4.0902 More on Multiculturalism (2/77)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Thu, 17 Jan 91 11:15:55 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 0902. Thursday, 17 Jan 1991.

(1) Date: Wed, 16 Jan 1991 10:14 CST (35 lines)
From: JULIEN@sask.usask.ca
Subject: multiculturalisme

(2) Date: Wed, 16 Jan 91 11:45:15 EST (42 lines)
From: Peter Ian Kuniholm <MCG@CORNELLC>
Subject: Re: 4.0880 More on Multiculturalism (2/120)

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 1991 10:14 CST
From: JULIEN@sask.usask.ca
Subject: multiculturalisme

Le multiculturalisme: on peut en parler a son aise: 1) quand il s'agit
de culture morte et qu'on ressucite avec affection; 2) quand on est
tellement sur de sa culture dominante a soi que la condescendance envers
les cultures minoritaires montre jusqu'a quel point "on" est cultive.

Dans le NATIONAL BULLETIN (American Association of Teachers of French),
Philip Stewart (Duke University) s'eleve contre les affimations de
MEGATRENDS II, selon lesquelles "Do computers talk in English?" La
reponse de MEGATREDNS est oui, bien sur, et de plus en plus. Stewart
s'en indigne et dit que "the point is too silly to belabor".
Excusez-moi, Philippe, mais il y a beaucoup a dire la-dessus. BIEN SUR
que les ordinateurs parlent anglais. Quel sorte de pidgin pensez-vous
que j'ecrive laborieusement sur cet editeur du systeme central? C'est
la langue que mes collegues de langue francaise et moi devons utiliser
pour communiquer. Nous ne pouvons pas echanger de dossiers accentues,
qu'ils soient concus avec toute la sophistication mecanique qu'on
veuille. Et ceci dans un pays qui a le francais comme langue officielle.

Quant aux "vrais francais", ou qu'ils soient dans le monde, ils nous
sont de bien peu de secours. Le meme bulletin consacre une page a
MINITEL, qui est un outil merveilleux en francophonie, mais qui est un
joujou ici.

C'est ahurissant de voir comment le discours humaniste peut planer, dans
de jolis montgolfieres colores, au-dessus de questions si fondamentales
qu'elles bloquent tout le reste!

D'ailleurs, ce message ecrit en francais batard aura sans doute ete
simplement efface par la plupart au niveau du resume avant de le lire.


Jacques JULIEN.@sask.sask.ca
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------49----
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 91 11:45:15 EST
From: Peter Ian Kuniholm <MCG@CORNELLC>
Subject: Re: 4.0880 More on Multiculturalism (2/120)

To the HUMANIST world at large, and in response to the various comments
on mult iculturalism, and since Martin Bernal just walked into my office
(he does not h ave a BITNET connection), I am turning over this keyboard
to him so that HE can comment. Peter Ian Kuniholm <MCG@CORNELLC>

Go ahead, Martin:

I thought at this point the best thing to do would be to quote some passa
ges from my 9 page response to Professor Muhly:

Professor Muhly has set up a scheme of two types of scholarship
'traditional, balanced' and 'extremist'. I do not find this very helpful
because I believe that any coherent scholarly production involves making
a case and selecting and ordering evidence. This procedure is by no
means insincere, because in any plausible scholarship, a woman or man
must believe that the scheme presented is the best or least bad
arrangement they can make of the data. What is more, to be effective,
the author must also set out counter arguments and try and refute them.
Almost inevitably, however, the writer's or speaker's lack of conviction
in the latter will show through and thus inevitably make the presentation
unfair or unbalanced.

Furthermore, just as one persons 'terrorist' is another's 'freedom
fighter' what is balanced from one point of view is extremist from
another. Thus I be lieve P.M.'s distinction between 'balanced' and
'extremist' scholarship has too large a subjective element to be of much

(On P. M.'s view that there is no connection between the political views
of a 'balanced'scholar like Julius Beloch and his scholarship. I wrote:

Such a view has the advantage of simplicity. My own vision is far more
complicated and uncertain. I could describe it as believing that
scholarship is semi autonomous and only partially dependent on society,
but I am convinced that there are fundamental links betwen the two and
and that the predominant causal flow is from society to scholarship--my
position is not very helpful heuristically because such a scheme does
not tell us which elements of specific scholarly positions were arrived
at for 'internalist' reasons derived from new evidence and scholarly
developments and which came from 'externalist' forces generated from
society as a whole.

I think the best procedure is, as far as possible to keep an open mind
on this and to consider both possibilities---

Martin Bernal