One to avoid, one to engage : unmasking and conflict pluralism as European heritages

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)


The heritage we need to avoid is a way of thinking about those who disagree with us on matters of fundamental moral and political principle—it is the heritage of unmasking. Unmasking is a mode of exposure that accuses a person, argument, or way of life of being fundamentally defective. Unmaskers do not simply claim to see what others have missed; they claim to see through a person or object. The heritage which we should engage is one that I call conflict pluralism - colliding modes of life and clashing estimates of the good that rational argument is unable to resolve but which a democratic polity must accommodate if it is to remain pluralist
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-120
Number of pages14
JournalHA: The Journal of the Hannah Arendt Center
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


Bibliographical note

The author originally delivered this essay as a lecture at “What Europe? Ideals to Fight for Today,” a conference held at Bard College Berlin on March 27 and 28, 2014. More information on the conference can be found here:

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