This essay argues that there are commonalities preceding cultural differences. This is in contrast to the widely held assumption that cultures are different and common features emerge, if indeed they do, as a second-level acquisition. These commonalities, which remain largely hidden since they are taken for granted, provide a foothold for understanding foreign cultures and for interpreting the formation and development of personal identity. After outlining the notions of culture proposed by Johann Gottfried Herder, Amartya Sen, Gadamer and Charles Taylor, the essay distinguishes two perspectives of conceiving culture and personal identity itself: one called “essentialistic or reified”, the other “procedural or dynamic”. It is highlighted that it is the people that reconstructs and re-elaborates culture. In the second perspective culture is understood as a discursive construction, a body of ideas and practices that model collective and individual life. Similarly, personal identity is formed through a process of selective identification with cultural models, and through a process of keeping one’s distance from them. Since the people interact with each other, and not cultures as macro-subjects, commonalities are single out within relationship on both intra- and intercultural level, starting from the I-you relationship. On this basis the essay suggests that the contents expressed as human rights in the international documents constitute the common deep background on which the local backgrounds, that correspond to local cultural practices, are rooted

Personal Identity, Forms of Life, Plurality of Values: From Philosophy to Practice(s)

LONGATO, FULVIO
2014-01-01

Abstract

This essay argues that there are commonalities preceding cultural differences. This is in contrast to the widely held assumption that cultures are different and common features emerge, if indeed they do, as a second-level acquisition. These commonalities, which remain largely hidden since they are taken for granted, provide a foothold for understanding foreign cultures and for interpreting the formation and development of personal identity. After outlining the notions of culture proposed by Johann Gottfried Herder, Amartya Sen, Gadamer and Charles Taylor, the essay distinguishes two perspectives of conceiving culture and personal identity itself: one called “essentialistic or reified”, the other “procedural or dynamic”. It is highlighted that it is the people that reconstructs and re-elaborates culture. In the second perspective culture is understood as a discursive construction, a body of ideas and practices that model collective and individual life. Similarly, personal identity is formed through a process of selective identification with cultural models, and through a process of keeping one’s distance from them. Since the people interact with each other, and not cultures as macro-subjects, commonalities are single out within relationship on both intra- and intercultural level, starting from the I-you relationship. On this basis the essay suggests that the contents expressed as human rights in the international documents constitute the common deep background on which the local backgrounds, that correspond to local cultural practices, are rooted
978-3-85435-751-3
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/2817526
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact