INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION AS AN IMPORTANT PURPOSE OF MODERN PHILOSOPHY


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Abstract

Neither for today’s Russia, nor for the whole of the contemporary world is there, perhaps, a more important issue than the possibility of a civilized, peaceful dialogue between cultures, peoples, governments and individuals. Philosophical discourse, questioning and testing any judgment - since critical reflection is the main function of philosophy - is always ultimately directed to the common good, or it is not a philosophical discourse.Philosophical schools, societies and organizations, promoting the idea of universal dialogue, contribute to mitigating conflicts, solving problems associated with language and ideological barriers, strengthening professional and friendly ties and implementation, through joint efforts, of a decent, peaceful and fair world order.

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Introduction Philosophy is not important in itself. But it is capable to show what is important and what is not. H. Skolimowski Last year, the reading and acting public could certainly recall the event that happened thirty years ago: the opening of the border crossing corridor in the Wall between East and West Germany, its symbolic and real meaning and changes that followed not only in the European or Russian world, but also in global reality after November 9 when new rules for entry and exit from the GDR were announced. Hundreds and thousands of Germans from both sides rushed to the border. Eyewitnesses emphasize that there was a feeling of a national holiday. In November 2019, a remarkable jubilee came associated with this event: thirty years passed since the International Society for Universal Dialogue, ISUD, the cross-cultural philosophical organization, was born. It was created in 1989 in Poland as a response of scientists from different countries to a global challenge. ISUD was initiated and led by the Polish philosophy professor Janusz Kuczyński with the intensive support of UNESCO and the United Nations University. The main idea and driving force of ISUD was the promotion of intercultural dialogue as a means of cultivating the highest and richest human values in all spheres of life. This is how a witness and participant recalls this event - Charles Brown, who was to become an ISUD President: «In the spring of 1989 - I was a young philosopher seeking to establish a research record - wanting to contribute to the great enterprise of philosophical thinking. I came across a Call for Papers - an invitation to present a paper at the «International Symposium of Universalism». This was intriguing for both philosophical and political reasons ... I arrived in Warsaw after an overnight train-ride from Berlin. I was anxious to experience the political transformation that had stunned and inspired much of the world. A spirit of renewal was in the air and in the streets-a spirit of energy, creativity, and hope-a sense of a historical moment too young and too fresh to be completely understood...1 This was a moment of optimism, big ideas, and hope for cultural renewal, C. Brown confirms - a moment of expectation of a more humane, peaceful, and just world through philosophical dialogue. The «founding father» of ISUD Janusz Kuczyński saw his goal and described his philosophical vision in the following way. It is a means, or a process, of restoring genuine values, ideas and achievements of a multitude of traditions, cultures and philosophies, which globalist forms of universalism were drowning out in their projects of absorbing all cultural differences. These restored values should be the subject of a transcultural philosophical dialogue on the part of the world community of philosophers. This «dialogic» interactive community will work to confirm the rationality of conducting discussions on ethical, scientific, social, political issues. Kuczyński argued that the emergence of a global ethos of dialogue would support a new form of human identity; it will be a new vision of ourselves, a new form of subjectivity, which he called «global moral subjectivity». As for myself, I learned about the existence of the Universal Dialogue Society in the winter of 2012 from E.V. Demenchonok, a professor at the University of Georgia, who turned out to be the ex-president of the Society, and I am still grateful for this information. In the same year I took part in the ISUD Congress held in the sacred place for any philosopher - ancient Olympia. Not everything went smoothly then; at the General Assembly there were heated debates of the public with the acting administration; but in the end the Greeks Christopher Vasilopoulos and Panagiotis (Panos) Eliopoulos were elected President and Vice President. Congresses are held every two years. In 2016, the Society returned to Warsaw; and in 2018, the Congress for the first time in its history took place in Latin America. In addition, the ISUD section was presented at the World Philosophical Congresses in Athens (2013) and Beijing (2018). These cultural and historical events, being a manifestation and embodiment of globalization processes taking place in the world, gather hundreds of participants from Europe, Asia, the USA and, more recently, from Russia and Latin America. All our meetings are aimed at promoting the idea of intercultural philosophical and scientific, as well as sociopolitical contacts for the sake of discussing common problems existing in a controversial, conflicting, complex, uneasy world. Solutions proposed by ISUD members are generally published in the pages of «Dialogue and Universalism» (D&U). This journal, which has become the main forum of the Society, has been published since 1973; Janusz Kuczyński was the founder and then editor of it for many years, and since 2015 Małgorzata Czarnocka, Professor of Polish Academy of Sciences, a well-known expert in the field of philosophy of science, has become Chief Editor of D&U. ISUD: History and Modernity Since 2004, ISUD has been one of 103 full members of the International Federation of Philosophical Societies (FISP), a non-governmental organization uniting various national and international philosophies and affiliated with the International Council on Philosophy and Humanity Studies (ICPHS) and UNESCO. The objectives of ISUD are largely consistent with the basic goals of FISP, ICPHS and UNESCO, namely: to promote philosophical education on a global scale and to raise awareness of the social and global problems that we face in order to break the deadlock in which humanity found itself at the beginning of the XXI century1. The 30-year anniversary is not just an informational occasion to consider the philosophical and scientific work of the scientists who are part of ISUD. The activities of the Society meet the realities of our time in full. The political and socio-economic contradictions that are shaking humanity today have the most dangerous tendency to exacerbate. Years and decades passed; youthful inspiration was followed by questions; perplexity; disappointment - and new determination, too. At the ISUD Congress held in July 2018 in the Peruvian capital of Lima, Charles Brown underlined in his Keynote speech: «Today, in 2018, the optimism of Janusz Kuczyński has withered. For many of us, it feels more like 1936 than 1989. Too many storms threaten our very lives today. Too many mad bulls have lost their way… trampling our institutions, eroding our optimism»2. Indeed, the deadly nature of modern warfare and the threat posed by modern types of weapons, and on the other hand, decades of domination (perhaps exaggerated) of ironic and literary talented, charming postmodern paradigmatics, convincingly refuting the ideas and values of the modernity era, that is The Enlightenment with its «naive» faith in reason, science, morality, justice, and progress, determine the basic social, spiritual, and intellectual traits of our time. Our capacity for authentic public moral discourse, for shared and rational reflection on the genuine issues of humanity, once again fades, Charles Brown recons. We feel a sense of uncertainty, urgency, and anxiety over our futures, the futures of our children, and the future of our planet. This sense of uncertainty, urgency, and anxiety rises as we sense, on some primal level, that we have lost our ability to collectively imagine a better future. We sense that we have lost our ability for authentic public discourse on issues of meaning and value. Utopian dreams from our past now yield to the dystopian nightmares of popular culture. This sense of urgency does not rise because we recognize the dangers of rising seas and temperatures, nor does it come from the reality of ubiquitous pollution, or the tragedy of mass extinction. Nor does it rise because we witness increasing militarism and the spread of economic inequality. This sense of urgency does not even develop from losing our faith in the institutions that have sustained us. The pervasive spread of market practices and market logic into ever-greater arenas of social life becomes a way of life, a way of seeing the world. A market economy has metastasized into a market society and a way of life. Market practices and market logic become the assumed model for all social practices and relations. We admire competition and forget about the primacy of cooperation. The result is that resources, commodities, market practices, unapologetic dynamics of power and violence, and technological ways of seeing the world now threaten to become our world. «The result is a new form of a global subjectivity, not the one imagined by Janusz Kuczyński, but the misshapen offspring of a lifeworld colonized by market practice