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The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 9, 2006

Philosophical Anthropology

Joaquín Jareño Alarcón
Pages 91-95

Value Pluralism and Valuable Pluralism

One of the most influential ideas in recent discussions in political philosophy and philosophy of values has been Isaiah Berlin's value pluralism. Given that different ways of living embody different applications of values, it is really difficult to talk about objectivity in the domain of morals. But if we reject the existence of criteria that allow us to judge among different moral proposals, we are led to recognize the prejudiced character of our convictions: their ethnocentric character. In my opinion, this weakens our commitment to those convictions, to the extent that we are not obliged to follow them. At the same time, if that incommensurability is at the root of any interpretation of values, we cannot choose between different ways of understanding pluralism and we cannot evaluate the pluralistic model itself. Saying that some sort of pluralism is good for us if, for us, some sort of pluralism is good, is only proposing an empty tautology. In the end I will argue that we can accept the existence of a sort of moral equilibrium that can allow us to talk of moral progress.