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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 30, Issue 3, 2020

Comparative Culture Studies in Philosophy and Aesthetics

Aivaras Stepukonis
Pages 43-53

In Search of Culturally-Informed Universalism
A Brief Recapitulation of the Early Stages of the Honolulu Movement of Comparative Philosophy

Humanity is moving towards a new world order, a “meta-civilization” with common values, processes, and organization, where cultural, national, and religious conflicts based on cultural differences are so easy to ignite and difficult to put out. In a world like this it is necessary to trace the origins of such differences (similarities as well), and study the conditions of their appearance. It is important to raise the awareness of the representatives of diverse civilizations and to encourage them to look for common grounds to foster intercultural understanding. With regard to the newly emerging world, philosophers do not keep aloof, they do rise from their cozy armchairs and confront the factual world where it is most problematic. “Innovative” ideas put forward today by the experts of international relations who emphasize the role of different civilizations in the global world, in fact were generated by the Honolulu movement of comparative philosophy much earlier. The members of the movement were already aware of the vital need to bring together foreign, often conflicting, civilizations and search for common intellectual footage between them. As a response to the problem they proposed the idea of a “world philosophy.” The article presents a typology of six distinguishable meanings of a “world philosophy” that were developed and circulated by the Honolulu movement of comparative philosophy, with a brief critique of each meaning.

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