HomePhilosophia: International Journal of Philosophyvol. 40 no. 1 (2011)

Hospitality, Ethics, and Multiculturalism

William Sweet

Discipline: Philosophy, Culture, Ethics



How is multiculturalism possible in what we call the “postmodern age”? Postmodernity challenges our norms and conventions, our theories of human nature, our grand narratives, and—in general—any essentialist or foundationalist approach. And so it would seem to challenge any attempt to engage in dialogue across cultures or in any way that proposes to be independent of context.

One response to this is to focus not on theories but on practices. In particular, I want to focus on the practice of hospitality, of which much has been written of late and which has been suggested as a model for dialogue.