Cultural Flesh and Intercultural Phenomenology: Theory and Practice
Speaker: Prof. Kwok-ying Lau
Date: 09 November 2018 (Fri)
Venue: G24, Arts and Humanities Hub, Fung King Hey Building, CUHK
In contrast to Eurocentric conceptions of philosophy, the present author will explain in what sense and in what way his apprenticeship and practice of philosophy in Hong Kong since the very beginning is an intercultural affair: serious philosophical practice is necessarily a matter of intercultural understanding. Not content with Derrida’s deconstruction of the Eurocentric pretention of Husserl’s Idea of philosophy as “pure theoria”, the present author tries to make sense of the intercultural nature of contemporary philosophical practice by the concept of “interworld” (“inter-monde”) suggested by Merleau-Ponty. The paper will also explain the necessity of intercultural understanding in the establishment of philosophical truth. It will go on to explain the relevance of the concept of flesh (la chair, 肌膚存在) and cultural flesh (文化肌膚) , proposed by the present author, in providing the ontological basis of the inter-world and inter-cultural understanding. The paper will highlight some of the results of the author’s twenty years of research in intercultural understanding in philosophy from the phenomenological approach, published in his recent book Phenomenology and Intercultural Understanding. Toward a New Cultural Flesh (Springer, Contributions to Phenomenology Series, 2016), with which the author received the Research Excellence Award, Faculty of Arts, CUHK, 2017.