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Leonardo, Vol. 13, pp. 317-322 Pergamon Press 1980. Printed in Great Britain WORLD PEACE IN TRUTH* Mortimer J. Adler** I. The prospects for a world community and world peace are necess~rily linked to a prior question concerning cultural umty. And cultural unity is itself linked to an even more basic question concerning the unity of man and the umty of truth. My conviction about the latter - the unity of man and the unity of truth - is generated by t~ree t.heses. The first is that the human race is a single biological species, renewed generation after generation by the reproductive determinations of a single gene pool. !Ie~c.e, man is one in nature; that is, in specificnature. All Indl~ldual members of the species have the same speciesspecific properties or characteristics. The sec~md. thesis is that, the human race being one, the human mInd IS also one. I am here using the word 'mind' to signify the complex of cognitive and ratiocinative powers and propensities that, when exercised, result in human thought and knowledge, in social institutions, and in.the productions ofthe arts and technology. The human mind, thus understood, is a species-specific property: it is to be found in every individual member ofthe species and it is the same in all. ' ~he. fact that mind, in the sense indicated, is subject to v~natlOns In degree (some individuals having its constItuent powers to a higher, some to a lower degree), does not In any way negate the proposition that the same po.wers, to whatever degree, are possessed by all human belI~gs. However, the truth ofthis thesis does preclude the n~tlOn thatthere is, within the human species, a primitive mind that IS characteristically different from a civilized mind, an Oriental mind that is characteristically different from an Occidental one, or even a child mind that differs in kind, not just degree, from an adult one. What I havejust said is, I take it, the fundamental thesis of a movement called 'structuralism', which has a current vogue but which, if I understand it correctly is based on an insight that can hardly be regarded as novel, however novel may be the particular psychological discoveries of Jean Piaget and the particular anthropological discoveries ofLevi-Strauss, from which the movement draws its inspiration. My third thesis is that world peace is an ultimate desideratum - not as an end in itself but rather as an indi.spensable means or condition prerequisite to the achievement ofa good human life by all human beings in some future generation. I must now add three propositions to that third thesis: (I) That world peace is impossible without world govern- *This article appeared in The Center Magazine (a publication of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, Santa Barbara, California), p. 56 (March/April 1978). Reprinted with permission. **Director, Institute for Philosophical Research, 101 East Ontario St., Chicago, IL 60611, U.S.A. 317 ment. (2) That world government is impossible to establish and, even if established, would not long endure and prosper without world community. (3) That world community requires a certain degree ofcultural unity or unity of civilization, a condition that certainly does not exist at present. In the light of these initial theses and the propositions attendant upon the third, I can now state the problem. It concerns the kind and degree of cultural unity required for world community as a basis for world government and world peace. It involves two questions. One asks, how much cultural diversity should and will persist after enough cultural unity is achieved to create a world community? Stated another way, how much cultural diversity iscompatible with the unity of man and the unity of truth? The second question follows: What kind of cultural diversity is demanded by the unity of truth and what kind of cultural diversity is precluded? ' Both questions refer to the unity of truth. While some may agree with my first thesis about the unity ofman, and even with its immediate consequence - the unity of the human mind - they may justly wonder whether I have not slipped a ringer into the discussion by adding the unity ~f...


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