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Pluralism: Against the Demand for Consensus

Nicholas Rescher


This book presents a critical reaction against two currently influential tendencies of thought. On the one hand, it rejects the facile relativism that pervades contemporary social and academic life. On the other hand, it opposes the rationalism inherent in new-contractarian theory — both in the idealized communicative-contract version promoted in continental European political philosophy by Jürgen Habermas, and in the idealized social-contract version of the theory promoted in the Anglo-American context by John Rawls. Against such tendencies, this pluralist approach takes a more realistic and ... More

Keywords: pluralism, relativism, rationalism, new-contractarian theory, Jürgen Habermas, John Rawls, utopianism, political philosophy, communicative-contract version, social-contract version

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1995 Print ISBN-13: 9780198236016
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198236016.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Nicholas Rescher, author
University of Pittsburgh