Pluralism of Values: Its Scope and Limitations
Value Pluralism is an ethico-political philosophical doctrine upholding the principle of the clash of values which decrees that values are heterogeneous and incommensurable among themselves. The appearance of this doctrine was surrounded by specific conditions: 1. The recent condition based on the principle of conflict between reason and religion, serving as the cause for a manifestly unrestrained rationality. 2. Liberalism based on the principle of conflict between politics and ethics, serving as the cause for a pervasive political hegemony. 3. The idea of the ‘clash of civilisations’ based on the principle of conformity between culture and ethics, and serving as the cause of a far-reaching cultural extremism. The upholders of Value Pluralism pursued conflicting methods in dealing with this valuational clash: 1. The method of ‘determination’ (Max Weber and Isaiah Berlin), 2. The method of ‘demonstration’ (J. Habermas and K.-O. Apel), 3. The method of ‘separation’ (John Rawls), and 4. The method of ‘connecting’ (Michael Walzer). All this calls for seeking a new value pluralism upholding the principle of ‘coinciding values’ feasible only by eliminating the causes of clash comprising three defects: rational unrestraint, political hegemony, and cultural extremism. The author, in turn, repels the defect of unrestrained rationality by disseminating the value of faith into reason, dispels the defect of hegemony by disseminating the value of the Good into politics, and dislodges the defect of extremism by disseminating the value of human ‘innate nature’ into culture.