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editorial
1. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 26 > Issue: 4
Małgorzata Czarnocka, Charles Brown Editorial: Values and Ideals. Theory and Practice
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keynotes addresses
2. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 26 > Issue: 4
Charles Brown The Dialectics of Identity and Difference
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This paper traces the history of the International Society for Universal Dialogue by reflecting on the tension between universalism and pluralism and the underlying dialectics of identity and difference. This paper argues that this tension is the source of creativity and that dialogue, by its refusal to privilege one over the other, keeps this tension alive as it seeks ever better formulations and understandings of goodness, justice, and truth. This paper argues that philosophers are duty bound to honor their ideals and values through the sort of reflection and dialogue that features critique, clarification, and renewal of those ideals and values. Only through this process (critique, clarification, and renewal) do those values remain bright and vibrant.
3. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 26 > Issue: 4
Steven V. Hicks The Challenges of Universal Dialogue: Philosophical Ideals for a More Decent World
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In this keynote address, I reflect on the origin, history, past accomplishments, and guiding principles of the International Society for Universal Dialogue (ISUD). I also reflect on the future challenges facing our society and the need to critique, clarify, revise, and renew our core principles, values, and ideals.
4. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 26 > Issue: 4
John Rensenbrink On Co-Evolution
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The theory and practice of co-evolution offers a way forward for humanity that goes well beyond the deterministic confines of an outmoded mechanistic science that still inhabits much academic thought and research; and also goes well beyond postdeterministic efforts to exempt the human mind and will from its presumed inexorable embeddedness in the mechanistically perceived life and motions of the body. Coevolution rejects both and goes to the root of the matter regarding nature. It decisively affirms the post-mechanistic understandings of nature by quantum physics, feminist critique of patriarchy, and ecological philosophy. Co-evolution affirms that nature’s relational and animated being situates the human being and all individual human beings in an interactive mode. From this, dialogue is a natural, instead of a contrived, outgrowth and fulfillment of the human project. The way then is clear for humanity to coevolve interdependently with natural forces for mutual benefit.
5. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 26 > Issue: 4
Michael H. Mitias Possibility of Inter-Religious Dialogue: Structural and Formal Conditions
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In this paper the author explores the conditions under which inter-religious dialogue can be a transformative process not only of the interlocutor’s understanding of the beliefs and values of the religiously different other but also her attitude toward him or her. The proposition elucidated and defended is that, to be transformative, the dialogue should be God-centered, objective, empathic, and it should be grounded in the values of equality, respect, and toleration. The paper is composed of two parts. The first is devoted to an analysis of the concept of dialogue in general and of inter-religious dialogue in particular: What are the structural elements of dialogue between (a) individuals and (b) religious communities? The second part is devoted to an analysis of the conditions under which inter-religious dialogue can be a transformative process. The focus in this analysis is on the following question: What does it take for a person who has grown up in a certain religion, who understands herself and in fact lives from the standpoint that religion, to discern the religious truth proclaimed by another religion, to comprehend it, appreciate it, assent to it, and incorporate it in the structure of her mind or worldview? We may construct a formidable strategy, one that wins the blessing of reason, still, the question remains: How can a community, which tends to be exclusivist in its religious orientation, change its understanding of God or attitude toward the religious different other?
6. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 26 > Issue: 4
Kevin M. Brien Toward a Critical Appropriation of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics for the 21st Centur
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This is a working paper that presents the first phase of what will eventually be a huge project, namely a critical appropriation of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. Early on it provides a sketch of the main strands of Aristotle’s theoretical web in his N. Ethics. Following that, the paper offers some critical commentary concerning some of Aristotle’s main positions: especially his views on moral virtue, the soul, intellectual virtue, and human well-being. The paper then turns to the development of some significantly different ways of construing both intellectual virtue as well as moral virtue. With respect to intellectual virtue, I present my own perspective in interconnection with a process-oriented way of understanding reality, as opposed to Aristotle’s substance-oriented way. With respect to moral virtue, I present my interpretation in relation to a thisworldly understanding of the human spirit/soul, as well as a humanistic-Marxist interpretation of human well-being. Toward the paper’s end, I offer some suggestions concerning a modified “doctrine of the mean” that would be a sort of critical synthesis of the views of Aristotle and Confucius.
7. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 26 > Issue: 4
Mugobe B. Ramose Toward the Betterment of Human Relations
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Ontologies that privilege being over becoming fragment what is real by privileging completeness, finality, and stability over motion, change, flow, and flux. This, in turn, results in a conception of truth that tends toward dogmatism and absolutism. This essay sketches an alternative ontology rooted in the rheomodic character of all that is real. Such an ontology underwrites an alternative to the ego-centered form of reasoning. This essay compares and contrasts ego-centred reasoning and doing with a de-centred form of reasoning and doing. This alternative “de-centered” or rheomodic form of reasoning and doing allows us to retain the virtues and values of humanity, sociality, and universality without reducing all questions of humanity, sociality, or universality to dogmatic discourses and thereby promises to be a better alternative to the quest for human relations that promote equality, peace, and justice than the prevailing ego-centered reasoningand doing.
the jacobsen research prize papers
8. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 26 > Issue: 4
Robert Elliott Allinson Integrative Dialogue as a Path to Universalism: The Case of Buber and Zhuangzi
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I argue that it is through an integrative dialogue based on the Ijing (Book of Changes) model of cooperative and cyclical change rather, than a Marxist or neo-Marxist dialectical model of change based upon the Hegelian model of conflict and replacement, that promises the greatest possibility of peaceful coexistence. As a case study of a dialogue between civilizations, I utilize both a mythical and an historical encounter between Martin Buber, representing the West, and Zhuangzi, representing the East. I show that despite the vast temporal, historic, linguistic and cultural differences, that the dialogue between Zhuangzi and Buber is complementary and not adversarial.
9. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 26 > Issue: 4
Jonathan O. Chimakonam, Uti Ojah Egbai The Value of Conversational Thinking in Building a Decent World: The Perspective of Post-Colonial Sub-Saharan Africa
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In this paper we focus on conversational thinking to demonstrate the value of public reasoning in building a decent world and true democracies. We shall take into account the views of selected scholars, especially John Rawls and Jürgen Habermas, on law and democratic practice, to explain why post-colonial Africa is weighed down by sociopolitical hegemonies that have aversion to their opposition and eliminate room for strong institutions, rule of law and human rights. In light of conversational thinking, this eliminates any chance for “creative struggle,” i.e. a philosophers struggle against the post-colonial imaginary/social agents to dethrone strong individuals and create strong institutions. In the absence of these indices which a conversational orientation may engender, it is difficult to transform bogus democracy into true democracy and thus to create a decent society. Post-colonial Africa mired in social regression, political crisis and economic stagnation urgently needs conversational tonics to overcome the ineffectiveness of bogus democracy. We postulate a thesis about three structural transformations forming what we call Democratic Transformational Programme (DTP).
10. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 26 > Issue: 4
Richard Evanoff Worldviews and Intercultural Philosophy
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Having a better understanding of what worldviews are and how they function may be able to contribute to the resolution of conflicts which arise when people from different cultures holding different worldviews interact with each other. This paper begins by examining the nature of worldviews and how they might be approached from the perspective of intercultural philosophy. The paper then turns to meta-philosophical questions regarding the disciplinary boundaries, goals, and methods of intercultural philosophy with respect to worldviews. Attention is given to the possibility of adopting a constructivist, dialectical approach to cross-cultural dialogue on worldviews.
11. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 26 > Issue: 4
Andrew Fiala Transformative Pacifism in Theory and Practice: Gandhi, Buber, and the Dream of a Great and Lasting Peace
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12. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 26 > Issue: 4
Dilipkumar Mohanta Interreligious Dialogue and Vivekanand’s Vedantic Model of Pluralism
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What are the preconditions of interreligious dialogue? How do philosophical reflections help today a religiously plural society to live in harmony, peace and sustainable development? In this paper I deal with these questions in the light of Swami Vivekananda’s concept of Universal Religion and try to search for a philosophical model of interreligious dialogue. Vivekananda propounds that we are to go beyond tolerance, and accept other religions as good as our own. Vivekananda’s interpretation has also the implication of transcending various commonly known worldviews in the context of religion and culture. It strengthens the application of the principle of “live and let live.” This model of understanding does not regard the existence of other religions as a hindrance to worldly progress and peace. This attitude is rather guided by a practical plan which does not allow for questioning the encountering of religion. It does not destroy the individuality of any man in religion and at the same time shows him a point of union with all others. Our analysis will develop the significance and relevance of this view.
13. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 26 > Issue: 4
Andrew Targowski Wisdom as Information. Towards an Integrational Model of Wisdom
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The purpose of this investigation is to define, first, wisdom from the point of view of the cognitive approach, and, second, to integrate this definition with the aspects of wisdom as defined by the semantic, cognitive, psychological approaches as well as to a certain degree by the philosophical approach. The research is based on an interdisciplinary view of the main aspects of wisdom’s development and their interdependency. Among the findings are: wisdom is information reflecting good judgment and choice; it is the final cognition unit in the Semantic Ladder and has different levels of scope and quality depending on the four minds, namely basic, whole, global and universal mind, which are supported by the art of living, understood as the reflection of behavioral aspects of wisdom within the philosophical framework of the hierarchy of possible purposes of one’s life. Practical implications: Wisdom can be accomplished in all phases of living. Social implication: The quest for wisdom should be achieved by teaching wisdom once it is defined. Originality: This investigation, by providing an interdisciplinary and civilizational approach, allows for the teaching and application of wisdom in a typical manner as is done by other disciplines and their issues.
14. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 26 > Issue: 4
Keqian Xu Confucian Philosophy of Zhongdaology and Its Practical Significance in Resolving Conflicts
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The essence of traditional Chinese Confucian philosophy can be termed “Zhongdaology”; it searches for the appropriate degree of zhong which is a standard guiding people’s actions. The Chinese pictographic character “zhong” has multiple meanings, including centrality, middle, appropriate, fit, just, fair, impartial, upright, etc. In early Confucianism, it has been developed into an important concept with profound philosophical connotations; it includes a combination of subjective and objective views, a fusion of different stances and considerations, and postulates a harmony of the internal and external worlds. Zhongdaology takes a dynamic, contextual, correlative and dialectic view of things in the world, and provides a way of thinking different from the traditional Western ontological (metaphysical) way of thinking. The practical rationality and wisdom of Zhongdaology are very significant for promoting dialogue and resolving a variety of conflicts in human societies.
15. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 26 > Issue: 4
Qiong Wang Knowing as Acting: Examples from Confucianism and Buddhism
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We often separate knowing and acting into two distinct tasks to perform and think that one must first know and only then can one act. This also indicates that one can have knowledge without action or one can know what the proper action is yet fail to act. This essay will examine theories of learning/knowing suggested in the Confucian and Buddhist traditions and argue that there is a strong tendency in Confucianism and Buddhism that favors engaged knowing over detached knowing and rejects the separation between knowing and acting. The essay will also suggest that the idea of engaged knowing suggested in Buddhism and Confucianism will help us reevaluate the representationalist notion of knowledge.
16. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 26 > Issue: 4
Emily Tajsin ISUD XI World Congress: Reminiscences
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17. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 26 > Issue: 3
Małgorzata Czarnocka Editorial
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human nature beyond naturalism. phenomenological, anthropological and psychoanalytical perspectives
18. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 26 > Issue: 3
Jagna Brudzińska, Stanisław Czerniak Introduction: Human Nature beyond Naturalism. Phenomenological, Anthropological and Psychoanalytical Perspectives
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19. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 26 > Issue: 3
Dieter Lohmar Human Freedom—a Husserlian Perspective
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I would like to discuss—on the basis of a phenomenological argumentation—the different meanings of our everyday claim that we are free in our actions and decisions. First, I reject deterministic theories in the naturalistic approach by using Husserl’s argument that the subsumtion of human decisions under the causal paradigm is simply an unjustified extension of a methodical idealization in the framework of naturalization. Then I argue for Husserl’s understanding that humans are generally subjects under a manifold of effective influences but they are nevertheless free. In the end some aspects of our freedom are delineated.
20. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 26 > Issue: 3
Mariannina Failla Disturbances of Temporality and the Potentialities of Phenomenological Perception
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The paper presents the phenomenological conception of bodily perception (leibliche Wahrnehmung) as a possible therapeutic model for treating melancholic depression. At the beginning, it discusses some key concepts of Freud’s psychoanalysis: instinct (Trieb), memory, perception, narcissism and melancholia. Next, the Freudian theory of melancholia is compared with studies of phenomenological psychopathology (Binswanger). It is investigated how melancholia is based on the division of temporal relations. Finally, the main problem of the paper is investigated: can the structure of perception and its constitutive openness toward the future represent a theoretical model for therapeutic practices designed to treat melancholic depression?