chapter  9
Freedom as an Asian Value
WithDavid Kelly (Australian Defence Force Academy)
Pages 22

Discussions of Asian values and their possible relations to universal norms like human rights, democracy, and so forth, generally suffer from vague and inconsistent usages at many levels of expression, from basic terms and concepts to entire structures of description and argument. This cacophony is, from a philosophical point of view, part of the human condition. Only in narrowly defined academic arenas are (what are for some of us) comfortable levels of clarity and unanimity to be found. Short of retreating to such ivory towers, there seems little alternative to putting up with the clamour, the fuzzy references and stereotypes, hoping the collateral damage to one’s own understanding and to communication-in the first place between scholars, but ultimately between cultural universes-does not mount too high.