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‘I have Nothing Special to Say': On The Invisible Violence of Cogitas Ergo Es in Intercultural Dialogue

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Anthropology is a field of study about understanding the other and its criticism. The author finds two Western peculiarities in its endeavour. First, it is identity-bound. It presupposes that both self and the other are clearly defined, identified, fixed and polarized entities. Secondly, it is not ready to admit incomprehensibility of self and the other. Anthropologists, either modern or post-modern, have not been concerned with the possibility of halfway understanding and misunderstanding for being useless and negative. The author, by taking Japanese self as an example, discusses that a subject could rather be fluid, ephemeral and constantly rewritten in the process of relating with other selves, and points out the importance to recognize the possible failure of complete understanding in intercultural dialogues.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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