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Multicultural differences in the public sphere

Zurück zum Heft: Phänomenologische Forschungen 2014
DOI: https://doi.org/10.28937/1000107786
EUR 14,90

The present article plays off two conceptions of the public sphere against one another. The first one sees in it a sign of what is already present in the private sphere, whereas the second regards it as a symbol that has to inscribe its own symbolic force into the private realm. That this is by no means a mere academic question becomes obvious by way of several examples analyzed at great length: the institution of mourning and the discussion about the presence of religious symbols in the public sphere. An argument for considering the Muslim veil as a protection against the divine is put forward in an attempt to clarify the presuppositions of our current predisposal against it. Ultimately, pluralism should perhaps not just be taken to refer only to the presence of others outside of us who we are able to numerically count, but might be the more difficult plight of having to cope with an otherness within each of us. Should the latter be the case, then we are in need of a public sphere where we can leave behind and thus honor what is not only differentiating us from others but also from ourselves.