Advertisement

Beyond Ethnocentrism: Towards a Global Social Theory

  • Hans-Herbert Kögler
  • Ľubomír Dunaj
Chapter

Abstract

In this chapter we present the sketch of a global social theory that overcomes the paralyzing opposition between ethnocentrism and relativism by making the cultural situatedness of theory construction its starting point. Avoiding the master-narratives of either a developmental or a transcendental grounding, we aim to reconstruct the agentive resources that allow individual subjects to position themselves critically and reflexively within their cultural and social contexts. Cultural worlds thus emerge as the localized inescapable horizons from within which cultural critique necessarily emerges. Our global social theory develops its formal framework by first grounding itself in hermeneutics, followed by developing an account of how linguistically mediated conceptual schemes pre-structure intercultural dialogue, to eventually arrive at three dimensions of self-reflexivity that are entailed in all meaning-constitution: existential self-reflexivity, dialogical other-reflexivity, and holistic world-reflexivity. We probe our account by engaging Chinese thought and ethics vis-à-vis the relation between self, other, and world-embeddedness. Neo-Confucianism raises concerns vis-à-vis the distinction between social normativity and cosmological ontology, but promises multiple pathways of non-Western modes of conceptualizing the crucial relation between self and being. Irreducible self-reflexivity, egalitarian self-other relations, and interpretive self-awareness present universal marks of our otherwise thoroughly contextual and cultural practices of global self-understanding.

