B. Saal & B. Boteva-Richter
Ein Plädoyer für das »Inter« in der Interkulturalität
The inter or in-between which separates different cultures from one another at the same time links them together. It does, however, not stretch its own space, it has no own being. Thus, the inter of interculturality refers to the relationship amongst different cultures but it does not separate cultures by anything else but their relationship. Therefore cultures differ from one another in nothing else than in representing their inter-relationship in different ways. In anyone of them all cultures are at once at stake – and with them humanity as a whole. Intercultural philosophy, therefore, is less about understanding and recognition but rather it is about realising that the in-between of different cultures is their main source of meaning. Intercultural philosophy is a thinking of the in-between – and that means also and primarily: It is a thinking in the in-between.
Is there a difference between the essence of philosophy and the manifestations of the essence of philosophy in particular contexts, particular worlds or specific places? To answer this question, I argue in this essay that the act of philosophizing is comically very similar to the act of cooking or making a dish, and philosophers behave very much like chefs. I show that when a chef makes, for instance, a vegetable soup, she makes one out of hundreds of recipes of vegetable soup determined mainly by the ingredients available to her in a specific place. But her soup remains a vegetable soup because it has the essence of being so, by being made out of vegetables. Similarly, a philosopher’s philosophizing is one of many forms of philosophizing determined by the context from which she philosophizes from. But her philosophizing remains philosophical because it has the very essence of philosophy which, as I show, are primarily rigorous criticism and formulation of new concepts. I also show that just as the ingredients for making a dish are not the dish itself, since making a dish requires skilful utilization of the ingredients, ethnophilosophy is never philosophy in-itself until a philosopher subjects the philosophical traditions of a particular context to the rigours of philosophy. I illustrate these points by drawing examples from the rich philosophical traditions of Africa and Europe. I conclude by exploring what these two points entail for intercultural philosophy showing that philosophy within specific contexts is only possible due to the very essence of philosophy that cuts across all places and boundaries.
If we perceive of intercultural encounters as confrontations of preconceptions, we can ask for what dynamizes the exchange. Interest seems a promising candidate, as it suggests »being in between« of both the observer as well as the observed. This paper states that interest is, rather than one-sided intentionality, a primordial state of being in this world that corresponds to the »intermodal« character assumed for infants’ perception. Determination of a felt »I« as well as conceptual meaning are accomplished as accumulations and abstractions of felt qualities. Our understanding of the world and the »I« is thus aesthetically coded and the »place of the I« is characterized by an aesthetic quality of »inter« – we are basically always in-between our inter-modal perception but usually dissociated thereof by habituated interpretive patterns. It is argued that the state of being interested can be practiced such that it resets those habituations and free ourselves for new familiarization.
The interpersonal not only plays a role in research of consciousness and sociology, but also constitutes the basic reality of human existence. This text is an endeavor to explore the meaning of the interpersonal through an inquiry into the concept of qì (氣) in the context of the Neo-Confucian philosopher Zhāng Zaì and its function in realizing the most profound possibility of rén (仁), the interpersonal love. Against the dominant understanding of substance monism, qì (氣) is understood as the possibility and activity of resonance that reveals a relational reality. Within this scope, the interpersonal that is constituted by concrete resonant relation is understood as the most fundamental existential structure and process that is irreducible to a transcendent stuff or principle, it is a way towards both a common life-world and true uniqueness.
This paper highlights and analyzes the distinctions between the intercultural, the transcultural and the cross-cultural approach, and shows how they need each other to open up thinking spaces that will contribute to and transform a globalizing philosophy. Their combination makes interdisciplinarity a natural ingredient in intercultural philosophy, and directs attention to the workings of power in dialogue. Intercultural philosophy, inspired by hermeneutics and deconstruction, puts multi-centeredness and dialogue central. All the same it also presupposes transculturality – the ability for human beings to understand their questions as shared or common. It moreover needs to describe and address the historical forces of power play and oppression in human societies; as well as to make use of and promote the humble and hard work of cross-cultural research in the humanities and the sciences – to undergird its striving for a truly dialogical and inclusive understanding of the world.
. Zu: Wolfgang Welsch: Transkulturalität. Realität – Geschichte – Aufgabe. Nr. 40 S. 99-101.
Zu: Murat Ates, James Garrison, Georg Stenger, Franz Martin Wimmer (Hrsg.): Orte des Denkens – Places of Thinking. Nr. 40 S. 101-03.
Zu: François Jullien: Es gibt keine kulturelle Identität. Nr. 40 S. 104-07.
Zu: Bianca Boteva-Richter (Hrsg.): Gegenwartsphilosophie aus Ost-Europa. Nr. 40 S. 107-16.
Zu: Hamid Reza Yousefi: Kampfplätze des Denkens. Nr. 40 S. 117-18.
Zu: »The Presence of Ideologies«. Nr. 40 S. 119-21.
BUCHTIPPS S. 122-24