What is it about?

The main thesis of the pluralistic standpoint in ethics is that values are objective and knowable but irreducibly plural, so that they sometimes turn out to be incompatible and/or incommensurable. In consequence, there may exist more than one answer to a given ethical question, each answer being completely acceptable to a rational human being. The paper shows that value pluralism not only sheds light on both of the two divergent judgments delivered in the Lautsi v Italy case by the European Court of Human Rights, but also explains the striking discrepancy between them.

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Why is it important?

The article is important because it exposes the drawbacks of the traditional legal paradigm, which assumes that only one correct answer exists in a particular dispute. Instead of the jurisprudential approach to settling hard, sensitive problems, the paper recommends dealing with them by political means, since they are naturally amendable to compromise.

Perspectives

Writing this article was a great pleasure as it recalled my personal and epistolary contacts with the late Isaiah Berlin, especially our discussions on his version of value pluralism. I hope that this paper may help to promote a pluralistic approach, particularly among lawyers.

Beata Polanowska-Sygulska
Uniwersytet Jagiellonski w Krakowie

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This page is a summary of: The Crucifix Dispute and Value Pluralism, Analyse & Kritik, November 2019, De Gruyter, DOI: 10.1515/auk-2019-0019.
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