Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 50, 2008

Social and Political Philosophy

Stéphane Courtois
Pages 109-115

Multiculturalism and Equal Treatment
Scope and Limits of the Uniform Treatment Approach

The literature on multiculturalism currently splits parties into two camps : those favorable to the uniform treatment of cultural differences and those favorable to their differential treatment. Brian Barry, perhaps of the most influential present supporters of the first camp, has recently developed a severe criticism of the second approach. I intend in this paper to examine the scope and limits of Barry’s own uniform treatment approach. First, I will present the grounds Barry has for supporting it. Second, I will examine one of its most important difficulties, that of excluding the particular treatment of cultural differences on the grounds that they are a matter of choice.

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