The main question addressed in this paper is whether conflict is constitutive of the nature of value commitment, and hence necessarily implied by value pluralism. If this is the case, no resolution of value disagreements, whether on the global level or within modern multicultural societies, is possible via practical reason, and the only solutions to inner or outer conflicts will be “political”, in the sense of a Realpolitik. Positive and negative answers to the main question are shown to express two intellectual and moral attitudes opposing each other as Gorgias and Socrates, or Rhetoric and Philosophy did in the Ancient World. In post-Nietzschean Modernity, however, most philosophers seem to take sides with Gorgias, against Socrates, as is shown on the basis of Ronald Dworkin’s solitary campaign against the many faces of value scepticism. Drawing on phenomenological axiology, this paper takes sides with Socrates by reconciling value pluralism and universalism.
On Pluralism, Value Disagreement and Conflict. A Phenomenological Argument for Axiological Universalism / De Monticelli, R. - In: THE JOURNAL OF THE BRITISH SOCIETY FOR PHENOMENOLOGY. - ISSN 0007-1773. - 49:4(2018), pp. 342-355. [Epub ahead of print] [10.1080/00071773.2018.1432092]