References

  1. Angle, Stephen C. (2009) Sagehood. The Contemporary Significance of Neo-Confucian Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Angle, Stephen C. (2012) Contemporary Confucian Political Philosophy: Toward Progressive Confucianism. Cambridge (UK) & Malden (USA): Polity.Google Scholar
  3. App, Urs (2010) The Birth of Orientalism. Philadelphia–Oxford: Penn.Google Scholar
  4. Arnason, Johann P. (2014) ‘Historizing Axial Civilizations,’ S. A. Arjomand (ed.), Social Theory and Regional Studies in the Global Age. Albany: SUNY, 179–201.Google Scholar
  5. Arnason, Johann P. (2016) ‘Der Eurozentrizmus und seine Widersacher. Kritische Bemerkungen zu einer unfruchtbaren Kontroverse,’ S. Randeria Border Crossing. Grenzverschiebungen und Grenzüberschreitungen in einer globalisierten Welt. Zürich: vdf Hochschulverlag AG an der ETH, pp. 21–35.Google Scholar
  6. Beck, Ulrich (2007) “The Cosmopolitan Condition: Why Methodological Nationalism Fails,” Theory, Culture & Society, 24 (7–8): 286–290.Google Scholar
  7. Behr, Wolfgang (2015) ‘Der gegenwärtige Forschungstand zur Etymologie von rén 仁 im Überblick,’ Bochumer Jahrbuch zur Ostasienforschung, 38, pp. 199–224.Google Scholar
  8. Billeter, Jean François (2002) Leçons sur Tchouang-tseu. Paris: Allia.Google Scholar
  9. Billeter, Jean François (2010) Notes sur Tchouang-tseu at la philosophie. Paris: Allia.Google Scholar
  10. Bondy, Egon (1992) Čínská filosofie [Chinese Philosophy]. Prague: Vokno 1991.Google Scholar
  11. Bondy, Egon (2001) The Consolation of Ontology: On the Substantial and Nonsubstantial Models. Lanham (MD)–Oxford (UK): Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  12. Bondy, Egon (2005) ‘Doslov’ [Epilogue] in Lao c’ (2005) Tao Te ťing. Trans. Marina Čarnogurská & Egon Bondy. Bratislava–Pezinok: Agentúra Fischer, pp. 173–178.Google Scholar
  13. Bondy, Egon (2009) Příběh o příběhu [Story after story]. Prague: DharmaGaia 2009.Google Scholar
  14. Čarnogurská, Marina et al. (2006) Čínske odpovede aj na naše nezodpovedané filozofické otázky [Chinese Answers also to our Unanswered Philosophical Questions]. Bratislava: Kalligram.Google Scholar
  15. Čarnogurská-Ferancová, Marina (2015) ‘Modern World Needs Laozi’s Wisdom about the Substance of Being and Living in Harmony with Nature’, Sociology and Anthropology, 3(4), pp. 207–217.Google Scholar
  16. Čarnogurská-Ferancová, Marina (2016) ‘Modern Natural Sciences Could Inspire from Classical Chinese Metaphysics to Better Understand the Nature of Being’, Universal Journal of Physics and Application, 10(5), pp. 157–169.Google Scholar
  17. Cook, Daniel J. and Rosemont, Henry Jr. (1994) ‘Introduction’, in: G. W. Leibniz Writings on China. Chicago and LaSalle: Open Court, pp. 1–44.Google Scholar
  18. Dreyfus, Hubert and Taylor, Charles (2015) Retrieving Realism, Cambridge: Harvard U.P.Google Scholar
  19. Elvin, Mark (2004) The Retreat of the Elephants. An Environmental History of China. New Haven–London: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Fairbank, John King and Goldman, Merle (2006) China. A New History. Cambridge, MA–London, UK: The Belknap Press.Google Scholar
  21. Gadamer, Hans-Georg ([1960] 1989) Truth and Method. New York: Crossroad Publishers.Google Scholar
  22. Habermas, Jürgen (1971) Knowledge and Human Interests, Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  23. Habermas, Jürgen (1983) Theory of Communicative Action, Vol. 1. Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  24. Habermas, Jürgen (1988) The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  25. Heidegger, Martin ([1927] 1962) Being and Time, Oxford: Blackwell P. Ltd.Google Scholar
  26. Heidegger, Martin (1999) Ontology: Hermeneutics of Facticity, Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Held, David (1995) Democracy and the Global Order: From the Modern State to Cosmopolitan Governance, Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  28. Heubel, Fabian (2009) ‘Transkulturelle Kritik und die chinesische Moderne. Zwischen Frankfurter Schule und Neokonfuzianismus.’ in I. Amelung & A. Dippner (eds.): Kritische Verhältnisse. Die Rezeption der Frankfurter Schule in China. Frankfurt/New York: Campus, pp. 43–65.Google Scholar
  29. Heubel, Fabian (2016) Chinesische Gegenwartsphilosophie zur Einführung. Hamburg: Junius.Google Scholar
  30. Hrubec, Marek (2010) ‘Preconditions of an Intercultural Dialogue on Human Rights’, Veritas, 55(1), pp. 183–205.Google Scholar
  31. Hsu, Cho-Yun (2005) ‘Rethinking the Axial Age–The Case of Chinese Culture’ in J. P. Arnason, S. N. Eisenstadt and B. Wittrock (eds.) Axial Civilizations and World History. Leiden: Brill, pp. 451–467.Google Scholar
  32. Jullien, François (2011) The Silent Transformations. London–New York–Calcutta: Seagull Books.Google Scholar
