Is community possible within culturally diverse societies? Simpson traces the debate through the works of Arnold, Herder, Adorno, Habermas and others and proposes an alternative that bridges cultural differences without erasing.
As humanity becomes increasingly interconnected through globalization, the question of whether community is possible within culturally diverse societies has returned as a principal concern for contemporary thought. Lorenzo Simpson charges that the current discussion is stuck at an impasse-between postmodernism's fragmented notions of cultural difference and humanism's homogeneous versions of community. Simpson proposes an alternative-one that bridges cultural differences without erasing them. He argues that we must establish common aesthetic and ethical standards incorporating sensitivity to difference if we are to achieve cross-cultural understanding.
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgments ix
Introduction: Humanism, Postmodernism, and Irony 1 (16)
I. HISTORICAL CONSIDERATIONS 17 (44)
On Arnold and Herder: The Idea of Culture and 19 (23)
the Idea of Difference
Musical Interlude: Adorno on Jazz, or How Not 42 (19)
to Fuse Horizons
II. THE UNIFINISHED PROJECT 61 (66)
Critical Theory and the Politics of 63 (15)
Situated Cosmopolitanism 78 (21)
``Postmodern'' Rejoinders 99 (28)
Epilogue: Toward a Humanistic Multiculturalism 127(16)