Intimacy Or Integrity: Philosophy and Cultural Difference

University of Hawaii Press
4
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How can I know something? How can I convince someone of the rightness of my position? How does reality function? What is artistic creativity? What is the role of the state? It is well known that people from various cultures give dissimilar answers to such philosophical questions. After three decades in the cross-cultural study of ideas and values, Thomas Kasulis found that culture influences not only the answers to these questions, but often how one arrives at the answers. In generalizing cultural difference, Kasulis identifies two kinds of orientation: intimacy and integrity. Both determine how we think about relations among people and among things, and each is reasonable, effective, and consistent. Yet the two are so incompatible in their basic assumptions that they cannot successfully engage each other.

Cultural difference extends beyond nations. Cultural identities crystallize in relation to religion, occupation, race, gender, class. Rather than attempt to transcend cultural difference, Kasulis urges a deeper awareness of its roots by moving beyond mere cultural relativism toward a cultural bi-orientationality that will allow us to adapt ourselves to different cultural contexts as the situation demands.

Wonderfully clear and unburdened by jargon, Intimacy or Integrity is accessible to readers from a variety of perspectives and backgrounds. By analyzing the synergy between thought and culture, it increases our understanding of cultural difference and guides us in developing strategies for dealing with orientations different from our own.

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About the author

Thomas P. Kasulis is University Distinguished Scholar and Professor Emeritus in Comparative Studies at the Ohio State University, where he has taught in the departments of comparative studies, philosophy, and East Asian studies.

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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Hawaii Press
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Published on
Dec 31, 2002
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Pages
183
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ISBN
9780824825591
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / Ethics & Moral Philosophy
Philosophy / General
Self-Help / Personal Growth / Happiness
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Philosophy in America enjoyed a golden age at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries with the flourishing of distinctive and original schools of pragmatism, idealism, and naturalism. These American philosophies shared a family of conceptions of human experience far richer than their contemporary European schools of empiricism and phenomenology. The American conceptions of experience embrace critical and speculative conceptions of reason, presenting decisive alternatives to the Kantian foundationalist project that expressed itself in positivism, analytic philosophy, and phenomenology. During the middle part of the twentieth century these American philosophies were eclipsed by the European schools, however, and philosophy was reduced from the public intellectual roles given it by the likes of William James and John Dewey to a narrow academic practice interesting to few other than academic philosophers.

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Philosophy in America enjoyed a golden age at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries with the flourishing of distinctive and original schools of pragmatism, idealism, and naturalism. These American philosophies shared a family of conceptions of human experience far richer than their contemporary European schools of empiricism and phenomenology. The American conceptions of experience embrace critical and speculative conceptions of reason, presenting decisive alternatives to the Kantian foundationalist project that expressed itself in positivism, analytic philosophy, and phenomenology. During the middle part of the twentieth century these American philosophies were eclipsed by the European schools, however, and philosophy was reduced from the public intellectual roles given it by the likes of William James and John Dewey to a narrow academic practice interesting to few other than academic philosophers.

John Edwin Smith, through a long publishing and teaching career at Yale, has championed the rich American conceptions of experience and speculative reason, and it seems that at the end of this century they are returning in triumph. This book celebrates the recovery and new growth of American philosophy in a stunning variety of connected and vital intellectual projects represented by its contributors: George Allan, Douglas R. Anderson, Lewis S. Ford, Errol Harris, Richard Hocking, Thomas P. Kasulis, George R. Lucas, Jr., Robert Cummings Neville, Donald W. Sherburne, Merold Westphal, Kuang-ming Wu, and Carl G. Vaught. Displaying philosophy's recovery in America, this book also honors John Edwin Smith, who has kept the history and trajectory of philosophy in America in sight, and who contributes a prophetic commentary on the other essays.
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