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61. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 3
Vytautas Rubavičius The Importance of Civilizational Imagination in Contemporary Geopolitics
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The heritage of civilizations in geopolitics is progressively used to consolidate the vision of a multipolar world and, thereby, to establish its important place in the arena of international affairs. Civilizational heritage and civilizational imagination become increasingly important geopolitical factors which begin to shape the relations between China, Russia, Turkey, the United States and the European Union. In global politics during the last decades, in one way or another, Samuel Huntington’s ideas of the interactions between civilizations and their development externalised with the stress on the increase of civilizational conflicts. These ideas made great impact on political elites of main world powers. The author of this article—drawing attention to the importance of cultural and especially religious factors for civilizational processes and the interactions between civilizations, which were also raised by Huntington—examines the peculiarities of the Russian and Turkish civilizational and geopolitical discourses, and connects to those discourses the current geopolitics pursued by the political elites of these countries. The promotion of the current role of the civilization and its geopolitical legacy highlights the uniqueness of civilizations and creates an effort to strengthen the civilizational imagination and to use the civilizational imperial experience and its cultural heritage in current political events. The Russian discourse is characterised by the historical anti-Western and anti-European attitude of Eurasian Messianic civilizational distinctiveness, while the Turkish rhetoric is characterised by the elevation of the imperial Ottoman Islamic cultural and political heritage. Both the discourses are linked by an imperial mentality, orientation towards a multi-civilizational and multi-polar world as well as the demand to create a new world order in line with such an emerging worldview. The article also discusses some of the ideas prevailing in the European Union that underpin the policy of creating a post-national European cosmopolitan community. However, such discourse lacks a cultural, civilizational as well as religious heritage, which brings people together and can form a long-lasting sense of civilizational community.
62. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 3
Zhang Bin, Julius Vaitkevičius The Organizing Power of Harmony in the Chinese Tradition of Thought
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Early and later Confucians, known in Chinese as the “ruists” school of ancient origins, perceived the idea of “harmony” as a fundamental concept that lies at the basis of self-cultivation, society and governance. In modern times this idea still plays in one or another form a dominant note in Chinese politics and social life. The article attempts to search for causes of the significance of “harmony” by focusing on analyzing two pivotal Confucian texts compiled in the Han dynasty, namely, Records of Music [Yue ji 樂記] and Divination of Music [Yue wei 樂緯]. The analysis shows that ruists belonging to Zhou dynasty’s imperial class of music officials, gradually developed the aesthetics of music into a complex idea of "harmony" that contains the highest aesthetical way—“Dao”—which guides both the whole universe as well as the evolution of human society.
63. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 3
Tadas Snuviškis Indian Philosophy in China: Was Daśapadārthī 勝宗十句義論 Authored by a Vaiśeika?
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Daśapadārthī is a text of Indian philosophy and the Vaiśeṣika school only preserved in the Chinese translation made by Xuánzàng 玄奘 in 648 BC. The translation was included in the catalogs of East Asian Buddhist texts and subsequently in the East Asian Buddhist Canons (Dàzàngjīng 大藏經) despite clearly being not a Buddhist text. Daśapadārthī is almost unquestionably assumed to be written by a Vaiśeṣika 勝者 Huiyue 慧月 in Sanskrit reconstructed as Candramati or Maticandra. But is that the case? The author argues that the original Sanskrit text was compiled by the Buddhists based on previously existing Vaiśeṣika texts for an exclusively Buddhist purpose and was not used by the followers of Vaiśeṣika. That would explain Xuanzang’s choice for the translation as well as the non-circulation of the text among Vaiśeṣikas.
64. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 3
Žilvinas Svigaris Phenomenology of Emptiness: Martin Heidegger and Shinichi Hisamatsu
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The living world is expanding thanks to the rapid and massive expansion of new technological capabilities. At the same time, paradoxically, it has been narrowed as thinking itself has become narrower and impoverished. Thinking has been pushed away by knowledge in almost all areas of the living world. Instead of thinking, modern man is becoming more and more curious. The acquisition of massively produced knowledge has become a form of consumption or even of entertainment. New theories that appear every day and reveal the failures of the previous ones only emphasize the limitations and fragmentation of the attitude itself. Although such knowledge is useful in solving practical local tasks, its universal validity is unfounded. What is needed is a more open consciousness which is able to reconcile different modes of experience. The rejection of ancient spiritual contemplating traditions and desacralization have impoverished the ability to express reality. This paper presents—as an attempt to recreate contemplative thinking—the conceptions of Martin Heidegger and Shinichi Hisamatsu, two thinkers living in different cultures. The paper pays a special attention to the way of being. The articulation of the state and the posture of the thinker and his/her attitudes uses concepts, that are often ambiguous, multidimensional, but already capable of articulating phenomena that could not otherwise be named. Such a stance paves the way for creative thinking capable of extending and overstepping the limits of the strict causal Western way of thinking.
65. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 3
Audrius Beinorius Psychoanalytical Theory in Postcolonial Discourse: Comparing Octave Mannoni, Frantz Fanon and Homi K. Bhaba
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This article deals with some earlier applications of psychology for the analysis of the colonial condition offered by three thinkers—Octave Mannoni, Frantz Fanon and recent applications of Freudian psychoanalytical theory in the poststructuralist approach of Homi K. Bhaba. An attempt is made to compare their standpoints and reflect more broadly on what their implications mean for the future of psychoanalysis’ place in postcolonial critique. Also to answer a vital question in the theoretical project of postcolonial studies: Is psychoanalysis a universally applicable theory for psychic disruption in the colonial context? What are differences in the application of psychological theory for studies of colonial discourse? The conclusion of the paper is: Despite the problematic inheritance of racializing thinking psychoanalysis has proved to be an important and reoccurring methodology in colonial critique and postcolonial theory. Nevertheless, it is necessary to recognize that psychoanalysis itself is a colonial discipline and must become an object of colonial discourse analysis.
66. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 3
Rasius Makselis A Comparative Analysis of Plotinus’ Conception of Eternity as the Life of Being and the Image of Aion in Chaldean Oracles
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The article presents an interpretation of Plotinius’ concept of eternity, which is defined in his treatise On Eternity and Time III.7 [45] as the “life of being.” The textual and philosophical analysis of a number of related passages from Plotinus’ Enneads concludes that the description of eternity as the life of being is neither metaphorical nor analogical. It should be understood in a technical philosophical sense, which contains direct metaphysical and phenomenological implications. Life is not an effect of intelligible reality but an ontological condition, the limit, source of activity, background for the identity of Intellect. The life of being is not identical with partial aspects of the intelligible universe, but is implied and covered by them. In the context of the Plotinian noetics, the notion of life expresses the wholeness of being in its totality—this is applicable not only to the life of intelligible being, but also true for the life of Soul, which assumes the totality of Soul’s time. Life is recognizable and experienced by living and existing beings on the basis of common liveliness and their common ontological status, so life establishes, develops and intensifies the connection of our own being with eternity via eternal in us. There are notable functional similarities between the Plotinian concept of eternity as the life of being and the image of Aion as reconstructed from fragments of Chaldean oracles—a mystical philosophical text widely read by later Neoplatonic philosophers, albeit never openly referred to by Plotinus. The comparative analysis and philosophical interpretation of the Plotinian and Chaldean concepts and images related to eternity suggest that both the sources maintain similar metaphysical roles of mediation, the transfer of unifying and animating light, causing the motion of reality. It is also significant that the Plotinian parallelism of eternity and “eternal in us” is comparable to the Chaldean image of “flower of the mind,” which is described both as a metaphysical attribute of Aion and as a specific power of Soul, which could be used by a person to acquire knowledge of divine reality.
67. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 3
Hidemichi Tanaka Shinto as an Intrinsic Japanese Religion
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Motoori (1730–1801) often criticized China, saying “Adashi Michi (alien way)” or “Kara Gokoro (Chinese mind).”“In China, they often say heaven’s way, heaven’s order or heaven’s reason and regard them as the most reverential and awesome things … firstly heaven is … not a thing with the mind, there cannot be such a thing as heaven’s order …” He concludes that there is no “way of nature” in China. He also mentions in his essay Tamakatsuma [Beautiful Bamboo Basket]: “We think that heaven and earth grow all things, but this is not true. It is the deed of Kami that all things grow. Heaven and earth is only the place where Kami grows all things. It is not heaven and earth that grow them.” Kami in this case seems to be different from heaven and earth, but this Kami is one with “nature” and he does not mean that Kami is above “nature.” I think that Motori resumes the essence of Shinto, comparing the thoughts of China.
68. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 3
Stanislovas Juknevičius Bridging the Gap between Civilizations: Swami Vivekananda
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The article analyses Swami Vivekananda’s views on differences between civilisations and how they can be overcome. It focuses on the role of religion in the process of the coming together of the civilisations of the East and West. Vivekananda treats various religions as a manifestation of one universal religion and considered the morality of the individual as the main criterion of religion. Depending on the moral requirements, Vivekananda distinguishes three basic religious steps. The simplest and most common form of religion is the fulfilment of the historically-formed religious moral requirements. Individuals with a higher need for improvement can practice meditation. People at the highest stage of moral evolution perceive their lives as a constant and tireless service to others. Vivekananda’s life and creative work is the theoretical and practical basis for these fundamental claims of universal religion.
69. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 3
Lina Vidauskytė Karl Jaspers’ Conception of the Axial Age and the Idea of Paradigmatic Individuals
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This essay analyzes Karl Jaspers’ conception of the Axial Age and the comparative idea of paradigmatic individuals (Socrates, Buddha, Confucius, Jesus) among other relevant ideas (philosophical faith, biblical religion) in the light of post-secularity. The special focus is laid on the post-war situation in Western Europe which was one of the main factors of the formation of the aforementioned conceptions and ideas. The disaster which was brought by uncontrolled nationalism in Germany forced Jaspers to rethink the crisis of humanism after World War II. Using a comparative method Jaspers seeks a unity of human spirit and with this gesture his thinking appears to be a desire to have a foundation for the common being of contemporary society. Jaspers’ interpretation of paradigmatic individuals stimulated future research on comparative civilizational philosophies.
70. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 3
Tomas Sodeika Martin Heidegger’s Phenomenology of Boredom and Zen Practice
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In this article, Martin Heidegger’s phenomenology of boredom is compared with some aspects of Zen practice. Heidegger is primarily interested in boredom as a “fundamental mood,” which takes us beyond the opposition of the subject and object. Thus, boredom reveals the existence more initially than those forms of cognition that are the basis of classical philosophy and special sciences. As an essential feature of the experience of boredom, Heidegger singles out that being in this state we feel that our attention is held by something in which we find nothing but emptiness. In the article, this emptiness is compared with the Buddhist concept of shunyata, and various forms of experiencing boredom are paralleled with the different types of concentration achieved in Zen practice (samadhi). Besides, the question is discussed how the Buddhist perception of emptiness corresponds to Heidegger’s “openness.”
71. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 3
Loreta Poškaitė Everyday Aesthetics in the Dialogue of Chinese and Western Aesthetic Sensibilities
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The paper examines the intercultural dimension of everyday aesthetics which was promoted by one of its most important Chinese proponents Liu Yuedi as a search for dialogue between various aesthetic traditions, in particular, those from the East and West. The aim of the paper is to explore some parallels between the traditional Chinese and contemporary Western aesthetic sensibilities, by looking for their common values and concepts which are gaining prominence in the discourse of everyday aesthetics. It begins with a survey of the contributions of Chinese and Western scholars; the survey concerns the relevance of Chinese (Confucian and Daoist) traditional aesthetics for everyday aesthetics, and examines particular features of the nature of perception in everyday aesthetics which is common to Chinese and Western artistic activities, aesthetic discourses and their conceptualizations. In the second section I discuss the “intercultural” concept of atmosphere as the de-personalized or “transpersonal”/intersubjective, vague and all-inclusive experience of the situational mood and environmental wholeness. I explore and compare the reflection of its characteristics in Western scholarship and Chinese aesthetics, especially in regard to the aural perception and sonic sensibility. The final section provides a comparative analysis of few examples of the integration of music into the environmental or everyday surrounding—in Daoist philosophy and Chinese everyday aesthetics, and Western avant-garde art (precisely, musical composition by John Cage 4’33). The analysis is concentrated on the perception of music in relation to the experience of atmosphere and everyday aesthetics, as they were defined in the previous sections. The paper challenges the “newness” of everyday aesthetics, especially if it is viewed from the intercultural perspective, and proposes the separation of its discourses into the investigation of its past and present.
72. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 3
Antanas Andrijauskas The Aesthetics of the Intellectual (Wenrenhua) School in the Milieu of Chinese Renaissance Ideas
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This article mainly focuses on one of the most refined movements in world aesthetics and fine art—one that spread when Chinese Renaissance ideas arose during the Song Epoch and that was called the Intellectual (Wenrenhua) Movement. The ideological sources of intellectual aesthetics are discussed—as well as the distinctive nature of its fundamental theoretical views and of its creative principles in relation to a changing historical, cultural, and ideological contexts. The greatest attention is devoted to a complex analysis of the attitudes toward the artistic creation of the most typical intellectuals, Su Shi and Mi Fu; the close interaction between the principles of painting, calligraphy, and poetry is emphasized; a special attention is paid to the landscape genre and to conveying the beauty of nature. This article discusses in detail the most important components of artist’s creative potential, the opportunities to employ them during the creative act, and the influence of Confucian, Daoist, and Chan aesthetic ideas. The various external and internal factors influencing the intellectual creative process are analyzed; artist’s psychological preparation before creating is discussed along with the characteristics of his entrance into the creative process. This article highlights the meditational nature of artistic creation typical of representatives of this movement, the freedom of the spontaneous creative act, and the quest for the inner harmony of the artist’s soul with expressions of beauty in the natural world.
73. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 3
Žilvinė Gaižutytė-Filipavičienė André Malraux’s Comparative Theory of Art
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The article deals with André Malraux’s (1901–1976) comparative theory of art. He, a French intellectual, novelist, and philosopher developed an original philosophical approach to art works and their transformations in time which has still a significant impact to contemporary comparative studies of art. The idea of metamorphosis expresses Malraux’s radical turn from classical academic aesthetics and his closeness to existential philosophical and aesthetical thinking. It reinforces the concept of the imaginary museum and provides a more philosophical background. Each culture perceives and accepts the art of other cultures according to its own viewpoints in a process which is defined by Malraux as metamorphosis. The full significance of metamorphosis appeared in modern civilisation—the first which collected art forms from any period and place. The work of art lives its own life deliberated from history and its consequential postulation of human permanence. The metamorphosis is the key to Malraux’s humanist metaphysics of art.
74. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 3
Odeta Žukauskienė Comparative History of Images and Transcultural Imaginary: Jurgis Baltrušaitis’ Legacy
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This essay examines Jurgis Baltušaitis’ writings and shows its connections with the works of Henri Focillon, Aby Warburg and Athanasius Kircher. Baltušaitis oriented his interdisciplinary analyses in art history and cultural studies. The essay aims to demonstrate the complexity and importance of Baltrušaitis’ ideas that are developed in the comparative research of medieval art history, depraved perspectives, aberrations and illusions. Those works are linked by the philosophy of image and imagination that stand at the crossroads between abstractness and concreteness, myth and history, reality and illusion, rational and irrational forces, the East and West. This article tries to shape Baltrušaitis’ legacy by offering an insight into his thinking which unites various research topics, typically excluded from positivistic studies. It reveals the underlying structures of cultural imaginary in which cross-cultural interactions take place. It argues for the revaluation of his oeuvre by attending to the theoretical concerns behind his historical research program.
75. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Małgorzata Czarnocka Editorial
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76. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Józef Leszek Krakowiak Janusz Kuczyński—Initiator, Inspiring Force and Organiser of the International Universalism Movement
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The paper presents Professor Janusz Kuczyński’s life as well as his intellectual and organizational activities, his achievements as a publisher and his efforts to establish an environment of followers of his special kind of universalism.
77. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Robert Elliott Allinson Dialogue in Universalism and Universalism in Dialogue
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In this paper, I endeavor to penetrate to the heart of Janusz Kuczyński’s writings about his concept of universalism and to offer my own deliberations upon it based upon my previous writings concerning universalism and dialogue and on my considerations of necessary conditions for the possibility of universal dialogue taking place. To this end, I posit ten conditions for the possibility of entering into genuine universal dialogue. For clarification of Kuczyński’s concept of universalism, I analyze his concept into meta-universalism (M-Universalism) and holistic universalism (W-Universalism). I also discuss the important role of complementarity in the selection of the content of both types of universalism. Finally, I discuss how the phenomenological epoché can be employed to choose the basic values that constitute the shared values of universalism. In so doing, I make reference to Chinese philosophy to illustrate the universality of ethical values.
78. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Michael H. Mitias Janusz Kuczyński’s Philosophy of Universalism: Possibility of a Decent World Order
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This paper is a critical analysis of the conditions under which a decent world order is possible, an order in which the different peoples of the world can thrive under the conditions of peace, cooperation, freedom, justice, and prosperity. This analysis is done from the standpoint of Janusz Kuczyński’s philosophy of universalism as a metaphilosophy. More than any other in the contemporary period, this philosophy has advanced a focused, systematic, and comprehensive analysis of these conditions on the basis of a universal vision of nature, human nature, and the meaning of human life and destiny. The paper is composed of three parts. The first part is devoted to a short overview of activism in the history of philosophy. The second part is devoted to an analysis of the main elements of universalism as a metaphilosophy, especially the theoretical conditions of establishing a decent world order. The third part is devoted to a discussion of the practical steps that should be taken to establish a decent world order.
79. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Charles Brown First Impressions—Lasting Memories: “As I Remember”
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This essay is divided into two parts. The first part is an account of my own very personal impressions and memories of my encounter with Janusz Kuczyński’s vision of a “new form of universalism.” I focus on Kuczyński’s attempt to interpret “the meaning of recent history” in his day and times. This account does not aim at a definitive account of Kuczyński’s thinking but rather at my interpretation of what I consider to be the most promising and defensible version of his ideas. This is an account of my impressions as I remember them filtered through personal experiences over the past three decades. Other interpretations are possible and perhaps even necessary for a more complete account.The second part attempts to articulate what I consider to be the lasting relevance of those ideas. I attempt to say something about the meaning of “this moment in history,” unfolding in my place and in my times. I hope to point toward the lasting relevance of Kuczyński’s thinking by relying on those ideas to say something insightful about the ecological, social, and political events occurring as I write this essay, events that are shaped by a historical pandemic as my country erupts into massive political demonstrations seeking social and racial justice in my country.
80. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Andrzej Maciej Kaniowski Communicative Rationality and Its Preconditions
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The idea of rational understanding lays very close to the heart of Professor Janusz Kuczyński, an advocate of universalism as well as dialogue between diverse philosophical schools and worldviews, and doctoral advisor to the present paper’s author. This idea’s theoretical conceptualisation—a conceptualisation that has proven to be convincing and adequate to the conditions of the modern world—was developed by Professor Jürgen Habermas, whose ideas and theories were also the subject of a doctoral thesis written by this paper’s author in the latter half of the 1970s under Professor Kuczyński’s tutelage. The author shares some grateful memories of his doctoral tutor, and also sets his one-time attempts to apply the theory of communicative action to two experiences of the real socialism era in Poland (the events of 1980/1981 and 1989) against his efforts to analyse contemporary Polish realities through the prism of the communicative rationality conception. This comparison shows that the application of a conception of rationality funded by communicative action to the turbulent transformations under real socialism was to a certain extent naïve—though not devoid of critical significance—and also reveals the preconditions (in the sphere of understanding oneself and the world) for the implementation of the rules of communicative rationality in social and political reality.The paper is in part dedicated to the memory of Professor Kuczyński, therefore it contains a somewhat extensive account of the circumstances which led the author to study the thought of Habermas under Kuczyński’s tutelage, as well as the consequences of this choice, which proved of considerable significance for his further life. However, the main themes are, first, the validity (and naivety) of applying a conception of rationality funded by communicative action to two significant experiences of the real socialism era, and, secondly, the need—revealed by diagnosing contemporary Polish reality with the help of the communicative rationality conception—for certain preconditions enabling the implementation of this type of rationality in social and political reality. One such precondition is the transition of sufficiently broad parts of society from thinking in terms of worldviews (Weltaunschauungen) to post-metaphysical thinking in terms of the “lifeworld” (Lebenswelt).