chapter  9
11 Pages

Salman Rushdie, the Ayatollahand the limits of toleration

For Wittgenstein too, substantive debate about moral values seems to be one of those areas which, as philosophers. we must 'pass over in silence'. The most philosophers can do is to understand the moral world as constituted in the use and force of particular key terms and patterns of discourse in a given community.2 One of the most famous and influential essays in this tradition denies even that we can confute belief in such practices as 'witchcraft' since we can only do so by importing Western standards of evidence and rationality, and the status of these is exactly the same, within our own cultural environment, as the status of witchcraft belief within a witchcraft culture.3