File feyerabend/feyerabend.0602, message 3

Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2006 13:21:28 -0700
Subject: Re: [PKF] feyerabend Digest, Vol 10, Issue 4

Excellent point, Christos. We've just run into this same issue in a slightly
different guise in our Faculty of Education. We're working on developing a
new statement of the principles underlying our teacher education program,
and this is one of the sub-principles:

*4.2 Attention is drawn to the ways in which local contexts are nested
within the wider global context. Students are encouraged to reflect
critically on their own worldview and to respect the idea that this is but
one of many possible worldviews.*

As one of my colleagues pointed out: "this means we are tolerant of everyone
except fundamentalists". It's a very real question: for many, many people
all around the world, their reality is that there is a single worldview. Or
at least, that only one is correct and all others are delusions (or worse,
that those who claim to have different worldviews actually have the same
world-view and are lying).

We have left the principle in place, but the question remains open: is one
of the things that is required of graduates from our teacher education
program a form of cultural relativism?

On the cartoons, two comments (from within my own worldview):

1. Rights and responsibilities: the right to freedom of speech is
inalienable from the responsibility to speak with respect.

2. Whose values prevail? The argument generally seems to be 'my belief in
the right to free speech is *more important* than your belief in not making
and displaying images of the Prophet'.

I guess the final comment is that it seems as though the riots were in many
cases fueled by anger about specific local issues in those places, and the
cartoon controversy was what got people out into the streets...


PS And of course, from the Dadaist side, headlines about the damage caused
by 'cartoon rioters' seemed delightfully surreal...

On 2/20/06, christos rhecos <> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I am following this recent craziness about the cartoons satirising the
> Prophet Muhammad. I am reading the news and the opinions around. It surely
> is a complicated issue, and one can go on arguing about it for ever.
> Still, one thing I have no doubt about: that this has revealed in a most
> spectacular and sad way the inability of the western world to even
> entertain
> the idea that some people's reality can rightfully differ from
> theirs.  You
> can detect this in their very first words, the first sentence of their
> comment: how much they simply don't "get it", and how much in vain their
> "careful analysis" is going to be.
> It occured to me more than once that it is PKF's ideas that we are missing
> here. It seems that at least one of the sources of his philosophy is
> exactly
> this realization that other people's reality can rightfully differ from
> ours---and then the willingness to both know about this different reality
> and at the same time fight the arrogance of those not recognizing it.
> Anyway, these were my thoughts, and then this link came (below) with PKF's
> voice discussing something that I believe is very much in this spirit.
> Really enjoyed listening to it.
> Christos.
>    1. a few points on pkf (Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend)
> 2.       Some of Paul's best recordings available in English and
> interesting
> > for the large public are available in a CD entitled Stories from
> Paolino's
> > Tapes :
>   Incidentally,
> > this is the only recording of his voice that I know is available from
> the
> > Internet.
> >
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