and logic, colonized by a technological re-framing of the world and the dynamics of power; the result is a form of subjectivity shaped and mis-shaped by chasing the idols of profit, efficiency, constant growth, and power».1 It seems rather natural that opinion leaders - philosophers, scientists, influential and responsible journals and journalists - should give an assessment and point out ways to solve the most acute socio-economic and political problems. And this should be a cross-cultural, or transcultural intellectual activity. But philosophy is now facing the threat of becoming the servant of all new forms of the dynamics of power and violence. It is remarkable however, that, against the background, widespread in the late twentieth and early XXI centuries, of original and fascinating postmodern ideas in various countries, ISUD proclaims a commitment to many educational ideals of the modernity era, since the «modernity project» remained unaccomplished. As a result of discussions about the nature of universalism, the ISUD Constitution consistently states: The main goal of the Society is to promote in theory and in practice the ideals of universality as the most effective means of gradually realizing a decent, peaceful and fair world order. To achieve this goal, ISUD members should conduct scientific work, regional and international conferences, as well as personal and collective work to learn and share important knowledge and experience. Article IV This is probably idealism - not philosophical idealism in the usual sense of university lecturers, but romantic idealism, which inspired and encouraged the then young philosophers who created the Society for Universal Dialogue. The constitution has been amended from time to time; however, the mission itself remains unchanged and is understood accordingly. Discussions will continue, including relations between man and society, different forms of social consciousness and being, science and education of citizens, philosophy and science, science and industry, science and capital, civilization and culture, common problems of social action and communication. A separate question is the responsibility of the «class of intellectuals» to society. Małgorzata Czarnocka, editor-in-chief of Dialogue and Universalism, analyzes, in No. 3 for 2012, the project of Nicholas Maxwell, a London professor1, founder of the group Friends of Wisdom, which professor wrote about «evil», the dangers of science without civilization since 1976 (the book «What is with science?») and proposed a plan based on the possibility of transition from scientific knowledge to «wisdom». Maxwell’s proposal to establish a world confederation of scientists standing above governments could lead to a totalitarian system, M. Czarnocka warns. On the whole, we are not entitled to put forward universal solutions for all of humanity. Unlike traditional forms of universalism (= globalism), our philosophical vision begins with recognition and respect for a multitude of cultures and philosophical traditions. From the very begining it was based on a spirit of dialogue that would cover the widest possible segment of humanity; we would not offer a definitive «dictionary», would exclude an «epistemic closure» and would not have claims to universal legislative power. Human problems are essentially social and psychological. «The notion of «universalism» seemed [to me] contrary to the prevailing ethos of pluralism within contemporary philosophy… Traditional universalism had been the target of widespread philosophical critique. It was common to hear that traditional universalism called for a single worldview for all that always ended in dogmatic views of truth, freedom, and justice-dogmatic views that were asserted to be final and complete. Traditional forms of universalism came to be seen as threats to swallow up all cultural differences-and if necessary, to do so by power or violence. The result of such a monologue expressed itself as colonialism, Euro-centrism, and other justifications of elitist power. And yet this call for papers seemed to suggest a new form of universalism-one that began and ended in dialogue-a new form of universalism that offered resistance to the temptation of premature epistemic closure and the corresponding attitude of universal legislative authority.»1 The «apple of contention» between the positivist philosophy of facts and the humanistic discussion of values is an understanding of culture and responsibility, i.e. dispute about professional «skills» and citizen-sense. Should, say, a university graduate be a narrow specialist with a set of «competencies» - or a thinking, whole person? Is mastering specialized knowledge more important than the ability to cultivate a universal way of thinking and responsible collective action? Generally speaking, these «questions» look like antinomy-problems for postmodern consciousness. For a man of Renaissance or Enlightenment, as also, I hope, for the man of the future, these are not genuine problems. However, there is no doubt that ideas and values should be constantly reflected upon, clarified and re-evaluated by each new generation. Let us refer to the experience of the last Russian Philosophical Congress (2016). The famous Russian expert in the field of theory of knowledge and philosophy of culture, Professor M.I. Bilalov (Makhachkala) made a presentation on «Philosophy of truth in the polylogue of cognitive cultures». The report was devoted to the author’s original approach to the philosophical understanding of the concept of truth, which M.I. Bilalov has been developing for many years. This is an approach based on the communicative space of cognitive cultures (italicized by me.-E.T.). The highest values of humanity, first of all, the fundamental ideals of freedom, human rights and society, value rationality and democracy are the result of dialogue (and polylogue), according to M.I. Bilalov, and we fully agree with this2. Problems of intercultural philosophy All ISUD congresses are devoted to the problems of man and society, the unity and differences of the cultural values of mankind, intercivilizational and intercultural communication. We mention here only the last three, held in Romania, Poland, and Perú. The following topics were discussed in the dialogue mode: «The human being as a species: its nature and functions» (the University of Craiova, Romania on 4-9 July, 2014); «Valuesand ideals: theory and practice» (11-16 July 2016, Warsaw, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences); «Philosophy in an age of crisis: challenges and prospects» (July 10-15, 2018, the Pontifical Catholic University of Perú - Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Lima, Perú). All the three congresses gathered hundreds of participants practically from all parts of the world. The X Congress held in Craiova was preceded by the following preamble: We cannot allow ourselves, our shrinking planet can no longer afford to ignore the premises of our human nature, physical, mental and spiritual. At the same time, we can no longer afford to ignore the philosophical, broadly conceived as the understanding of all human activities, approach to these momentous problems. The more science and technology dominate our lives, the more necessary it is to place their remarkable achievements in a humanistic context. Philosophy remains an indispensable tool in this endeavour. Our theme as it is understood and analyzed by the conference participants promises to illuminate at the very least the conditions for reasonable approaches to the problems of 21st century civilization. The following themes were analyzed during the Congress: various world views which are based in myth and religion; the future of religion as an influence on human beliefs and values; the scientific explanation of reality; the problem with scientism; the interconnectedness and interdependence of all life; the continued exploitation of the earth by human beings; the role of morality on human behavior; virtue theory versus duty theory, i.e., theory based on principles or rules; animal instincts, such as the sex drive, which drives procreation; overpopulation; how to plan cities, towns and farmland for the future; the effect of the global economy on human life and values; and perhaps the most difficult issue of all, namely, human knowledge from a human perspective. The problems discussed at the 10th IUSD World Congress anticipated the theme of the XXIV World Congress of Philosophy, which took place in the summer of 2018 in Beijing: «Learning to be human.» The XI Congress held in Warsaw was welcomed by the FISP Secretary General, now the President of this World Federation, Luca Maria Scarantino: «Dear Colleagues, It is a privilege to share with you, albeit in absentia, the joy of ISUD’s return to Warsaw where it was founded 27 years ago, as well as an honor to address you at this 2016 World Congress of ISUD. In the present time, few efforts are more urgent and mandatory than the efforts to engage in dialogue, to reach mutual understanding, and to be guided by generosity in addressing each other’s views. These efforts are at the core of our moral world, and they can hardly be conceived on any scale other than a universal one. On behalf of the scholarly community gathered in FISP, we, as philosophers, are therefore proud of ISUD’s mission of expanding philosophical dialogue to an ever wider audience. May I ensure you that FISP fully supports your endeavor in pursuing this highly necessary and important task. A future opportunity to practice dialogue, openness, and mutual understanding may also be found at the upcoming World Congress of Philosophy, to be held in Beijing in August 2018. FISP is honored to extend to you all an