Value Conflict, Dialogical Pluralism, and the Idea of Wisdom [in Chinese]

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    Starting from S. Huntington’s observation that the main issue of many ongoing conflicts is about fundamental diversities in the ways, in which civilizations concretize fundamental values in their specific spatio-temporal situation, the second section examines an important source of value conflicts, namely in the field of human rights. I argue that the current declarations of human rights, which have been officially recognized by international bodies, such as the United Nations, basically consist of three groups of human rights, namely the individual freedom rights, the basic social rights, and the cultural rights, which rest on fundamentally diverging values. These differences result in two different kinds of value conflicts: conflicts being fought out in a homogeneous playing field, resulting, ideally, in consensus, and conflicts being fought out in a heterogeneous field, which often precludes the possibility of consensus. A typical example of a homogeneous value conflict is the divergence between individual freedom rights and basic social rights, whereas a heterogeneous value conflict is exemplified in the difference between cultural rights and the two other sets of rights. The reason that heterogeneous value conflicts are so difficult to solve is the lack of a common ground of, phrased positively, the importance of cultural individuality; certain cultural values may be fundamental for a given culture, while being unacceptable or even appalling to other ones. In the third section, I will give a short philosophical analysis of the differences between value conflicts in a homogeneous and a heterogeneous playing field, and argue that the latter have become predominant in the current situation of radical cultural diversity. In the final section, I try to develop a solution to the problem of value conflict in a heterogeneous space by making use of the ideas of dialogical pluralism and cultural value reasoning, being examples of practical wisdom. Dialogical pluralism can be defined as a conscious, well-organized critical dialogue between people who are living conflicting values in a heterogeneous field. Cultural value reasoning aims at stimulating a self-reflective attitude among the people who participate in such a dialogue, without requiring them to give up the fundamental character of their values to them.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)46-50
    Number of pages5
    JournalPhilosophy & Social Science
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • Human rights; cultural rights; consensus; dialogical pluralism; value reasoning; practical wisdom.


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