On the Limits of Liberalism and Multiculturalism
by Haithe Anderson — August 12, 2002
Since there is no way to adjudicate unverifiable opinions, as Enlightenment philosophers reasoned, the only viable option is to tolerate a diversity of views. In the United States toleration of differences is a core value of a political theory called liberalism, and many liberals endorse the goals of a multicultural curriculum. As multiculturalists argue, schools should teach American children to be charitable toward people from different cultural backgrounds. How should we teach cross-cultural tolerance, however, after the mournful events of September 11, 2001? This tragedy reveals the limits of both liberalism and multicultural tolerance, and this essay explores those limits from the perspective of pragmatism.
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