invitation to join us there, and to make the presence of ISUD, of its network and its constitutive views, as visible and influential as possible. Thank you.»1 The following topics were discussed at the congress in Warsaw: 1. Dialogue on the Issues of the Contemporary World; 2. Philosophical Ideals for a More Decent Human World; 3. Cultures - Their Ideals and Values; 4. Ecophilosophy for the Human and More Than Human World; 5. Ideals and Values in Social and Political Life - from Theories to Praxis; 6) Ideals and Values in Religion and Myth; 7. Ideals and Values in Arts; 8. Values and Ideals of Science and Value of Science; 9. Human Values and Ideals. Their Role in Personal and Cultural Identities; 10. Moral Systems and Moral Practices. The world we live in today faces many urgent issues that require sustained and productive cross-cultural dialogue. At the XII ISUD Congress in Lima, 2018, the following main goal was set: to promote dialogue on various vital philosophical issues in the modern world, to explore the role of philosophy in our complicated times and to involve more scientists in the work of the Latin American continent. Plenary reports were made by philosophers from Chile, Venezuela, and Perú. Colombians, Argentines, representatives of Ecuador, Brazil and other countries of the continent delivered lectures during the sessions. The world in which we live today is indeed facing many pressing issues that require sustained and productive intercultural dialogue. The ideals of global peace and security remain elusive, and a sense of uncertainty permeates the dominant institutions of contemporary life. Traditional human values that underlie our social and political institutions are constantly transforming as a result of new developments in the field of information technology, digitalization, artificial intelligence, and the drive for economic efficiency. Although the globalization of trade and technology has brought people together as never before, our various attitudes, differing outlooks, habits and ideologies continue to separate us. As philosophers, we should neither lock ourselves in «ivory towers,» nor engage in «armchair» philosophy. We have to face the problems that define this moment in history. We, as philosophers, are obliged to work towards promoting intellectual insight, creative imagination, social responsibility and justice. The following issues were addressed at the Congress in Lima: 1. Philosophic innovation in a Promethean era. 2. The ivory tower and social involvement. 3. Cross-cultural dialogue and the building of common humanity. 4. Learning to be human in an age of crisis and uncertainty. 5. The Digital Revolution and the post-human. 6. The benefits and threats of technicization and science. 7. The status and roles of knowledge in the contemporary world. 8. Religion, philosophy, and society. 9. Art and morality in the contemporary world. 10. Nationalism, populism and the challenge to universalism. 11. Globalization, anti-globalization or glocalization. 12. Cultural diversity and universal harmony 13. Cosmopolitanism and transnationalism14. Ecology and environmental justice. 15. Gender issues in family, workplace, and cultural contexts. The ISUD Congresses speak of the great contribution of members of society to the development of intercultural philosophy. However, this information could simply be gleaned from the program materials. So we turn to highlight the lectures and speeches held at these congresses in the years since Olympia. The journal «Dialogue and Universalism» (D&U) appeared earlier than the Society for Universal Dialogue; however, since 1989, it has remained the unchanged ISUD forum, and the majority of editorials to the D&U issues, introducing programmatic ideas and arguments, were written by Chief Editor Prof. Małgorzata Czarnocka. The journal publishes, among other papers, articles by philosophers and scientists who are not members of the Society. As I have already written in the pages of «Philosophical Sciences» and «Russian Philosophical Society Bulletin», as well as lectured at the VII Congress of the Russian Philosophical Society held in Ufa in 2016, «Dialogue and Universalism» is a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal that combines the activities of philosophers and specialists from many other areas. It is published in English at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences with the support of the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education and the Polish branch of the European Society of Culture SEC (Société Européenne de Culture)1. After the ISUD Congresses I attended, held first in Greece, 2012, and after that, in Romania, Poland and Lima, the journal published in English many articles on the role of intercultural philosophy in society, the essence of communication in private and public spheres, the importance of philosophy, science, art and religion for the existence of mankind as a whole. By the way, the question of «English-speaking», adopted in most international journals, is interesting for our theme. It is no secret that the transition from language to language, through which international communication is carried out, is a problem in itself. In the practice of translating texts, one encounters difficulties due to the fact that languages are different in structures and the characteristic features of one of them may be absent in the other (and vice versa). It is not easy to correctly understand the content of the original utterance or text, then to transfer it as fully and accurately as possible to the recipient who is a carrier of another language using the means of the target language. It is responsible and fascinating at the same time. Significant difficulties are associated with the transition to English, for example, from Russian, Arabic or Japanese. Thus, Professor Kuniko Miyanaga (Tokyo- Vienna) explains the Japanese case in the following way. What is most disturbing to the local groups today is the analytical nature of English and its multi-value oriented culture, which epistemologically individuates its members. Learning English, they learn to see the same one thing from different angles. In analyses, the given hierarchy of values of the group is no longer absolute but becomes a choice. This is a democratic process. English, in its analytical style, separates facts from values… Speaking English, the speaker can relate to facts external to the social hierarchy of values. This is challenging to any value establishment. It was not a coincidence that modern English developed an analytical style. It evolved along with the development of science and democracy from the Copernican Turn, through the industrial revolution and to modern democracy in Civil Society1. Regarding the Arabic language, one can recall the Key lecture of the Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Ph.D., Acting Chairman of the RPhO A.V. Smirnov, «The Proposition and Predication: On the Logical Foundations of the Differences between Western and Arab-Muslim Intellectual and Spiritual Traditions» at the VII Russian Philosophical Congress in Ufa. He stressed that the formula on which (European) logic is based, ‘S is P’, «is self-evident only in the space of Indo-European languages and the corresponding logic of thinking». The study of subject-predicate construction in its relation to the flow of events (with main milestones: basic intuition, predication logic, metaphysical implications) on the material of non-Western cultures will likely open up new logic and allow us to restructure our understanding of thinking and its relationship with reality, the speaker said. «The Arabic language demonstrates an alternative formula for the connection between the subject and the predicate, which, in light of the conceptualization of this relationship in the Arabic linguistic tradition, has been proposed to be designated as ‘S support P’ (the formula ‘S is P’ is impossible in natural Arabic). This nuclear predication formula corresponds to the basic intuition of percolation. The corresponding subject-predicate logic is called process logic»2. Much has been said about the cultural and spiritual differences between Arabic and Anglo-Saxon culture, and about the divergence of languages. For example, at the international philosophical conference held in 2009 at Cairo National University, Dr. Mai Joussef Kholeef, President of Dept of Arabic Language, opening the conference expressed a fair idea: it is easy to talk about the globalization of science, but it is difficult to talk about the globalization of culture. The nation disappears - the culture dissolves. Professor of linguistics Dr Emed Abd Al Latif in his report «On communication gaps» stated the following. «The methods of argumentation are different «in the east and west». Arab dialogue is not a standoff; it is not all contradictory. Western discourse is completely negative. Westerners think the Arab dialogue is masking something. Arab ideologues consider Western methods to be demeaning. Meanwhile, the Arabic discourse aims at unity.» We continue. In 2013, the first issue of D&U was devoted to the problems of culture, communication and cognition in general. The article «Philosophy at the crossroads: Building bridges between media, communication and cognition» was written by Marek Hetmański and Marcin Trybulec on behalf of the editors. And in issue 3/2013, an article by Janusz Kuczyński «Dialogue and the Human Being as Homo Creator» was published. And it seems that this was his last work. The question of the relationship between representatives of different cultures and languages, as well as the problems of understanding disparate historical and cultural contexts, constitute the second area of interest