalism in clearer terms. On the other, it provides a critical assessment of the widespread relativism that presents itself as a sort of panacea of all theoretical and practical problems posed by the cohabitation of groups sharing different values and worldviews. On closer scrutiny, political relativism – just as its epistemological counterpart – is not only entirely inadequate but also dangerous for the very existence of the open society. A serious look at the present situation suggests, rather, the adoption of a principle of reciprocity that is consistent with Popper’s critical pluralism and might prove to be effective in addressing the problems faced by a multicultural society.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Research Area: Economics and Institutional Change
Depositing User: Stefano Gattei
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2011 10:26
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2011 14:24
URI: http://eprints.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/66

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