Pluralism has three principal meanings in the social
sciences. Pluralism is a model of politics where power is assumed to be widely dispersed
to different individuals and interest groups within a society. Pluralism ensures that
political processes will be relatively open and democratic and will reflect a spectrum of
social interests rather than the domination of particular groups.
Pluralism describes a society where individual and group
differences are present and are celebrated as enriching the social fabric. Pluralism is a
view of the causation of social phenomena, especially of social
change, that examines the interaction of a variety of factors rather than relying on a
single explanatory cause.
Moral pluralism is the idea that there are several
values which may be equally correct and fundamental, and yet in conflict with each other.
Max Weber in stressing the
importance of cultural as well as material forces in creating change within a society
offers a more pluralistic framework for explanation than the more exclusively materialist
approach of Karl Marx.
Religious Pluralism Versus Social Cohesion? -
Normative Fault Lines of Human Rights Jurisprudence in Europe - Daniel
Augenstein, University of Edinburgh - School of Law
September 15, 2009 University of Edinburgh School of Law Working Paper No. 2009-23
Abstract: This essay explores the tension between religious pluralism and social cohesion
in European human rights jurisprudence. I argue that, at the national level, concerns for
social cohesion stem from negative and defensive societal attitudes towards religious
diversity that are difficult to reconcile with the normative premises of religious
pluralism in a democratic society. How two trans-national European courts, the European
Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and the European Court of Justice (ECJ), address the tension
between religious pluralism and social cohesion identified at the national levels. While
the ECtHR pursues a strategy of avoidance that fails to effectively scrutinise national
social cohesion limitations of freedom of religion in the light of its own appraisal of
religious pluralism, the ECJ must pursue a strategy of integration that confronts this
tension in an autonomous way on the basis of the supra-national EU legal order. I outline
such a strategy of integration that re-interprets the relationship between religious
pluralism and social cohesion in European human rights jurisprudence through challenging
the association of social cohesion with the containment or suppression of religious
PLURALISM IN LOGIC
HARTRY FIELD, Philosophy Department, New York University
Abstract: A number of people have proposed that we should be pluralists about logic, but
there are several things this can mean. Are there versions of logical pluralism that are
both high on the interest scale and also true? After discussing some forms of pluralism
that seem either insufficiently interesting or quite unlikely to be true, the paper
suggests a new form which might be both interesting and true; however, the scope of the
pluralism that it allows logic is extremely narrow.
Religious Pluralism, Globalization,
and World Politics
Banchoff, Thomas (Editor), Director, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World
Affairs, Georgetown University
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009
Abstract: Globalization has spawned more active transnational religious communities,
creating a powerful force in world affairs. This book explores the patterns of cooperation
and conflict that mark this new religious pluralism. In this volume, leading scholars from
a variety of disciplines examine how the forces of religious pluralism and globalization
are playing out on the world stage.
Varieties of Healing. 1: Medical Pluralism in the
Ted J. Kaptchuk, OMD, and David M. Eisenberg, MD
Annals 7 August 2001, Volume 135 Issue 3 Pages 189-195
Medicine has become interested in unconventional healing practices, ostensibly because of
recent demographic research that reveals a thriving medical market of multiple options.
This essay presents a historical overview of medical pluralism in the United States.
Despite parallels with the past, the recent widespread interest in alternative medicine
also represents a dramatic reconfiguration of medical pluralism, from historical
antagonism to what might arguably be described as a topical acknowledgment of postmodern
medical diversity. This essay is an introduction to a discussion of a taxonomy of
contemporary U.S. medical pluralism, which also appears in this issue.
Law, Pluralism and the Family In Kenya: Beyond
Bifurcation of Formal Law and Custom
Winifred Kamau, Faculty of Law, University of Nairobi, Kenya
International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family 2009 23(2):133-144;
Abstract: Family law in Africa has been is characterized by pluralism where customary,
religious and state laws co-exist within the same social context. The article argues that
the bifurcatory approach stems from an erroneous conceptualization of customary law,
manifested in a weak form of legal pluralism that does not give effect to people's
experience of the intersection of legal orders. In thinking about reform of family law in
the African context, there is need for an approach to legal pluralism that pays attention
to people's perception of their normative context.
There are two main kinds of naturalism: materialism and pluralistic naturalism.
Materialism, or physicalism, is a "monistic" form of naturalism in that it
maintains that only one basic kind of stuff exists--physical stuff. Pluralistic
naturalism, by contrast, combines naturalism with ontological pluralism, the idea that
there is more than just one basic kind of stuff.
Value Pluralism and Liberal Political Order: The
Diversity Argument - Neal, Patrick
Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association
Abstract: Does value pluralism generate a case in support of liberal poilitcal principles?
This paper critically analyzes one set of arguments that claim to establish such a case,
those offered by George Crowder under the label of the "diversity argument."
Legal pluralism - European University Institute
Abstract: Legal pluralism has become a major theme in socio-legal studies. Despite
their eclectic character, these many conceptions of legal pluralism also share some common
fundamental premises concerning the nature of law, its function, and its relationship with
its cultural milieu. In a first section, I shall briefly describe the main trends in the
field of legal pluralism, from its historical scientific background to its more recent
theories. In a second section, I formulate some of the major criticisms which can be
addressed to the postulates sustaining these many versions of legal pluralism. These
critical stances vis-a-vis the legal pluralistic study of law articulate around three main
questions, the definitional problem, the functionalist premises, and the culturalist
conception which undermine existing theories. I shall argue, in the third section, that
realism is a possible remedy to these flaws. However, these are best addressed through
what I call a praxiological re-specification of the whole issue of legal pluralism, which
I shall illustrate through the study of Egyptian cases.
Explanatory Pluralism and Heuristic Identity
Robert N. McCauley, Emory University - William Bechtel, Washington University, St Louis
Explanatory pluralism holds that the sorts of comprehensive theoretical and ontological
economies that microreductionists and New Wave reductionists envision and
antireductionists fear offer misleading views of both scientific practice and scientific
progress. Both advocates and foes of employing reductionist strategies at the interface of
psychology and neuroscience have overplayed the alleged economies that interlevel
connections (including identities) justify while overlooking their fundamental role in
promoting scientific research. A brief review of research on visual processing provides
support for the explanatory pluralist's general model of cross-scientific relations and
discloses the valuable heuristic role hypothetical identities play in cross-scientific
Pattern pluralism and the Tree of Life hypothesis
- W. Ford Doolittle and Eric Bapteste
Abstract: Pattern pluralism is an attractive alternative to the quixotic pursuit of a
single true TOL.