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Cooperation in the We-Mode and Immigrant Inclusion

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  1. BBC News (October 17, 2010), “Merkel says German multicultural society has failed.” Retrieved from

    BBC News (February 5, 2011), “State multiculturalism has failed, says David Cameron.” Retrieved from

  2. Nasar Meer and Tariq Modood, “The multicultural state we’re in: Muslims, ‘multiculture’ and the ‘civic re-balancing’ of British multiculturalism,” Political Studies 57 (2009), 473–497.

  3. Raimo Tuomela, The Philosophy of Sociality (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), p. 182.

  4. Raimo Tuomela, “Cooperation and the We-Perspective,” Rationality and Commitment, ed. F. Peter and H.-B. Schmid (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 227–257.

  5. For example, John Locke theorizes that a society could be organized so that a free pursuit of individual goals would not always conflict with obeying the laws. In fact, when one follows the laws that acknowledge and promote individual rights, the goal of the Commonwealth, one is made free. John Locke, Two Treatises of Government. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1960), p. 305. Robert Paul Wolff concludes that individuals only follow rules autonomously when they, from their individual perspective, accept that the course of action prescribed by the rules is the right way to proceed in the circumstances. R. P. Wolff, In Defense of Anarchism (London: Harper & Row, 1970), pp. 15–16. However, both Locke and Wolff ignore some ways in which the presence of collective environments motivates individual actions. Individuals can follow rules because of self-interest, but there are also cases when individuals follow rules because they perceive themselves not as individual isolated selves but as group members whose duty it is to follow the group’s rules (or, in part as those who participate in the creation of the rules by which they are bound). I discuss this in more detail in Anna Moltchanova, ‘Rulers, Moralities, and Leadership,’ Leadership and Ethics, eds. J. Boaks and M. Levine (London: Bloomsbury Continuum, 2015), pp. 47–72.

  6. Joseph Raz, ‘Authority, law and morality’, in J. Raz, Ethics in the Public Domain (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), pp. 210–237.

  7. Michael Bratman, “Shared Intention,” Ethics 104 (1) (1993), 97–113.

  8. Margaret Gilbert, On Social Facts (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1989), pp. 197–198, 204–219, 264–273.

  9. When Searle discusses desire-independent reasons for actions created by collective intentionality that assigns value to certain motivations for action, he does not discuss differences in individual motivation for the cases when individuals agree and when they disagree with the rule. John R. Searle, Making the Social World: The Structure of Human Civilization (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 9–16.

  10. Tuomela, The Philosophy of Sociality, p. 92.

  11. Tuomela, “Cooperation and the We-Perspective,” p. 244.

  12. There may be some identity conflicts for individuals, like wearing niqab and being a member of a swim team, but if a specific reasonable accommodation of both is not possible (perhaps USA Swimming regulations cannot be changed because swimmers in full body suits have unfair advantage), the individual can choose to participate in another sport or propose an alternative swim team for those who wear niqab. So long as the public sphere does not impede the individual in introducing the problem for public discussion and her reasons based on her religious identity do count in public sphere, this identity conflict is not an insurmountable problem.

  13. See, for example, Will Kymlicka, Multicultural Citizenship: A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995); Multiculturalism: Examining the Politics of Recognition, ed. A. Gutmann (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994).

  14. Samuel Scheffler, “Immigration and the significance of culture,” Philosophy and Public Affairs 35 (2) (2007), 93–125 at p. 112 and p. 115.

  15. Jürgen Habermas, “Religion in the Public Sphere,” European Journal of Philosophy 14 (4), 2006, 1–25 at p. 10.

  16. Seyla Benhabib, The Rights of Others: Aliens, residents and Citizens (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), p. 192.

  17. Bashir Bashir and Will Kymlicka, “Introduction: struggles for inclusion and reconciliation in modern democracies,” The Politics of Reconciliation in Multicultural Societies, ed. B. Bashir and W. Kymlicka (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2008), 1–24 at p. 11.

  18. Will Kymlicka's argument for group rights (from Will Kymlicka, Multicultural Citizenship, pp.83–84) defends that since the ability of making meaningful choices is a necessary condition for individual freedom, cultural membership is a necessary condition for individual freedom itself; thus, to protect cultural membership of minority cultures we need to assign to them special group rights. Alasdair MacIntyre argues that conceptions of the human good affect public shared morality. It follows that individual values, if they diverge, affect how the same liberal democratic notions will be perceived by individuals with different conceptions of the good. Alasdair MacIntyre, “The Privatization of Good,” The Review of Politics, Vol. 52, No. 3 (Summer, 1990), pp. 344–361.

  19. Joseph Raz, Ethics in the Public Domain (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), 210–237.

  20. Miller argues that a nation-state is the embodiment of a set of cultural values. The legitimacy of the modern state derives in part from its role as the protector and promoter of the national culture of its people—if there were no distinct culture to protect, there would be no reason for it to exist as an independent entity. According to his liberal nationalism, limiting immigration and demanding immigrants’ conformity to the set of national values is legitimate. David Miller, “Immigrants, Nations, and Citizenship,” The Journal of Political Philosophy, 2007, doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9760.2007.00295.x, p. 5.

  21. Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Part 1 of Constitutional Act, 1982) affirms equality rights and states that “[e]very individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.” This does not preclude “any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups…” Retrieved from

  22. Martin Patriquin, “Québec’s war on religion.” Maclean’s (September 20, 2013). Retrieved from

  23. CBC News (December 20, 2012), “6 niqab legal controversies in Canada.” Retrieved from

  24. Martin Patriquin, “Québec’s war on religion.”

  25. CBC News (September 10, 2007), Elections Canada chief won't back down on veiled voting.” Retrieved from

  26. Elections Canada, “Voting in a Federal By-election.” Retrieved from

  27. Elections Québec, “Declaration by the Chief Electoral Officer of Québec” (March 29, 2007). Retrieved from

  28. Québec: ELECTION ACT (updated on Jan.1, 15). Retrieved from

  29. National Post (March 24, 2007), “Muslim women must lift veils to vote.” Retrieved from

  30. I discussed strategies for accommodation in more detail in Anna Moltchanova, “The general will and immigration,” The Journal of Social Philosophy 42 (2), 2011, 132–152.

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Moltchanova, A. Cooperation in the We-Mode and Immigrant Inclusion. J Value Inquiry 50, 83–96 (2016).

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  • Public Sphere
  • Liberal Democracy
  • Reasonable Accommodation
  • Joint Intention
  • Collective Acceptance