Phenomenology and Intercultural Understanding: Toward a New Cultural Flesh

Springer Verlag (2016)
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Abstract

This book approaches the topic of intercultural understanding in philosophy from a phenomenological perspective. It provides a bridge between Western and Eastern philosophy through in-depth discussion of concepts and doctrines of phenomenology and ancient and contemporary Chinese philosophy. Phenomenological readings of Daoist and Buddhist philosophies are provided: the reader will find a study of theoretical and methodological issues and innovative readings of traditional Chinese and Indian philosophies from the phenomenological perspective. The author uses a descriptive rigor to avoid cultural prejudices and provides a non-Eurocentric conception and practice of philosophy. Through this East-West comparative study, a compelling criticism of a Eurocentric conception of philosophy emerges. New concepts and methods in intercultural philosophy are proposed through these chapters. Researchers, teachers, post-graduates and students of philosophy will all find this work intriguing, and those with an interest in non-Western philosophy or phenomenology will find it particularly engaging.

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Chapters

Husserl, Buddhism and the Crisis of European Sciences

This chapter attempts at a reconstruction of Husserl’s encounter with Buddhism. Basing on a short review article written by Husserl in 1925 on the German translation of some Buddhist Scriptures, we will show that the father of phenomenology manifested an initial enthusiasm toward Buddhism rarely see... see more

To What Extent Can Phenomenology Do Justice to Chinese Philosophy? A Phenomenological Reading of Laozi

At a time of multiculturalism, a politically correct attitude toward the problem of philosophical pluralism will admit readily that there are as many possible types of philosophies as there are types of culture. In the West, the time of Hegel, who judges that Chinese philosophy remains at “the most ... see more

Jan Patočka: Critical Consciousness and Non-Eurocentric Philosopher of the Phenomenological Movement

This chapter constitutes a preliminary and humble attempt to answer the following question: How to make sense of the vast number of Patočka’s writings, themselves dispersed in most cases in the apparently modest form of exegetic exercises on works of classical thinkers, ancient or contemporary ? The... see more

Europe Beyond Europe: Patočka’s Concept of Care for the Soul and Mencius. An Intercultural Consideration

The present chapter is a modest attempt to sketch an answer to the following questions: What is Patočka’s concept of Europe? To what extent can his reflections on Europe, as those of a phenomenological philosopher from the “other Europe,” avoid the Eurocentric overtones of their Husserlian counterpa... see more

Lévi-Strauss and Merleau-Ponty: From Nature-Culture Distinction to Savage Spirit and Their Intercultural Implications

It is well known that at the beginning of the 1960s there was a rigorous debate between two leading intellectuals in France, namely Lévi-Strauss the structural anthropologist and Sartre the existential phenomenologist turned Marxist. While Sartre criticized Lévi-Strauss’ structural method of neglect... see more

Self-Transformation and the Ethical Telos: Orientative Philosophy in Lao Sze-Kwang, Foucault and Husserl

Is philosophy essentially a purely cognitive and theoretical enterprise? This is one of the central issues in the recent debate around the so-called “problem of the legitimacy of Chinese philosophy” in the academic community of Cultural China. Those who contest the legitimacy of the expression “Chin... see more

Introduction: Cultural Flesh and Intercultural Understanding: A Phenomenological Approach

This book aims at promoting intercultural understanding in philosophy as a philosophical response to the intensification of conflicts among cultures in the Twenty-First Century. This introductory chapter explains the phenomenological approach adopted to carry out such a task. It will begin by presen... see more

Conclusion: Toward a New Cultural Flesh

Our aim is to promote intercultural understanding in philosophy. In the precedent chapters we have undertaken a threefold task. Firstly, we have to clear off obstacles standing on the road to intercultural understanding. That is why we have undertaken the critique of Eurocentrism as a form of ethnoc... see more

Para-deconstruction: Preliminary Considerations for a Phenomenology of Interculturality

This chapter presents some preliminary discussions on the conditions of possibility of intercultural understanding in philosophy from the phenomenological approach. It begins by explaining the double epoché a philosopher of Chinese origin must enact in order to initiate intercultural communication w... see more

The Flesh: From Ontological Employment to Intercultural Employment

It is well-known that Merleau-Ponty presented the article “The Philosopher and His Shadow” to a conference celebrating the centenary of Husserl’s birth in 1959. In this now classic article in the literature of the phenomenological movement Merleau-Ponty paid homage to the founder of contemporary phe... see more

Disenchanted World-View and Intercultural Understanding: From Husserl Through Kant to Chinese Culture

How is intercultural understanding possible? This chapter is the results of some reflections which take into account the post-September-11 global situation. By this we refer to the undesirable intensification of conflict of civilizations and the extremist ways in which these conflicts are expressed,... see more

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Kwok-ying Lau
Chinese University of Hong Kong

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