While Richard Rorty’s general views on truth, objectivity, and relativism continue to attract much attention from professional philosophers, some of his contributions to ethical theory have thus far been remarkably neglected. In other work, I have begun the task of sketching what a Rortyan approach to traditional questions in meta-ethics might look like.1 Here, however, I shall attempt to summarize and evaluate some of the contributions that Rorty has made to important debates in first-order normative theory. More specifically, my attention will be devoted primarily to the question of what moral obligations of respect and tolerance, if any, we have towards those who act out of moral frameworks which are divergent from our own. The paper proceeds in three parts. In the first section, I suggest that one promising way of approaching ethical issues about tolerance is through the somewhat novel strategy of first clearly differentiating the various forms of moral relativism. With this background in place, we can then proceed in section two to the details of Rorty’s own view. Finally, the paper concludes with some worries about the plausibility, coherence, and stability of Rorty’s positive proposal.
Christian B. Miller
Cultural and Spatial Intimacy in Croatia and Turkey
Jeremy F. Walton
Based on ethnographic research in Croatia and Turkey, this article explores two projects of inter-religious tolerance in relation to broader logics of cultural and spatial intimacy. In the Croatian case, the focus is on the public discourse surrounding Rijeka's Nova Džamija [New Mosque] which pivoted on a perception of the shared victimization of Catholic Croats and Muslim Bosnians at the hands of Serbs during the wars of the 1990s. For Turkey, we focus on a project in Ankara that aims to provide a single site of worship for Sunni and Alevi Muslims, a 'mosque-cem house'. The analysis highlights some common formations of tolerance and cultural intimacy expressed by both projects, as well as the divergent spatial practices and modes of spatial intimacy that distinguish the two sites.
The Case of the USA
Adam B. Seligman
The separation of church and state in the USA and the critical role of disestablishment in the political doctrines of that country is no indication of a secular polity. In fact, the separation of church and state as developed in 18th century American political thought was itself a religious doctrine and rested on the unique religious beliefs of certain Protestant Churches there. One consequence of this particular mode of accommodating religion has meant that the challenge of pluralism and difference in the United States of America is met, most often, by liberal indifference. Differences are trivialized, aethetisized and, more critically, privatized. They are shielded from public scrutiny and conceptualized as irrelevant to public concern. This is an increasingly inadequate response to the challenge of difference and the plurality of the human experience. Challenges to contemporary modes of accommodating religious and ethnic pluralism are necessitating the formulation of new sets of answers which are not based on such Protestant or post-Protestant assumptions.
This article examines the tension between liberalism and Orthodoxy in Israel as it relates to censorship. The first section aims to explain Israel's vulnerability as a multicultural democracy in a hostile region, with significant schisms that divide the nation. The next section presents the dilemma: should Israel employ legal mechanisms to counter hate speech and racism? The third section details the legal framework, while the fourth reviews recent cases in which political radicals were prosecuted for incitement to racism. The final section discusses cases in which football supporters were charged with incitement after chanting “Death to Arabs“ during matches. I argue that the state should consider the costs and risks of allowing hate speech and balance these against the costs and risks to democracy and free speech that are associated with censorship.
Tutzing Evangelische Akademie, 20 May 2006
Minister Steinmeier has been very generous in his remarks – for which I thank him most sincerely. And I would like to take this occasion at the opening of these comments, to tell him how much all the people who work with me around the world appreciate the support and the partnership of the people and Government of Germany in the work that we are doing. You have brought imagination, you have brought sophistication, you have brought flexibility to areas of need, areas of intellectual activity, which we consider unique, and I thank you for that.
or national identity or that see the play as espousing a precociously liberal view of tolerance have tended to dominate recent scholarly analysis of the play. 3 The increasing interest in both Shakespeare’s own religious identity and the role of
Lessons Learned from Teaching The Merchant of Venice in Israel
Esther B. Schupak
play – even when taught carefully and sensitively – may serve to reify and disseminate antisemitic stereotypes, thus subtly promoting antisemitism. It has often been argued that Merchant can be used to teach tolerance and to fight societal evils
Refugees, Resentment and the Clash of Solidarities
test the very ideas upon which the European Union was founded: human rights, tolerance and the free movement of people. Hostile responses to the plight of refugees indicate the exclusive primacy of one’s tribe over the needs of others. When faced with
Art, Infrastructure, and Eduardo Chillida's Unbuilt Monument to Tolerance
Eduardo Chillida's Monument to Tolerance— a huge cube to be excavated in the mountain of Tindaya, featuring two ‘chimneys’ that would let in the sunlight and moonlight and an entry tunnel that doubled as a viewing platform. The extraction of 200,000 cubic
The Uneasy Case of Salvation Religions
William A. Edmundson
than slanted toward tolerance. Pascal (Il n'était pas Charlie) took the burdens of judgment as a decisive reason to wager on – and to obey – an intolerant and jealous God. But political liberalism must reject any such reasoning as unreasonable. (As