Aspen Lecture: Conversation Across Cultures

There's a pervasive (and therefore familiar) form of relativism in the culture of educated Americans. Many believe that conversation across groups about ethical questions will quickly reach an impasse because each culture has different and incompatible ethical starting points from all the others. Cross-cultural conversation is pointless, then, because it is just a route to the discovery of irreconcilable differences. Appiah maintains that both the premise of this argument and the conclusion are mistaken. This is good news. First, as many people have reported, cross-cultural encounters are among the most rewarding experiences in the world. And second because without it, we have little chance of solving the many global problems that face us.

Festival: 2014

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