for the authors of the journal. Finally, the third group of articles is engaged in solving the problems of the pragmatic measurement of language and communication. The publications contained in the D&U «Culture, Communication and Cognition» issue approach the aforementioned problems from the point of view of a number of theoretical perspectives. Interlacing the various threads of thought that come from areas where philosophical research meets the theory of writing and the theory of communication, and the media, the journal seeks to demonstrate how fruitful interdisciplinary cooperation can be. Russian philosophers Elina Minnullina and Zhanna Vavilova interpret the problems of communication in theory and practice. Their articles «Communicative Grounds of Philosophical Reflection» and «The Subject in Dialogue: A Visual Semiotic Perspective» appeared in issue 2/2014. Bulgarian philosopher Anna Ivanova published a work on intercultural communication in the sense of the possibility of understanding Others, already in issue 2/2015. Jean Campbell (USA) made a study on the ways and means of expressing values. Another article by Elina Minnullina about the meaning of objective knowledge in communicative practice was also published here. In general, 2015 was addressed to the materials of the 10th anniversary ISUD Congress held in Craiova. Returning to the works of Russian scientists, the D&U issue 3/2014 was devoted, in particular, to the international conference held in Kazan, «Towards the XXIII World Philosophical Congress: Philosophy as Inquiry and Way of life». The host was Kazan State Power Engineering University, the department of philosophy. This World Congress itself, as is known, took place in summer of the same year at that significant place for philosophy, in Athens, where the International Society for Universal Dialogue was represented with a meeting of its section there. Even if you just list the most significant journal articles of recent years, you’ll have a very impressive list. D&U 1/2016. Theme: Human Being’s Identity. Papers are published, written by Prof. Manjulika Ghosh from Delhi, India «Human Transcendence, Nature and Society» and Rev. Marie Pauline Eboh (Port Hartcourt, Nigeria): «The Woman Being: Its Nature and Functions». Issue number 2/2016 is dedicated to Marek Siemek, Polish philosopher, friend of Janusz Kuczyński. And starting from the fourth issue, the journal begins publishing materials from the XIth ISUD World Congress «Values and Ideals. Theory and Praxis». The Editorial provides the background for these concerns: ISUD’s socially oriented mission promotes philosophical dialogue as a means toward building a more decent human world... ISUD believes that philosophical dialogue may help illuminate and free human minds imprisoned by the ideologies of mass culture or simply weighed down by the mundane chores of life. These numerous destructive factors are accompanied by the more and more frequent breaks of communication-between nations, religious communities, and within previously stable social groups. At the same time, the problem of cultural diversity and the need to cultivate dialogical relations between nationalities and cultures is too often set aside... The state of the world today calls for a robust inter-cultural dialogue to develop and explore a more authentic understanding of human needs and aspirations. Critical and creative rational thinking is an opportunity for humankind to resist the lies and illusions of ideological manipulations that serve as instruments of enslavement and oppression. ISUD’s vision of philosophy as an expression of human rationality offers a chance to free people’s awareness, to open their minds, and to extend their possibilities of thinking and acting».1 Keynote addresses at the Warsaw Congress were made by John Rensenbrink, «On Co-Evolution», and Michael Mitias, on «The Possibility of Inter-religious Dialogue: Structural and Formal Conditions». Mitias’ originally explicated concept of «Friendship» is further discussed in the journal: c.f. Ruth Abby treating on friendship as a central moral value, Nesip Fikri Alycan brooding on the moral crisis, Ben Mulvey arguing about «friendship» with robots (D&U 2/2018). It should be noted that at the Warsaw Congress, as many years before, prizes for the best works were awarded, established by the sole sponsor of ISUD: the Jens Jacobsen Trust, who also had been a friend of Janusz Kuczyński. Prizewinners were chosen through official competition, as a result of a double «blind» review. Here we will name only some of the authors and their articles: Robert Elliott Allinson «Integrative Dialogue as a Path to Universalism: The Case of Buber and Zhuangzi»; Andrew Fiala «Transformative Pacifism in Theory and Practice: Gandhi, Buber, and the Dream of a Great and Lasting Peace»; Dilipkumar Mohanta «Interreligious Dialogue and Vivekanand’s Vedantic Model of Pluralism»; Keqian Xu «Confucian Philosophy of Zhongdaology and Its Practical Significance in Resolving Conflicts», and Jonathan Chimaconam «The Value of Dialogic Thinking in Building a Dignified Peace: The Perspective of Postcolonial Africa Sub-Saharan Africa». Publications of materials of the XI Congress continued in the issue number 1/2017; now the accent was put on a multilateral dialogue dedicated to the problems of the contemporary world. The following important and interesting articles can be specially highlighted: Jonathan Keir «Metaethical Consensus as a Condition for Intercultural Dialogue»; Columbus N. Ogbujah «Ideals and Values: Pivots to Meaningful Intercultural Dialogue»; Victor J. Krebs, the site coordinator for the XII Congress in Peru: «Poison and Remedy. Some Notes on the Perils and Potentials of the Digital Media». Russian philosophers also wrote about the problems of culture; for example, the article «Methodological Ludism as a Cognition-Denying Paradigm» written by Evgeniy Bubnov stands out with originality. Philosophers from Nigeria also contributed to the development of the concepts of ethics and morality: Temisanren Ebijuwa who wrote about Culture, Identity and Human Values in Africa; and Elizabeth Okeke with the article «A Mechanism for the Sustainable Cultural Integration of Personal and Societal Values and Ideals in the Era of Globalization». Bulgarian and Polish philosophers develop problems of social and political values; Vihren Bouzov writes about security as a political and social value; Tadeusz Buksiński about «Metagoods», metavalues and metanorms in politics. Further on: in issue 3/2017, articles by the famous Polish philosopher, specialist in the field of philosophy of science and philosophical anthropology Małgorzata Czarnocka «The Ideal and Praxis of Science» and also «Theoretical and Post-Theoretical Philosophy» by Russian philosopher Vladimir Przhilenskiy were published. This topic has been developed by V.I. Przhilenskiy for some time. As early as in D&U 3/2014, his intriguing text «Suspicion and Method: Towards a Post-Theoretical Lifeworld» appeared, treating exactly, as its title suggests, on a new stage in philosophy of science. The works of A.R. Karimov and E.A. Tajsina, published in various editions of D&U, are also dedicatted to the problems of philosophy of science and general gnoseological questions. Kazan philosopher A.R. Karimov is developing «epistemology of virtues», new for the Russian tradition in the theory of knowledge. The author’s interpretation of the key intellectual virtues - love of knowledge, openness of mind, intellectual humility, intellectual zeal and intellectual courage, intellectual autonomy - allowed to set a new direction of research, namely, the intellectual ethos of knowledge. «The Archaic Perception of Death-an Integrated Mode» (D&U 1/2015) is the title of the paper of another Russian philosopher Andrey Matsyna; he is also the author of the text «The Metaphysics of Overcoming-Ontological Foundations», published later, in issue 4/2017. A similar grave theme is being developed by Yuri Serdyukov, in his work «Near-death experience and subjective immortality of Man» which appeared in issue 2/2014. Published in issue 2/2018, «Dialogue» is, literally, the dialogue of Herbert Pietschmann and Hisaki Hashi in the interdisciplinary discourse on the epistemology of quantum physics, or «natural philosophy» and natural science. It causes genuine interest: these are conflicting poles, the authors believe, only for metaphysical thinking. «It is time that … natural science and philosophy became aware of their mutual dependence, above all in the fields of cerebral research and anthropology… This interdependence may be denied in practice, if pure pragmatism prevails, because natural science achieves enough practical success without any reference to philosophy! But if people negate their aporon nature and confine themselves to one side only in any dialectic issue, then I fear a development which may contribute to the benefit of a few butnot to the blessing of mankind.»1 In this very issue the paper by the Russian philosopher Sergei Nizhnikov, treating on Moral Policy is published; another article by the same author presenting his report made at the Congress in Romania, was published in D&U 1/2015. It was called «Spiritual Cognition and Morality». Speaking in general, many Russian philosophers participated in the work of the ISUD Congresses: the already mentioned Vladimir Przhilenskiy and Elina Minnullina, Andrey Matsyna and Evgeny Bubnov, Tatjana Shatunova, German Melikhov, Artur Karimov, Elena Tashlinskaya, Renat Apkin, Elena Yakovleva, Marina Zaichenko, Svetlana Nagumanova. Even more of my compatriots, besides those mentioned here, published their works in the pages of the Dialogue and Universalism in different years: Alexey