Speaker: Prof. Rebecca LeMoine (Florida Atlantic University)
Once a celebrated ideal, multiculturalism has come under heavy fire in recent years. Increasingly, citizens, political leaders, and scholars alike are rejecting the promotion of cultural diversity on the grounds that greater heterogeneity means more conflict. Yet, what if the backlash to foreigners is akin to the hostile reaction of the prisoners in Plato’s cave allegory to their liberator? What, in other words, if the abandonment of multiculturalism purchases temporary peace at the price of greater ignorance and conflict in the long run? In this talk, Dr. LeMoine challenges traditional readings of Plato’s Republic, revealing the dialogue’s concern with demonstrating the importance of cross-cultural engagement to the cultivation of justice.