HomePhilosophia: International Journal of Philosophyvol. 41 no. 2 (2012)

Isaiah Berlin’s Value Pluralism: Insights and Applications

Dominador Bombongan Jr.

Discipline: Philosophy, Sociology



This article looks into Isaiah Berlin’s concept of value pluralism and its consequences in terms of theorizing diversity and difference in moral and political life. Our “situatedness” or our privileged position in society does not give us the license to render judgment on the relative truthfulness or the validity of truth-claims of other people. It does not also give us an excuse to justify oppressive actions in the name of harmony. Rather our being rooted in a particular context provides the social imagination and social empathy to understand and respect the other on the basis of our shared humanity. This is what Isaiah Berlin’s value pluralism is all about and this is what this article will spell out.