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 thus ensuring 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
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 Marx.
Religious Pluralism Versus Social Cohesion? - Normative Fault Lines of Human
Rights Jurisprudence in Europe - Daniel Augenstein, University of Edinburgh - School of
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. Comparing the German, French, and British
interpretation of the social cohesion limitation of freedom of religion 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. The essay
proceeds by analysing 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. By way of conclusion, 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
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. Shifting religious identities have
encouraged interreligious dialogue and greater political engagement around global
challenges, including international development, conflict resolution, transitional
justice, and bioethics. At the same time, interreligious competition has contributed to
political conflict and running controversy over the meaning and scope of religious
freedom. 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 United States
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.
Consistent evidence is examined suggesting that unconventional medicine has been a
persistent presence in U.S. health care. Despite parallels with the past, the recent
widespread interest in alternative medicine also represents a dramatic reconfiguration of
medical pluralismfrom historical antagonism to what might arguably be described as a
topical acknowledgment of postmodern medical diversity. This recent shift may have less to
do with acknowledging "new" survey data than with representing shifts in
medicine's institutional authority in a consumer-driven health care environment. 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
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. However, this plurality
is marked by a false dichotomization of formal law and custom. Under the law/custom
dichotomy, people are deemed to be governed by one system of law to the exclusion of all
others and to order their family lives within the boundaries of that system. However, this
bifurcation runs counter to the reality on the ground, as people's family lives in Africa
constantly traverse the boundaries of legal systems. This is particularly true of
cohabitation relationships, which defy conventional categorizations of family law systems.
This article examines the ways in which prevailing legal policies and judicial attitudes
in Kenya have impacted on women's claims to property and maintenance upon breakdown of the
cohabitation relationship. 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
and how such perception shapes their attitudes and actions.
Pluralistic Naturalism -
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. Thus while materialists reject the
reality of (irreducibly) nonphysical stuff, pluralists affirm the existence of at least
one kind of (irreducibly) nonphysical stuff.
Value Pluralism and Liberal Political Order: The Diversity Argument - Neal,
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 (EUI) cadmus.iue.it
Abstract: Legal pluralism has become a major theme in socio-legal studies. However,
under this very broad denomination, one can identify many different trends which share
little but the very basic idea that law is much more than state law. 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, i.e. 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. In conclusion, I shall formulate
some remarks on praxiology as a way to fill the missing-what of classical
Explanatory Pluralism and Heuristic Identity Theory
Robert N. McCauley, Emory University
William Bechtel, Washington University 1n 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
research. That model also supplies grounds for hesitation about the correlation objection
to the psychophysical identity theory and complaints about an explanatory gap in
physicalist accounts of consciousness. These takes on psycho-neural connections miss both
the sorts of considerations that motivate hypothetical identities in science and their
fundamental contribution to progressive research. Thus, their focus on the contributions
of research at multiple levels of analysis does not bar explanatory pluralists from
considering heuristic identity theory (HIT). Arguably, it encourages it.
Theory & Psychology, Vol. 11, No. 6, 736-760 (2001)
Pattern pluralism and the Tree of Life hypothesis - W. Ford Doolittle and Eric
Abstract: Darwin claimed that a unique inclusively hierarchical pattern of relationships
between all organisms based on their similarities and differences [the Tree of Life (TOL)]
was a fact of nature, for which evolution, and in particular a branching process of
descent with modification, was the explanation. However, there is no independent evidence
that the natural order is an inclusive hierarchy, and incorporation of prokaryotes into
the TOL is especially problematic. Pattern pluralism (the recognition that different
evolutionary models and representations of relationships will be appropriate, and true,
for different taxa or at different scales or for different purposes) is an attractive
alternative to the quixotic pursuit of a single true TOL.