n Koers : Bulletin for Christian Scholarship = Koers : Bulletin vir Christelike Wetenskap - The uniqueness of cultures, universality and normativity - with special reference to the normative meaning of differentiation : research articl

Volume 67, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0023-270X
  • E-ISSN: 2304-8557



The inevitable presence of similarities between different cultures sets a limit to the (irrationalist) claim that the uniqueness of every culture precludes the comparability of cultures. Investigating the background of this untenable view opens up the way to arrive at a reassessment of the role of continuity and universality. This provides the basis of an account of the normative meaning of biotical analogies within the various normative aspects of reality. The characterization of undifferentiated societies in a contrasting way highlights the normative meaning of societal differentiation. Examples of an excessive expansion of the power of particular societal spheres, such as the domain of the church or the scope of science (during the Middle Ages and the modern development of society), demonstrate that the course of factual events frequently does not observe the normative (sphere-sovereign) structural boundaries for differentiated societal collectivities.

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