How Can We Cross the Intellectual Divide between East and West?: Reflections on Reading “Toward a Complementary Consciousness and Mutual Flourishing of Chinese and Western Cultures: The Contributions of Process Philosophers”
- Philosophy East and West
- University of Hawai'i Press
- Volume 65, Number 1, January 2015
- pp. 298-315
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- Additional Information
Ming Dong Gu and Jianping Guo The essay by Fan Meijun and Wang Zhihe has sparked broad reflection by Ming Dong Gu and Jianping Guo in the form of a sustained response to the philosophical issues in the intellectual encounter between East and West. While agreeing with the thesis and major ideas of Fan and Wang, Gu and Guo offer a critique of some issues and continue to reflect on a series of questions relevant to the exchanges between Eastern and Western thought, which include: Is there an intellectual divide between East and West? What are the intellectual barriers to genuine dialogue? Do the intellectual barriers identified by Fan and Wang accurately mirror the real conditions of Eastern and Western thought? If they are true, have they formed a paradigm in East-West studies? If yes, what is the conceptual ground for the paradigm? Which is more responsible for the intellectual barriers, Western-centrism or Eastern-centrism? Besides Western process thought, is there any Eastern thought that can be appropriated to overcome the intellectual barriers? Gu and Guo’s reflections are summarized in a general question: under what conditions can East meet West in intellectual thought? Identifying some common ground in Eastern and Western thought, they reveal blind spots in current efforts to cross the East-West divide and examine some successful cases of East-West dialogue. Based on their meditations, they suggest new dimensions to the Second Enlightenment and call for transcultural intellectual empowerment for all cultural traditions.