Ethics and collective identity building: Scandinavian semicommunication and the possibilities of Philippine ethics

  • Jeremiah Lasquety-Reyes Katholieke Universiteit Leuven / University of the Philippines http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0882-1973
  • Allen Alvarez Programme for Applied Ethics, Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies NTNU, Trondheim & Centre for Applied Ethics, School of Population & Public Health, University of British Columbia http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2132-7814
Keywords: social ethics, collective identity, multiculturalism, Scandinavian semicommunication, receptive multilingualism, Philippines

Abstract

How should national societies build legitimate and inclusive collective identities amidst prolific multiculturalism and linguistic diversity? We argue that cultural ownership of particular ways of framing ethics should be part of this collective identity building process. We should avoid unfair domination of minority cultural identities, but how do we do this when ethical discourses themselves tend to be shaped by particular dominant identities? We look into the case of the challenges that a particular multicultural society, the Philippines, faces in its ongoing collective identity building project on three levels: (1) ethnic and linguistic differences (e.g. differences between Tagalog, Cebuano, Maranao, etc.), (2) the historical layers of foreign culture (e.g. Islamic, Spanish, and American) that have each influenced these distinct cultural identities in different degrees, and (3) the apparent domination of Tagalog linguistic culture over others. Our answer to the question of legitimate and inclusive collective identity comes from an inter-linguistic dialogue that can be effected between cultures by harnessing similarities of ethical concepts, without compromising cultural differences. We present three different possible approaches under the following headings: (1) Pilipino ethics, (2) Filipino ethics and (3) Philippine ethics, each representing a particular stance to the dominant Tagalog linguistic culture. We argue for the third option, which is the most inclusive because of how it equalizes the status of all participating cultures in the dialogue. We also draw from the possibilities afforded by the phenomena of Scandinavian semicommunication (Haugen 1966) and what this practice offers in making collective identity building more inclusive.

Author Biography

Jeremiah Lasquety-Reyes, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven / University of the Philippines
Jeremiah Reyes is a PhD candidate in Philosophy in the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. He is also assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy, University of the Philippines, Diliman.
Published
2015-11-09
How to Cite
Lasquety-Reyes, J., & Alvarez, A. (2015). Ethics and collective identity building: Scandinavian semicommunication and the possibilities of Philippine ethics. Etikk I Praksis - Nordic Journal of Applied Ethics, 9(2), 71-87. https://doi.org/10.5324/eip.v9i2.1866
Section
Artikler - Articles