Fatenkov, Mikhail Pronin, Natan Solodukho, Alexey Gurianov, Mikhail Schelkunov, Igor Gasparov, Tatyana Leshkevich, Mustafa Bilalov, Mikhail Prokhorov, Alsu Valeeva, Mikhail Mikhailov, Grigory Paramonov, Timur Halitov, Shamil Burnayev, Irina Solovey, Elena Bolotnikova and other authors. Issue No. 3/2018 is dedicated to the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx. It published, for example, the article by my compatriots A.I. Matsyna in collaboration with professor AB Nevelev.2 In addition to this issue, many well-known experts in the field of Marxist theory published their articles in our journal: Mihály Vajda - «Godlessness», Wolfdietrich Schmied-Kowarzik - «The Enduring Validity of the Critique of Political Economy» (D&U 2/16) and others. Finally, issue 1/2019 begins to print the materials of the latest ISUD Congress: «Philosophy in an Age of Crisis: Challenges and Prospects». First comes ISUD President Charles Brown’s Keynote lecture «Confronting Nihilism»; after it, the articles written by Plenary lecturers, ex-ISUD Presidents Steven Hicks «Nationalism, Globalism and Challenges to Universal Dialogue» and Andrew Fiala «On Thinking globally and Acting locally: resurgent nationalism and the dialectic of cosmopolitan localism». The materials of the philosophers from Nigeria Columbus Ogbujah «Nationalism, Populism and the Challenge to the Ethics of Universalism» and Olatunji Oyeshile - Omotayo Oladebo «Beyond Capitalism and Marxism: Towards a New Theory of African Development» are of great importance, as well as the publication of the ISUD Secretary Jean Campbell, «Freedom, Self-Determination, and Automation: Considering Political Impulses in the Age of Digitalization». The materials of the XIIth Congress will be published in the next issues of «Dialogue and Universalism». After the congresses, a lively dialogue continues on the pages of our Russian journals. For example, after the Xth Congress, in Chelyabinsk city, the works of philosophers from India, Greece and Portugal were published: Sandeep Gupta «Unity in diversity» and the Indian thought»1; Debamitra Dey «Mīmāmsā theory of illusion founding other system’s texts»2; Panos Eliopoulos «The relation between nature and man in the imperial stoicism and in zen Buddhism»3; Ana Nolasco «Art across culture: Diaspora and mobility in the work of Mónica Miranda».4 Our journal also publishes works on the history of philosophy, and of its connection with contemporaneity, such as, for example, a paper by Nil Avci «Inquiry into the Forms of Intersubjectivity in Kant’s Practical Philosophy with a View to the Cosmopolitan Idea». The greatest attention is drawn to the texts of the eminent German philosopher Gernot Böhme - «Self-Cultivation according to Immanuel Kant», Romanian philosophers Adriana Neacşu «Virtue and Vice in Plotinus’ Enneads» and «Between Heaven and Earth: the Human Being in Porphyry’s Conception», of Gabriela Tânâsescu «Individualism and Responsibility in the Rationalist Ethics: the Actuality of Spinoza’s Ethics», Chinese philosophers Keqian Xu «Confucian Philosophy of Zhongdaology and Its Practical Significance in Resolving Conflicts» and Hu Jihua «The Connection between the Early German Romanticism’s and Plato’s Ideas about Humanist Education», American philosophers Martha Beck «Plato’s Dialogues: Creating Friendship Bonds for 2400 Years», Hope Fitz «A Comparison of Ancient Greek and Ancient Indian Philosophy by Comparative Philosophers Is Necessary for the Understanding of the Roots of Philosophical Thought», Noell Birondo «Aristotelian Eudaimonism and Patriotism» and Ruth Burch «On Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Ideal of Natural Education». We can also find articles of Polish philosophers Danilo Facca «Some Remarks on Aristotle’s Concept of Form and Its Possible Interpretation in the Light of Contemporary Thought» and «The Labyrinth: Revisited and Reinhabited. Interpreting the Minoan Myth as a Metaphor for Contemporary Culture» written by a Bogna J. Gladden-Obidzińska; «The Hegelian Phenomenological Exposition of the Problem of Social Identity: A Theoretical Framework for Managing Difference in Multi-Ethnic Societies» is written by Daniel Adekeye from Nigeria; a Russian philosopher German Melikhov is treating on Ludwig Wittgenstein: «Philosophizing as the Gesture of Keeping Silent». Here of course also come works by Greek philosophers: Anna Aravantinou «Reverence towards the Divine, according Hesiod», Spyros Panagopoulos «Man as a Superior Quality of the Rest of Creation: Human Being and Natural Environment in Gregory of Nyssa», Archontissa Kokotsaki «Passions of the Soul and the Humanistic Society in the Theories of Plutarch, Aristotle, the Stoics, Boethius». In different issues of «Dialogue and Universalism» we can find papers on J. Locke, R. Descartes, F. Nietzsche, E. Husserl, J. Derrida, M. Merleau-Ponty, M. Foucault, L. Althusser, H. Arendt, K. Barad, M. Nussbaum, and a great variety of others. Certainly there is no possibility to analyze in detail all the materials concerning the nature and essence of the universal dialogue. Let us dwell specifically on only a few of them. Elina Minnullina, «Communicative grounds of philosophical reflection»: lectured at the Xth ISUD Congress in Craiova, published in D&U 2/2014, p. 189-192. The gifted Russian philosopher examines the contemporary turn to ontologization of language. «Communicative transformation of metaphysics» has changed the classical subject/object dichotomy and replaced it with intersubjectivity; communicative rationality became the attractor of philosophical interest, bringing about new concepts: being-in-the-speech and communicative reflection. The author explores the communicative nature of reflection, identifying its main features. The integrative category of critical reflection is communicative rationality considered to be a language competence. (P. 189). The success of communicative action depends on whether a communicator aims to accept («Yes») or reject («No») the validity of the claim. Both participants of the speech act must adhere to a selected line of «validity claim», which line, firstly, can be quite primitive, and secondly, can be accepted in the society due to traditions, and unable to reflect the personal attitudes of communicators. Thus, the communicative action, based on the argument, can be only conventional. In this case the participants act cannot avoid the risk of facing the repressive character of accepted communicative norms. (P. 190). The author argues that philosophical reflection as open-ended dialogue always including critical self-understanding can be identified with postconventional theoretical discourse, in which the subject-object dichotomy is replaced with intersubjectivity. The subject, or else the agent of the cognitive process is a communicative community itself. «Subjectivity as the isolated mind cannot be an agent of philosophical reflection as it should provide answers to general questions; it is possible only in intersubjective enterprises» - but not losing human traits, or, «beyond the existential anthropological dimension». (p. 190). Russian epistemologist Vladimir N. Porus suggests a partial solution of this problem, that is, to conceptualize communicative interaction in terms of communicative rationality and the communicative space. «The notion of communicative rationality opens an attractive prospect: rationality is that what emerges in communication, and not what precedes it»1. Indeed, cognitive act is a communicative act, and we agree to it; but understanding, reached in the horizon of intersubjectivity, is not just the unity of being-in-the-speech experience - it has a semantic correlation as well: correlation between empirical facts and a fragment of practice, or reality interpreted in this or that way by the communicative community. According to Kurt Hübner, and we accepted it, intersubjectivity corresponds to rationality identified as the general validity of rules of justification. On the other hand, the author underlines, while rationality is always communicative, not being able of existing per se, then what is communicative is not always rational. Communicative rationality implies a minimal level of understanding and consensus necessary for understanding in speech acts. «The communicative forms of irrationality cannot be explained, and conceptual understanding is replaced by empathy, insight, intuition, etc.» (p. 190). E. Minnullina affirms that semantic intersubjectivity is being formed in a communicative correlation of the life world, speech acts and participants’ experience of the objective. Interesting terms are introduced into discussion: The communicative horizontal vector of intersubjectivity is transforming into the vertical vector, namely, the experience of the lifeworld in the process of reflecting and dealing with things. Intersubjectivity does not exclude the world of entities; on the contrary, they are always present in its inquiry. «The lifeworld is a discursive loading of intersubjectivity, and the world of entities is what is experienced conjointly in intersubjectivity». (P. 191). It is also argued in this paper that the nature of intersubjectivity is of linguistic origin, and the semantic intersubjectivity «must not be subordinated to the empirical, logical, operational and regulatory intersubjectivity; on the contrary, it should be a subordinating concept for them. This brings us to the idea that the topos of intersubjectivity is a communicative space-time continuum as an existential mode of the inquiry of being». (P. 191). The underpinning idea of acquiring «a transcendental tone» through the context of communication is that implicit agreements or disagreements among the members of the communicative