I have previously argued (here) for a particular model of philosophical pluralism based on the metaphor of being "multilingual." That is, we should speak different traditions natively, or at least as well as we can, as native fluency is the ideal. Previously, I have argued for the positive side of this form of philosophical pluralism, and now I wish to levy a critique against what I will name "philosophical cosmopolitanism."
"Cosmopolitanism" simpliciter invokes the idea of the "cosmos within a city," where all differences meet and work together in unity, at least ideally. The metaphor of the "cosmopolitan city" is apt to make my critique. The problem of such a city is that the cosmopolitans are fundamentally appropriators and synthesizers; the city exists only because true difference that is not appropriated exists and flourishes. Because not everyone is cosmopolitan and strives to be so. In real cities, this means that the various social and ethnic groups have relatively homogeneous home locales and resist assimilation. Cosmopolitanism is only sustainable insomuch as its appropriation is not total, else it annihilates the cultural cosmos for the sake of the polis.
If we become "philosophical cosmopolitans," a view that I think apt to describe certain "post-tradition" thinking, then we face the same problem. If we read "that old wacky guy Nietzsche" without the history of philosophy and historic context--if we just mine the text for ideas--then we have annihilated the cosmos for the sake of the polis, or historic communities of meaning for the present dominant one. We have narrowed our horizons for thought and meaning.
I write this because there is a strong push for eliminating the "continental vs. analytic divide," and some argue for what looks like philosophical cosmopolitanism. I think that this is terribly mistaken for a number of reasons, some of which should be obvious given the prior discussion. Eliminating different traditions annihilates the hermeneutic communities upon which cosmopolitanism subsists. The move also presumes that it is even possible, let alone possible without violent coercion. As a pragmatist, and thereby not on either side, I expect to be relegated to an ideological internment camp no matter which side of the Great War "wins." Thus, I plead for a third way, learning multiple traditions natively and thereby respecting their differences, which also requires that we not annihilate either.