[lit-ideas] Re: SoS-Chapter 2, Moral Frameworks

  • From: "Phil Enns" <phil.enns@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2006 13:54:00 -0400

Omar Kusturica wrote:

"These former identities [i.e. Croat, Serb, Muslim] are also subjective,
especially in the context of the former Yugoslavia where everybody was
educated and ideologically formed on more or less the same socialist
/secular/ cosmopolitan grounds."

How can they be subjective?  When fighting broke out, did people have to
do surveys to figure out who was, at any particular moment, Croat, Serb
or Muslim?  What I have been told is that people knew who was what and
there was nothing subjective about it.  After all, it isn't like one can
wake up one morning and decide to be Croat till lunch and then Serb for

Omar continued:

"If you think, for example, that my sympathies for Islam spring solely
from the fact that I was growing up in the former Yugoslavia, you will
be off the mark."

I thought nothing of the kind.  One's convictions don't 'spring solely'
from anywhere.  But your experience in Israel would likely have been
different if you had grown up a Jew in the former Soviet Union.

My objection is to the claim that 'frameworks' like being Muslim, Croat,
or Chinese are not subjective.  That they are not subjective seems
evident even from your own accounts, that is, they are independent
accounts of the good from which we can derive meaningful behaviour.
Hence the description of what the Chinese or Israelis do.  If these were
subjective, that is idiosyncratic, such descriptions would meaningless.


Phil Enns
Toronto, ON

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