community - or «metamessages», as Debora Tannen would put it - determine the nature of everyday practices. In his way the sphere of rationality is transferred to the discourse. «Claims to express thoughts and the recognition of their significance provide understanding and consensus; they represent a form of communicative rationality. This dialogical interaction is a ground of the inquiry of the lifeworld, entities and self. Thus, philosophical reflection should be considered as a post-conventional theoretical discourse, non-ended dialogue and critical self-understanding». (P. 192). Columbus N. Ogbujah «Ideals and Values: Pivots to Meaningful Intercultural Dialogue»: material lectured at the ISUD Congress in Warsaw, published in D&U 1/2017, p. 67-82. Humankind’s natural disposition for social engagement makes the acquisition of interrelationships imperative including the spectrum of interactions between peoples. Intercultural dialogue is impossible and would have been aimless without some ideals and values acknowledged by all socium. Life without ideals and values would utterly be brash and garbled like the cacophony of a «broken record», this author argues. Nevertheless, we find ourselves adrift in a world that distrusts virtually every absolute value or ideal that could provide a linchpin for a cohesive response to myriad global problems. The term «ideal» is understood as a model of perfection or beauty or excellence. But it can also mean something «existing only as an idea,» as is typified in the metaphysical concept «ideal being». (P. 67). In social interactions, however, ideals are seen as models, norms or standards which serve to evaluate individual or collective actions; they are benchmarks for eliciting acceptable behaviour from individuals and groups of multicultural backgrounds. Norms are standards of behaviour accepted within a given culture. But in today’s multicultural world, norms are cross-cultural or trans-cultural. To ascribe a cross-cultural or trans-cultural quality to a norm is to admit that such a norm has an objective value for people living in different cultures; it is to admit that there is a yardstick against which individuals and groups in a multicultural society can independently measure the validity of their actions. Values, on the other hand, are general preferences concerning an individual’s or group’s right action, reflecting a person’s sense of what is right or wrong, good or bad, important or unimportant, etc. Values are a «motivational construct»; they refer to the desirable goals people strive to attain, and guide action. From these it is clear, the philosopher writes, that values, like ideals, serve as standards or criteria for human action. At the same time certain values are structured around human physiology, such as the desire to avoid physical pain, and they are considered objective. Others which are sociologically established vary across persons and cultures, and in this sense they are subjective. This subjectivity, which in postmodern era has unfortunately been construed as a license to moral relativism, should rather be understood in the sense of distinctness: people from different social backgrounds have distinct values relative to their historical experiences. But given that human nature is the same across times and cultures, some of these distinct values, especially those pertaining to the right to life, freedom of religion, etc., could ossify into an acceptable objective system. Hence objective values are not merely physiologically determined, but are sociologically acknowledged as those which are significant across different strata of divergent societies. They are general guiding principles, super-ordinate to individual perceptions and cultures and are the basis of the common human heritage. This explanation of the deep universality of trans-cultural relations and links is, from our point of view, very convincing. C. Ogbujah writes further about the essence and content of tolerance as a problem. (P. 69-70). Indeed, recently the concepts of intercultural and cross-cultural dialogue are becoming more and more widespread and are widely discussed. Globalization has opened up trends for a broader view of an interconnected and interdependent world. Thus, the terms «intercultural dialogue», «interculturality» and «cross-culturality» became symbols of human unity as a result of globalization. The term «culture» signifies the whole complex of ideas which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.» Culture entails a set of beliefs and primary values which influence attitudes and behaviour. It encompasses a complex network of social practices and ideas. As something useful and practiced within specific human groups, culture has a unique structure, and in this sense, is relative. Consequently, cultural relativity can be construed to mean that the validity of cultural ingredients is determined not by any objective criteria, but by the cultural system of which they are a part; that is, what is good, true and praiseworthy in a cultural context may not be good, true and praiseworthy in another. Such a relativist view has the tendency to obfuscate all further understandings of culture, and as a result, vitiate any attempt at intercultural dialogue. (P. 70). However, such a fallacy could be avoided by distinguishing between moral diversity, moral relativity, and moral relativism: while moral diversity acknowledges the fact that different cultures have different values and ethical precepts; moral relativity accepts the differences, but suggests that these differences are consequent upon all the variables available in specific cultural settings; and moral relativism goes further to claim that such differences must be accepted for what they are and/or that there is no available means to resolve the differences. In essence, the uniqueness of structures which has given rise to cultural diversity and relativity is an empirical fact that must be accepted. Evidently, the specific differences which may not be immediately intelligible across cultures may nonetheless become intelligible when taken in the context of the cultural system of which they are a part».1 However, C. Ogbujah underlines, the claim that the differences must be accepted in their own terms which, to say the least, obliterates every effort at resolving mutually shared problems, is the error of cultural relativism. The simple fact that cultural relativity exists does not demand the value judgment that cultural relativism should be adopted as norm. (P. 70). Intercultural dialogue is a dialogue between two or more cultures in which their differences and similarities, openness and delimitation are put forth for discussion. In this dialogue, the relationship between cultures is neither directed towards a complete homogenization nor a complete separation or exclusion, and can be possible only if the parties involved acknowledge, in fact or in principle, the existence of differing and common grounds. Parties to the dialogue, having sprung from diverse settings, are likely to have differing opinions regarding what is good or bad, important or unimportant, appropriate or inappropriate, etc., having different worldviews. At first they do not fully appreciate each other’s standpoint; but they are linked together on the basis of the framework of their collective motif: to engender a dialogue characterized by respect and mutual understanding. It is this quest for respect and mutual understanding between peoples of differing cultures that seem to locate intercultural dialogue «beyond mere tolerance of the Other.» Further this article addresses an important methodological and ideological issue. The concept of intercultural dialogue has to be distinguished from multiculturalism which is premised on the acceptance of a lack of hierarchical structure within the committee of cultures. As a cultural-anthropological term, it is an ideology that respects and accommodates individual cultures within the macrocosm of cultures, since cultures cannot easily be objectively ranked without necessarily objectifying the value system of a given culture. In other words, multiculturalism is a monolithic system that respects the divergent values of cultures and, thus, is another form of cultural relativism. The term «multiculturalism» should not be confused with the simple recognition of the diversity of cultural values. This is perhaps, the postmodernist cultural orientation which sways from universalism to particularism, maintaining that since we live in different worlds which are culturally constructed, there are no universal claims to knowledge or value, and, in consequence, no meaningful dialogue across cultures is possible. The idea of culture homogenization involves the claims (1) that individual/dissenting views about reality are unimportant and must be discarded, and (2) that there is a foundational universal principle to which all cultures must subscribe. Intercultural dialogue, therefore, is a hermeneutic attempt at understanding the other using a cross-cultural framework. It is a departure from multiculturalism since it offers a more humane and dignified approach to the management of cultural diversity; it accords equivalent measures of dignity to all cultures. The objective is to reach a commonly shared «transcultural» consensus in order to suppress all forms of supra-cultural situations that are not commonly accepted. (P. 72). It is perhaps safe to admit that in intercultural dialogue, one must approach the horizon of significance of the other culture in full consciousness of one’s own horizon of significance. And if the dialogue is pursued in an honest and open way, we may arrive at least, at an overlapping of horizons, which will invariably give