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Title: Levinas, Multiculturalism and Us
Author(s): VISKER, Rudi
Journal: Ethical Perspectives
Volume: 6    Issue: 2   Date: 1999   
Pages: 159-168
DOI: 10.2143/EP.6.2.505354

Abstract :
Multiculturalism is not a recent phenomenon. From the moment a different world appears, a different culture in which the evidence of the cultural world in which I participate is put out of play, we are confronted with the problem of a split between the world as such and my world, which is only one among others, and we find ourselves compelled to seek a solution. One such solution would be to try to deny the split by restricting the meaning of 'world' to one's own world alone; another one would be to welcome the split as allowing us to understand that humanity must ultimately be sought beyond all particularism. But it is not by looking at such classical solutions which, though unsatisfactory, are still with us, that we will understand what might be new in this multiculturalism that so commands our attention. What is new is neither the problem posed by it nor the solutions we have found for it, but our fascination with the phenomenon. It is indeed only very recently that the word 'multiculturalism' itself has begun to take over from that other key word which fascinated us for so many years: we no longer expect `postmodernism' to provide the answers to all our enigmas, but multiculturalism.

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