Is tradition a vice or virtue in human flourishing?

22 Jul

It has been said that conservatives are obsessed with protecting society, where tradition is seen as a kind of social glue holding society together. Liberals, on the other hand, are obsessed with perfecting society, where tradition is seen as a harmful impediment to social progress. Both see human flourishing as affected by the existence of tradition, for good or ill. In this discussion between two social philosophers, tradition is debated as either a positive or negative force in society.

Is tradition a concept used to defend backward ideas and ancient traditions, or is it a quiet reminder of values we should hold precious? Philosophers Mark Kingwell and John Haldane exchange ideas on the future of tradition in the Western world.

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