The “Empire” Strikes Back: Barry's Defense of Liberal Universalism Cover Image

“Imperij” uzvraća udarac. Barryjeva obrana liberalnog univerzalizma
The “Empire” Strikes Back: Barry's Defense of Liberal Universalism

Author(s): Zoran Kurelić
Subject(s): Philosophy
Published by: Fakultet političkih znanosti u Zagrebu
Keywords: Brian Barry; John Gray; liberal universalism; multiculturalism; Charles Taylor;

Summary/Abstract: The author deals with the issue of the relationship between liberalism and multiculturalism and points out certain tensions stemming from the debate between liberals and multiculturalists. The paper mentions the theoretical interventions of political philosophers such as Charles Taylor (multiculturalist), John Gray (postmodern liberal conservative) and Brian Barry (liberal universalist). By looking into Barry’s attack on Taylor and Gray, the author tries to show Barry’s mistake in accusing those two of relativism derived from incommensurability, but also gives him credit for unerringly recognizing the weaknesses of the relativist criticism of liberalism. According to the author, many theoreticians participating in the academic dispute between the liberals and the multiculturalists assume that the real targets are the liberal egalitarians (Rawls and his disciples). This has created a dramatically erroneous impression that the USA are liberal in an egalitarian way. Thus, while the leftist critics of egalitarian liberalism were finding fault with the abominable universalist theory, the antiliberals (and the antimulticulturalists) have gained prominence.

  • Issue Year: XLI/2004
  • Issue No: 03
  • Page Range: 105-111
  • Page Count: 7
  • Language: Croatian