For some time, the role of culture in language education within schools, universities and professional communication has received increasing attention. This article identifies two aporias in the discourse of intercultural communication (IC): first, that it contains an unstated movement towards a universal consciousness; second, that its claims to truth are grounded in an implicit appeal to a transcendental moral signified. These features constitute IC discourse as ‘totality’, or as ‘metaphysics of presence’. The article draws on the work of Levinas (1969/2007, (...) 1998/2009); and Derrida (1976, 1978, 1981, 1993) to propose more considered ethical grounds for intercultural praxis. Contra a Hegelian impetus towards universal consciousness, we posit an irreducible distance and separation between the self and other. In so doing, not only are we able to supersede the field's implicit appeal to the transcendental as a source of truth but also to counter perceptibly ‘exorbitant’ claims and actions of the intercultural other. In this vein, the article proposes a discourse ethics of responsibility by which it still becomes possible for a critical intercultural praxis to make value judgements and to take potentially transformative action vis-à-vis cultural acts that challenge the limits of intercultural tolerance and hospitality. (shrink)
Traditional forms of farming, herding, and fishing are remarkably adapted to African conditions but these traditional approaches are being overtaken by modern pressures, particularly population growth. According to a report published by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), a nonpartisan analytical support agency of the U. S. Congress, one promising way to help African farmers and herders would be for development assistance organizations to focus more attention on the various forms of low-resource agriculture that predominate in Africa.In keeping with OTA's (...) mission and primary audience, “Enhancing Agriculture in Africa: A Role for U. S. Development Assistance” (1988) is a policy-oriented synthesis of available technical information. The report provides Congress with a range of options that, if pursued, could help Africans enhance agriculture, increase their food security, and improve their lives.This paper is drawn from the larger OTA report, and it focuses on the role technology might play in enhancing low-resource agriculture. Readers should see the full assessment (OTA, 1988) for more information on policy considerations; the specific technologies mentioned; or a complete list of advisory panel members, workshops and participants, and commissioned papers.OTA's report comes at a critical time: for a variety of reasons—ranging from changing values to increased budget constraints—U. S. foreign assistance policy is undergoing a fundamental reevaluation. This review of the potential of low-resource agriculture, and options the United States might pursue to enhance this approach, was intended to aid in this reevaluation. (shrink)
I reply to critical discussion of my work by Copthorne Macdonald, Steve Fuller, John Stewart, Joseph Agassi, Margaret Boden, Donald Gillies, Mathew Iredale, David Hodgson, Karl Rogers, and Leemon McHenry.