2014 | 1 | 64-79
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Prejudices: An Investigation Into Barriers of Humanity

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By bringing people closer together, the phenomenon of globalisation not only accentuates differences but also it reinforces the sense of identity and belonging. This paradoxical and dynamic picture puts us straight before the challenge as to how to accommodate differences in order to live peacefully together. The gulf between “us” and “them” become more and more visible. The perception we can have of “others” remains deeply shaped by the values and precepts we learn in our respective cultural and educational circles. Yet, because men are not mere cultural products, individual responsibility and rational deliberation play an important role in the ways we approach “others.” In this article, we investigate prejudices as a phenomenon that is in the heart of above-mentioned issues. After a brief investigation into the nature of a prejudice, the paper outlines two main philosophical positions that either rehabilitate prejudices (Hans-Georg Gadamer) or calls for their abandonment (Descartes). The author argues that, despite the good arguments to be found in both positions, the nature of prejudices—as “something not yet knowledge”—puts upon us a kind of “moral and epistemological obligation” to overcome them, in order to do justice to ourselves and to our fellowmen, and construct sustainable and peaceful societies.
Physical description
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