Circumstance, Materialism and Possibilism

Johnson, Matthew Thomas (2013) Circumstance, Materialism and Possibilism. In: Evaluating Culture. Springer, pp. 120-141. ISBN 9781349333769

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In the modern, multimedia world it is common to think about ways of life as entirely voluntary innovations — as Mill (1998, 71) put it, ‘experiments in living’. Cultural diversity is often considered in a rather superficial manner — the ‘“sari, samosa and steelband” variety of multiculturalism’, detailed and derided by Alibhai-Brown (2004, 231) — in which choice of lifestyle is dependent only upon personal preference, perception and taste. In Sen and Nussbaum, the obstacles to the free development and expression of preferences seem primarily to be social, rather than natural. Relativist or social constructivist approaches — such as those of Edwards et al. (1995) — have rejected realist accounts of the physical environment and suggested that our constraints in this world are imposed by the meanings which guide our perception.

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30 Mar 2020 14:10
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16 Sep 2023 03:20