rise to cross-cultural mutuality. Yes; but how can there emerge an overlapping of horizons? How can we ever achieve cultural mutuality, the author asks? It is these questions that lead us to the problem of tolerance in the project of intercultural dialogue. Tolerance entails one’s willingness to accept behaviour and beliefs that are different from one’s own, although one might not agree with or approve of them. The very condition of tolerance seems to create two unsavoury situations, namely, (1) since tolerance emerges from a set of circumstances that elicit disapproval, or dislike especially of the dominant group, it has the tendency of patronizing the minority by marking the subject of tolerance as undesirable or marginal, and (2) since value systems create cultures for the most part, the quest for tolerance is often taken to consist in admitting that no culturally based value system can be objectively superior to any other such value system, thereby leading to cultural relativism. With regard to the first situation, tolerance is used as a condescending tool to accommodate minority views, and to constantly press adherents of dissenting values to restructure and assimilate into the mainstream cultural values. Tolerance, in this sort of scenario, has the tendency to strangulate diversity, encourage assimilation, and thus obfuscate intercultural dialogue. As regards the second scenario, the application of tolerance seems to be possible only when there is an acceptance of lack of objectivity among competing cultural values. Every cultural value, having its own internal logic, is respected for its worth, and as such, there is embedded in the idea of tolerance a strong apathy for ranking culturally different values according to some objective significance. Further, the view of tolerance as entailing one’s freedom to adhere to one’s own convictions and accepting that others adhere to theirs without hindrance tends to promote more of cultural relativism than intercultural dialogue. If people are simply prohibited from critiquing other cultural values in order not to be accused of imperialistically imposing their value systems on others, all it means is that every cultural value must be placed on the same footing with others irrespective of whether they go against natural law and/or prohibit fundamental human rights or not. What it means is that I can disagree with you on your cultural value, but I must admit that what I disagree about is a valid way of life that can only be evaluated within your own cultural system. Hence, I must refrain from making value judgments… For example, from the point of view of such tolerance, the position should be as follows: the people of Calabar in Nigeria kill their twins; but I cannot judge them, because the reason for this can be found from within their culture. All I can say is that from my cultural point of view, killing twins is wrong; my own people cherish the twins as special fertility blessings. It is obvious that such critique is useful, as it is considering a controversial issue as if it were just a matter of cultural taste1. Therefore, the simple requirement of tolerance towards any culture in a relativistic sense is not only a cover-up for those who lack the willpower to resist evil, but also an attempt to refute the claim that violations of fundamental human rights are objectively wrong. (P. 75). Let us consider now, beside the important article on intercultural dialogue overviewed above with respect to as broad categories as «culture» and «tolerance», a research made by Manjulika Ghosh «Toward A Critique of Nationalism as a Theory of the Nation-State». It was lectured at the XIIth ISUD Congress in Lima, published in D&U 1/2019, (p. 57-67). This will be another concrete example of constructive intercultural dialogue. M. Ghosh stresses that nationalism is a term that is difficult for even an insightful understanding. It was used (and is used) to describe a diverse combination of phenomena and is understood differently in social theories and political ideologies. Scientists, theorists and political elites consider nationalism «a notoriously complex concept». In one sense, nationalism concerns national identity which claims that it may properly be a part of someone’s identity. This sense of nationalism means being Indian, being English, etc. «A second proposition about nationalism claims that the duties we owe to our fellow nationals are different from and more extensive than what we owe to human beings as such». We are ethically bound to first give weight to the duties to our fellow nationals. A third conception of nationalism is political, namely, to render the boundaries of the nation congruent with those of its governance unit. «The state emerges as the nation - the nation-state». Hannah Arendt refers to this as the «nation’s conquest of the state.»1 She is an unbending critique of the fusion of the nation and the state. According to her, the state is: [A]n open society, ruling over a territory where its power protects and makes the law. As a legal institution, the state knows only citizens no matter of what nationality; the legal order is open to all who happen to live on its territory.2 A people become a nation when «it takes cognizance of itself according to its history»; as such it is attached to the soil which is the product of past labour and where history has left its traces. It represents the ‘milieu’ into which man is born, a closed society to which one belongs by right of birth. The combination of the state and the nation could have been beneficial, had it resulted in political equality and social plurality. Politics, then, could play the main role in national life. But that didn’t happen. For Arendt, the fusion of the state and the nation becomes «fatal». As the nation becomes «the backbone of the state», the resulting nationalism creates the confusion between human right in general with national rights. It is of note that on the Indian sub-continent, quite a time before Arendt’s reflections on nationalism, Rabindranath Tagore, in a number of his essays and letters, expressed his deep aversion to nationalism as an adjunct to the nation-state.3 Tagore’s terms for nation-state are «governed by nation» and also, «political nation». (P. 59). According to Ashis Nandy, a Tagore scholar, Tagore was a patriot and not a nationalist. By nationalism he even understood imperialism.4 Tagore’s criticism of nationalism is developed in terms of such opposites as organized and mechanical on the one hand and creative, spiritual and human on the other. These are the contrary categories which Tagore seeks to harmonize. His definition of a nation is: the political and economic union of a people organized for the mechanical purpose of material aggrandizement and necessarily aggressive and imperialist in character.5 Tagore’s anti-nationalism aims at restraining the power of the state from assuming totalitarian control over society. For Tagore, an essential prerequisite for any desirable social improvement is to prepare public opinion in its favour. This brings to mind Arendt’s belief that social changes can be brought about by the free speech and actions of people. Tagore’s outspoken stand against nationalism is well-known and it gives an obvious sense of irony that his songs are sung as national songs and anthems in India and Bangladesh. Tagore’s denunciation of nation and nationalism is prophetic in character. It is true that his assertions are often more cultured by metaphor than by analysis. Yet, his conclusions are assumed to be true in proportion to the vehemence with which they are asserted. Anti-state attitude implies the primacy of civil society. Tagore did not doubt the desirability of a person creating his own history, and not being influenced by forces dictated by the state or influential persons. The connotation of the term «nationalism» has changed a good deal since 1916. Tagore could not argue on ethnic cultures, ethnic cleansing or about linguistic or religious communities or national myths, stories and narratives. Still his commitments to anti-statism and concern for civil society make him a contemporary thinker. His accentuating the universal values confirms it. Manjulika Ghosh stresses that «the assertive nationalism which marks our time» is not confined to the «West»: in India, too, competing nationalist sentiments have arisen. (P. 60). Tagore cannot solve these problems. But we can share and apply his foresighted intuitions to help us do so. (P. 61). In the present world scenario, both people in power and ordinary citizens are expected to pay attention to what Tagore and Arendt were saying about nationalism emanating from the idea of the nation state. (P. 62). The specific difficulty of determining belonging not to «nationality», but to a «nation» is that neither language which can be learned nor culture which can be adopted suffice; it is only the adoption of certain populist ideas such as race, ethnicity that counts. Even such popular, elusive myths as the «greatness» of a nation, the urge for the maintenance of «national» character are spread and widely used. Such «nationalistic xenophobia» leads to the intensification of the «own» and the «other», «national» and the «aliens», the «citizens» and the «migrants» leading to ethnic disharmony, colour bias, hatred and suspicion of persons, in spite of former living as neighbours for decades. The inclusive nature of a nation-state is based on exclusion; the nation-state endangers the modern figure of the foreigner - the «alien» with psycho-political resonances, the author argues. The fact is that many of the foreigners have been «here» for generations in a country that historically showcased a mosaic of nationalities. On