Phenomenology and Multiculturalism

Moving Beyond Assimilation and Utter Diversity Through a Substantive Pluralism
  • John Francis Burke
Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume 55)


Richard Bernstein has argued that in terms of contemporary philosophy, we need to move beyond both objectivism and relativism. By objectivism, he means the “conviction that there is or must be some permanent, ahistorical matrix or framework to which we can ultimately appeal in determining the nature of rationality, knowledge, truth, reality, goodness, or rightness” (Bernstein, 1983, p. 8). By relativism, he means the “conviction that when we turn to the examination of those concepts that philosophers have taken to be the most fundamental — whether it is the concept of rationality, truth, reality, right, the good, or norms — we are forced to recognize that in the final analysis all such concepts must be understood as relative to a specific conceptual scheme, theoretical framework, paradigm, form of life, society, or culture” (Bernstein, 1983, p. 8). To cut between these extremes, Bernstein argues for a discourse of practical knowledge whose legacy in philosophy extends at least back to Aristotle.


Cultural Group Affirmative Action Political Community Assimilation Model Plural Vote 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Francis Burke
    • 1
  1. 1.University of St. ThomasHoustonUSA

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