It is this condition, in which society intimates a diversity of possibly incommensurable values and worldviews, which is often characterized as cultural pluralism, which I believe ought to be at the top of the agenda of modern states. 1
In the last chapter I argued that a political theory regarding multiculturalism and nationalism should be centrally concerned with the political evils that go with a world of ethnic pluralism. In this chapter and the next, I engage with arguments that our moral and political thought should be more focused on the cultural communities themselves. In this chapter I examine the idea that different cultures embody rival and incommensurable moral views, making cultural pluralism the embodiment of moral pluralism. In the next chapter I turn to generalized arguments for loyalty to and the preservation of nations or cultural communities as such.
Some of the most prominent contemporary philosophers who analyze issues of nationalism and multiculturalism, those who are most sympathetic to the cultural variety in the world, have also been advocates of the position in moral philosophy known as moral or value pluralism. Isaiah Berlin is the most prominent of these, but thinkers as different from Berlin as Joseph Raz, Michael Walzer, and Charles Taylor have all suggested that the phenomenon of cultural pluralism is closely related to this plurality in the realm of ideals and morality. 2 Others who