the other hand, the «porous borders encourage illegal migration, smuggling and infiltration of terrorists endangering national security». The new mood in Europe has promoted right-wing political attitude and the winning of the far-right parties. A refusal to perceive in these phenomena echoes of the Nazi-past would require a remarkable blindness to recent history. One should ponder how far the emigrants are responsible for the economic slump, Manjulika Ghosh writes. «In affluent countries of the West, scarcity or loss of jobs may be attributed to large-scale mechanization and technisation of labour and allowing business men to outsource their business to third world countries to cut the cost of labour. The great speed of globalization is also responsible for the slump after the initial euphoria of economic progress» (P. 63). It is a paradox, but the most «ardent globalizers» now challenge both immigration and outsourcing. Indeed, third-world persons with skills are needed and welcomed in rich highly-industrial countries. Doctors, nurses, engineers, computer and IT experts, as well as many other skilled professionals «are welcome in their new abode and are not scoffed at as economic migrants». At the other end of the scale of immigration poorly skilled groups abide, «who undertake the menial tasks that affluent First-World citizens no longer wish to do for themselves» -sweepers, cleaners, house maids, gardeners, construction labourers, waiters and so on. (P. 64). Whatever the truth may be, it is the protectionist policy of the nation-state that has aggravated the «terribly sensitive issue» of the migrant. There are vast swaths of displaced persons who are rendered superfluous, uprooted, stateless refugees. Many affluent nations have turned cold to human misery, suffering and death from wars, terrorism and poverty, political persecution, environment degradation. This has created an «existential crisis» for millions of people on earth, people, who were once protected under law, the philosopher observes. Manjulika Ghosh gives an example of the recent crisis in South Asia: the pursuit of the Rohingyas, the «boatmen». Paradoxically again, they are left in horrible troubles by the progressive, pro-democratic, Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Su Kyi, «champion of freedom and human rights» - and she is backed by the Theravada Buddhists and Myanmar nationalists. The story runs as follows. The Rohingyas are not recognized by Myanmar’s 1982 Citizenship Law, and therefore, they have no citizenship. Over one million Rohingyas live in Myanmar and an equal number live in exile in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka. Su Kyi «is in the grips of populism as she maintains a partition stand of refuting any genocide tendencies». She plays into the popular sentiment of the «climate of fear» to conveniently labeling Rohingyas as «Islamic Jihadists». (P. 65). Manjulika Gosh expressed also the following idea to the Lima Congress. The nation-state holds out a mass appeal for ethnicity. The continuing power of myths, symbols and memories of ethnic closeness has been largely responsible for the destruction of order and stability within states and the inauguration of conflict and anarchy in international life. Germans invoked the divisive idea of ethnic purity, designed to exclude the Jews; Serbian nationality was mobilized to destroy the ability of a territorially based state to tolerate diversity. The nationalist discourse is driven by the state’s desire to superimpose one kind of allegiance over the mosaic of communitarian particularisms. Those who resist have to be assimilated or purged. (P. 65). Nationalism is regarded as the most important event of modernity, the Indian philosopher points out, and the nation-state is hardly disintegrating. The questions rise, how to tame the excesses of nationalism based on a theory of the nation-state? «How to stop the erosion of the universalist tendencies associated with the institution of state when they are undermined by the particularist assumptions of the nation?» In the past this caused the rise of extremism. Today, it will exacerbate the emergence of an underclass, poverty across the globe, millions of brutalized, stigmatized, persecuted, sick and homeless people without political protection and social belonging. It is time for everyone with human sensibilities, whose consciousness has not been stifled to ponder over the question whether there is a necessary contradiction between particular attachments and universal commitments. «Are the national ideal and the human ideal at variance with each other?» Of course national pride does exist; «but societies can have their pride, not in being the greatest, or the wealthiest, but in being the most just, the best organized and in possessing the best moral constitution.»1 Alongside fostering one’s national ideals we should remain committed to other human values, Prof. Ghosh underlines. It compares well with the Biblical saying/statement: He who doesn’t love his brother, whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? *** The topics raised in the texts of the last two works were previously familiar to me from discussions with Kazan architecture historian Niaz Khalitov. His main goal was the maximum possible preservation of Tatar temple and palace architecture and theoretical understanding of its spatial and spiritual-organizing laws. It is clear that neither the Khan Kazan, nor the city rebuilt in the XVII-XIX centuries can be saved; the question arose: how to determine the intrinsic value of several buildings and ignore the rest? The solution was found in the study of the classical dialectic of the individual, the particular and the universal: those buildings and constructions are subject to restoration and conservation as architectural monuments in which national peculiarities of decor and planning simultaneously manifest the universal values of human culture in general. Other buildings can be saved as a combination of components of the urban or rural environment, necessary for the relief exposition of the palace, homestead or temple; if it is not preserved, which happens very often and quite explicably, an architectural monument at best becomes a museum rather than a living testimony of an era. By the way, in Soviet history there was such a culture formula: «national in form, socialist in content». Read: original, skillful, intricate and unique in form - and generally significant in content. Times are changing, but this cognitive model may well continue to serve knowledge and communication. How are we to distinguish patriotism from nationalism and chauvinism, cultural relativism from dogmatism, sophistry, and eclecticism - from genuine intersubjective unity and intercultural dialogue? In the similar way. The uniqueness of cultures, nationalities and nations does not deny, but implies the unity of humanity. This is the deepest basis of the possibility of universal dialogue. Conclusion Philosophy can serve and serves very seriously an important task of establishing and facilitating intercultural communication. By its very nature, starting with the dialogues of the Seven Sages and Plato, philosophy is aimed at debate and discussion, comprehensive joint discussion of the most important questions of being and knowledge, science, ethics, aesthetics, mythology and religion, social and political issues. Ideological disagreements of philosophers do not and should not lead to the transformation of analysis into biased rhetoric, and polemics into war. Philosophical discussions, even the hottest ones, differ from national and religious wars in the fact that no philosopher killed any other philosopher for a different worldview. A collective member of the Federation of International Philosophical Societies (FISP), the International Society for Universal Dialogue, held its first World Congress in 1993. Prior to this, a number of international symposiums were successfully held in Berlin, London and Montreal. ISUD congresses are held in different cities, states and on different continents: in Poland, Finland, Canada, USA, Japan and other countries. The latest four were held, as already mentioned, in Olympia-Elide (2012), Craiova (2014), Warsaw (2016) and Lima (2018). The next ISUD Congress will be held in Graz, Austria. And in spite of everything, we still feel that the possibility of a better world is real. Two years ago, Janusz Kuczyński passed away. But his life’s work still goes ahead. We continue to believe in a global moral subjectivity, which Janusz Kuczyński dreamed of. Our Society unites in its ranks many scientists, mainly philosophers, from various countries and continents. The goal of the Society is to evoke and revitalize the global consciousness - that is, the existential awareness that all peoples of the world belong to the same species, the human species, and, accordingly, have the same fundamental stock of needs, aspirations and abilities. It should be recognized that these needs, aspirations and opportunities cannot be adequately realized under selfish competition, violence and exploitation, but only in conditions of peace, cooperation and freedom. And, in addition to this, it is necessary to recognize responsibility to other species and for the preservation and restoration of the health and beauty of all ecosystems on the planet. (ISUD Constitution, Article IV). As Charles Brown said to the Warsaw Congress, «We sense that the prospect of an emerging global moral subjectivity is still alive».
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About the authors

Emilia A. Tajsin

Kazan State Power Engineering University

Email: emily_tajsin@inbox.ru
Kazan

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