Thursday, April 30, 2015

William of Ockham and Rammohun Roy as breaking points

The blurry boundary between premodern and modern


“William James: Politics in the Pluriverse” by Kennan Ferguson

I’ve just finished Ferguson’s book on James’ pluralist contribution to political theory. I can’t recommend it highly enough to those interested in the political implications of ontological pluralism. Ferguson contrasts James’ prescriptive pluralism to the far less radical liberal understanding of multiculturalism. For liberalism, pluralism is a problem to be overcome, whereas for James, it was an end in itself. In the liberal model, individual and cultural differences must be identifiable within some homogeneous and abstract idea of the human. If a marginalized or oppressed group cannot make itself intelligible in relation to this idea, then it is left (or violently forced) outside the bounds of the properly political. 

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