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Rational Presupposition, Normativity and Pluralist Expression: A Cross- Cultural Perspective on the Universality of Philosophy

Social Sciences in China, 2022

Vol. 43, No. 1, 2022

 

Rational Presupposition, Normativity and Pluralist Expression: A Cross- Cultural Perspective on the Universality of Philosophy

 

Cheng Lesong

 

AbstractThe question of the universality of philosophy is highlighted when seen from a cross- cultural perspective, for it reveals the tension between particularity and universality, as well as the connotations of the universality of philosophy. In terms of philosophical activities concerned with the content of Chinese life experience, the universality of philosophy, the particularity of Chinese thought, and the uniqueness of Chinese expression together constitute a persistent theoretical tension. We distinguish the universality of philosophy from universal philosophy; the former stems from the universal presupposition of rational capacity and points to the richness and pluralism of the empirical world while maintaining a dynamic balance between universality and pluralism in normative attitudes of discourse practice and conceptual activity. From the perspective of cultural subjectivity, it is necessary to avoid misleading views that equate the universality of philosophy with Western philosophy; moreover, normativity cannot be understood as specific censorship rules. The universality of philosophy requires a sense of boundaries and a normative attitude that will ensure that people from different contexts can enter into dialogue on the basis of rational ability and construct a space for dialogue and understanding. The concern for diverse objects based on the richness of experience gives philosophical concepts and arguments pluralist differences that encompass cultural differences and autonomy at the level of expression. All in all, it is only on the basis of the universality of philosophy that we can understand the normative requirements of philosophical activities and the pluralism of cross-cultural philosophical reflection.

 

Keywords: universality of philosophy, universal philosophy, presupposition of rational capacity, normativity