Res Publica

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 107–125

Society Against Societies: The Possibility of Transcultural Criticism


DOI: 10.1007/s11158-007-9028-9

Cite this article as:
Clark, S. Res Publica (2007) 13: 107. doi:10.1007/s11158-007-9028-9


This paper argues against particularism about social criticism of the form presented by Walzer. I contend that while limitation of the scope of criticism depends on the existence of our shared meanings, which are not shared by them, shared meaning itself depends on society. So, an account of society showing that societies are not discrete and mutually inaccessible refutes particularism. I argue for such an account. I deal with the objection that the focus of particularism is culture, not society, and conclude that the conditions of possibility of shared meaning have anti-particularist consequences.


cultureGeertzinterpretationMannparticularismshared meaningsocietyWalzer

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Philosophy and Public PolicyFurness College Lancaster UniversityLancasterUK