Pluralism

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Listen to me: the opposite of radical is superficial, the opposite of liberal is stingy; the opposite of conservative is destructive. Thus I will describe myself as a radical conservative liberal … ~ R. A. Lafferty

Pluralism is the affirmation and acceptance of diversity. The term is used, often in different ways, in the contexts of a wide range of issues of culture, religion and philosophy. In politics, the affirmation of diversity in the interests and beliefs of the citizenry, and the rights of minorities, is one of the most important features of modern democracy. In science, it involves acceptance that many methods, theories or points of view are legitimate or plausible.

See also:
Sectarianism

Quotes[edit]

I have one major rule: Everybody is right. More specifically, everybody — including me — has some important pieces of the truth, and all of those pieces need to be honored, cherished, and included in a more gracious, spacious, and compassionate embrace.
~ Ken Wilber
  • In the "Alexandrian" explanation described above, the multiple from which evolution emerges is both secondary and sinful from its origin: it represents in fact (an idea that smacks of Manicheanism and the Hindu metaphysical systems) broken and pulverized unity. Starting from a very much more modern and completely different point of view, let us assert, as our original postulate, that, the multiple (that is, non-being, if taken in the pure state) being the only rational form of a creatable (creabile) nothingness, the creative act is comprehensible only as a gradual process of arrangement and unification, which amounts to accepting that to create is to unite. And, indeed, there is nothing to prevent our holding that union creates. To the objection that union presupposes already existing elements, I shall answer that physics has just shown us (in the case of mass) that experientially (and for all the protests of "common sense") the moving object exists only as the product of its motion.
  • All earlier pluralist societies destroyed themselves because no one took care of the common good. They abounded in communities but could not sustain community, let alone create it.
  • Peter Drucker, in The New Pluralism Leader to Leader, No. 14 (Fall 1999)
  • Cultural pluralism is the only thing we all have in common.
  • Things are set up as contraries that are not even in the same category. Listen to me: the opposite of radical is superficial, the opposite of liberal is stingy; the opposite of conservative is destructive. Thus I will describe myself as a radical conservative liberal; but certain of the tainted red fish will swear that there can be no such fish as that. Beware of those who use words to mean their opposites. At the same time have pity on them, for usually this trick is their only stock in trade.
  • Numquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate
    • Plurality is never to be posited without necessity.
      • Quaestiones et decisiones in quattuor libros Sententiarum Petri Lombardi [Questions and the decisions of the Sentences of Peter Lombard] (1495), i, dist. 27, qu. 2, K; also in The Development of Logic (1962), by William Calvert Kneale, p. 243; similar statements were common among Scholastic philosophers, at least as early as John Duns (Duns Scotus).
    • Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate.
      • William of Ockham as cited in "The Myth of Occam's Razor" by William Thorburn, in Mind, Vol. 27 (1918), 345-353.
  • At few periods in modern history, has the mission of building pluralistic societies been more important than at present. Celebrating the diversity of perspectives and opinions, faiths and cultures, languages and traditions is a prerequisite to building harmonious and successful societies.
    • Firoz Rasul President of Aga Khan University, in an address to the 2006 Convocation of the Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan, (2 December 2006)
  • The real intent of my writing is not to say, you must think in this way. The real intent is: here are some of the many important facets of this extraordinary Kosmos; have you thought about including them in your own worldview? My work is an attempt to make room in the Kosmos for all of the dimensions, levels, domains, waves, memes, modes, individuals, cultures, and so on ad infinitum. I have one major rule: everybody is right. More specifically, everybody — including me — has some important pieces of the truth, and all of those pieces need to be honored, cherished, and included in a more gracious, spacious, and compassionate embrace. To Freudians I say, Have you looked at Buddhism? To Buddhists I say, Have you studied Freud? To liberals I say, Have you thought about how important some conservative ideas are? To conservatives I say, Can you perhaps include a more liberal perspective? And so on, and so on, and so on... At no point I have ever said: Freud is wrong, Buddha is wrong, liberals are wrong, conservatives are wrong. I have only suggested that they are true but partial. My critical writings have never attacked the central beliefs of any discipline, only the claims that the particular discipline has the only truth — and on those grounds I have often been harsh. But every approach, I honestly believe, is essentially true but partial, true but partial, true but partial.
    And on my own tombstone, I dearly hope that someday they will write: He was true but partial...

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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