Three Paradigms of Multi-Culturalism

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How should liberal-democratic societies respond to the claims of national, racial, ethnic, and religious minorities for special recognition and group rights to protect their cultures and identities? In this paper, I evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of three paradigms that speak to this issue – the assimilationist ‘melting pot’ paradigm of classical liberalism, the cultural autonomy paradigm of multi-culturalists like Taylor and Kymlicka, and the transformative nationality paradigm of writers like Miller. I argue that depending on historical circumstances, any one of the three paradigms may provide the most reasonable and just resolution to the fact of deep cultural difference.


Keywords: Rival Paradigms of Cultural Difference, Liberalism and Group Rights, Individualism and the Politics of Identity
Stream: Identity and Belonging; the Politics of Diversity; Globalisation
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Prof. Gerald D. Doppelt

Professor, Philosophy, University of California
San Diego, CA, USA

Gerald [Jerry] Doppelt teaches at the University of California, San Diego, where he is a Professor of Philosophy and Science Studies, and holds the position of University Academic Senate Distinguished Teacher. He teaches a wide variety of courses in ethics, political theory, and philosophy of law, covering issues such as social justice, medical paternalism, the death penalty, the abortion debate, affirmative action, the rights of cultural minorities, just war theory, pornography and free speech, and family/gender justice. His publications are in the fields of political philosophy, philosophy of science, and philosophy of technology. The work in political philosophy focuses on evaluating debates over liberalism, conservatism, nationalism, social justice, world poverty and global justice, feminism, just war theory, race, and multi-culturalism.

Ref: D08P0206