  33. Kögler, Hans-Herbert (1997) “Reconceptualizing Reflexive Sociology: A Reply.” Special issue “New Directions in the Sociology of Knowledge,” Social Epistemology, Vol. 11, n. 2, April—June 1997.Google Scholar
  34. Kögler, Hans-Herbert (1999) The Power of Dialogue: Critical Hermeneutics after Gadamer and Foucault. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  35. Kögler, Hans-Herbert (2005) “Constructing a Cosmopolitan Public Sphere: Hermeneutic Capabilities and Universal Values,” European Journal of Social Theory, SAGE Publishers, 297–320.Google Scholar
  36. Kögler, Hans-Herbert. 2012 “Agency and the Other: On the Intersubjective Roots of Self-Identity,” New Ideas in Psychology 30, (2012), 47–64.Google Scholar
  37. Leibniz, G. W. (1991) Discourse on Metaphysics and Other Essays, Indianapolis & Cambridge: Hackett P. C.Google Scholar
  38. Lao c’ (2005) Tao Te ťing. Trans. Marina Čarnogurská & Egon Bondy. Bratislava–Pezinok: Agentúra Fischer.Google Scholar
  39. McCarthy, Thomas (2009) Race, Empire, and the Idea of Human Development, Cambridge: Cambridge U.P.Google Scholar
  40. Onuma, Yasuaki (1999) ‘Toward an Intercivilizational Approach to Human Rights’, in J. R. Bauer and D. A. Bell (eds.) The East Asian Challenge for Human Rights. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Ormiston, Gayle and Schrift, Alan (1990) The Hermeneutic Tradition: From Ast to Ricoeur, New York: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
  42. Page, Benjamin B. (2001) ‘Translator’s Introduction’ in E. Bondy (2001) The Consolation of Ontology: On the Substantial and Nonsubstantial Models. Lanham, MD–Oxford, UK: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  43. Qing, Jiang (2013) Confucian Constitutional Order. How China’s Ancient Past Can Shape Its Political Future. Princeton: Princeton.Google Scholar
  44. Roetz, Heiner (1993) Confucian Ethics of the Axial Age: A Reconstruction Under the Aspect of the Breakthrough Toward Postconventional Thinking. Albany: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
  45. Roetz, Heiner (2006) Konfuzius. München: C. H. Beck.Google Scholar
  46. Roetz, Heiner (2013a) ‘The Influence of Foreign Knowledge on Eighteenth Century European Secularism,’ M. Eggert & L. Hölscher (eds.): Religion and Secularity: Transformations and Transfers of Religious Discourses in Europe and Asia. Leiden & Boston: Brill, 9–33.Google Scholar
  47. Roetz, Heiner (2013b) ‘Chinese ‘Unity of Man and Nature’: Reality or Myth?’ in C. Meinert (ed.) Nature, Environment and Culture in East Asia. The Challenge of Climate Change. Leiden–Boston: Brill.Google Scholar
  48. Roetz, Heiner (2016) ‘Who is Engaged in the ‘Complicity with Power’? On the Difficulties Sinology has with Dissent and Transcendence,’ Nahum Brown und Willam Franke (eds.) Transcendence, Immanence and Intercultural Philosophy, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 283–317.Google Scholar
  49. Shun, Kwong-loi–Wong, David B. (eds.) (2004) Confucian Ethics. A Comparative Study of Self, Autonomy, and Community. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  50. Simpson, Lorenzo (2014) “Critical Interventions: Towards a Hermeneutical Rejoinder,” in Xie, Ming (ed.), The Agon of Interpretations. Towards a Critical Intercultural Hermeneutics, Toronto: U. of Toronto P., 252–274.Google Scholar
  51. Weber, Max ([1922] 1978) Economy and Society, Berkeley: U. of California Press.Google Scholar
  52. Wright, Kathleen (2015) “Hermeneutics and Confucianism,” in Malpas, Jeff/Gander, Hans-Helmuth (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Hermeneutics, London/New York: Routledge, 674–691.Google Scholar
  53. Zempliner, Artur (1962a) ‘Die chinesische Philosophie und Anfange der deutschen Aufklarung’, Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie, 1962/6.Google Scholar
  54. Zempliner, Artur (1962b) ‘Die chinesische Philosophie und J. Ch. Wolff’, Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie, 1962/10, pp. 758–778.Google Scholar
  55. Zempliner, Artur (1966) ‘Leibniz und die chinesische Philosophie’, in Akten des Internationalen Leibniz-Kongresses, Hannover 1966.Google Scholar
  56. Zempliner, Artur (1970) ‘Gedanken über die erste deutsche Übersetzung von Leibniz’ Abhandlung über die chinesische Philosophie’ in Studia Leibnitiana II. Wiesbaden.Google Scholar
  57. Zhang, Qianfan (2010) ‘Humanity or Benevolence? The Interpretation of Confucian Ren and its Modern Implications’, in K. P. Yu, J. Tao & P. J. Ivanhoe (eds.): Taking Confucian Ethics Seriously. Contemporary Theories and Applications. Albany: State University of New York Press, pp. 53–72.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans-Herbert Kögler
    • 1
  • Ľubomír Dunaj
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of North FloridaJacksonvilleUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Political ScienceUniversity of PrešovPrešovSlovakia

Personalised recommendations