Volume 7, 2007
Philosophy of Culture(s)
This paper focuses on the philosophical analysis of interculturality. Globalization involves the problem of the universal and its relation to the particular in cultures. In some interpretations, universality is sharply opposed to particularity (Arjun Appadurai's theory of "break" in culture). In contrast to this, there are authors who allow for both particular and universal, focusing on their interrelation. Roland Robertson shows that diversity and multiculturality do not exclude forms of cultural unity. The analysis involves the current debate regarding the term "intercultural philosophy" (Ram Adhar Mall, Franz Wimmer). Intercultural philosophy raises questions about philosophy itself, and involves the revision of the whole concept of philosophy. It brings to the forefront the problem of the interrelations between the cultural-specific and the universal in philosophy. For some philosophers, the notion intercultural seems to be incompatible with philosophy as universal knowledge. However, the adherents of interculturality develop a broader and more pluralistic concept of philosophy, viewed as embedded in certain cultural and philosophical traditions while dealing with perennial questions and aiming to give universally valid answers. Two main paradigms of interculturality are distinguished: one is Raimundo Panikkar's "intercultural-interreligious paradigm"; the other is the "intercultural-liberation paradigm" developed by Raul Fornet-Betancourt. At the heart of this analysis is Fornet- Betancourt's concept of the intercultural transformation of philosophy. It is related to interculturality, or the dialogue of cultures. It challenges the Eurocentric philosophical historiography and claims the necessity of the reconstruction of the history of ideas in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, thus creating a new view of the history of philosophy. The concept of intercultural dialogue is also considered as a "regulative idea" in creating an alternative to current globalization.