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, namely terrorist or quasi-terrorist acts of violence, be them of state, organizational or individual nature. Educated by the wider phenomenological movement, we have paid particular critical attention to the Eurocentric declarations of the father of the movement Husserl. Yet our reflections on the conditions of cultural plurality drive us to rediscover a universalizable moment in Husserl's Idea of philosophy as rigorous science which is essential to intercultural understanding: the disenchanted world-view as a necessary correlate of the idea of rigorous science. The latter is a result of the disenchantment of the world conceptualized by Weber at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, diagnosed by Nietzsche prior to the invention of this term in the second part of the Nineteenth Century, and philosophically worked out in its essential ingredients by Kant's critical philosophy at the high time of European Enlightenment in the late Eighteenth Century. Yet the growth of the disenchanted world-view in Europe, we hope to show, is not a purely European affair. An important cultural factor had come into play, namely the reception of Chinese culture and the debate, since the end of the Seventeenth Century, among European philosophers and intellectuals around the history and nature of this cultural Other of Europe and its compatibility with the Christian world-view. Views and positions of selected representative figures who have taken part in the debate (Malebranche, Leibniz, Wolff and Voltaire) will be discussed to show how intercultural understanding around a concrete issue has been taking place in Europe and how Eurocentrism has been repudiated by avant-guard thinkers in Europe some three centuries ago.
Lau, K.-Y. (2016). Disenchanted world-view and intercultural understanding: from Husserl through Kant to chinese culture, in Phenomenology and intercultural understanding, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 103-124.
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