home
archive · forum   
themes literature agenda archive anthology calendar links profile


english  justice

Bertold Bernreuter, 26.09.2003, 20:52
Original: english  justice (Marc Bouchard), 23.09.2003, 01:07



Dear Marc Bouchard,

I fear my answer will be quite disappointing. Of course I don't have a solution for the problem of representivity in (intercultural) dialogue and still less if that is a political dialogue. Forms of representivity vary a lot from culture to culture. Even in a particular culture often there is no consensus about who were representive of its culture. For example, do you accept the members of your government as representives of your culture?

If the members of an intercultural dialogue possess a high grade of cultural authenticity and the forms of representivity in their cultures are very genuine ones, then the dialogue itself probably will also possesses a high grade of authenticity. But which are the criterias for authenticity and representivity? And what is culture, what is a particular culture? In my point of view cultures are always "pluralistic". So, how can there be authenticity with the plural forms of one culture? And so forth.

The problem of representivity is hence a social and political limitation of intercultural dialogue. It cannot be resolved by philosophical means. We have to live with that fatal reality.

Now, I think the only way how to face that limitation is to go beyond the limits that sets the problem of representivity; that means a pragmatic way of widening the dialogue, understood in a twofold sense: first, to extend a particular dialogue, for example by inclusion of further members, and, second, to create new dialogues. Hopefully in the multiplicity of voices of multiples dialogues there could be seen something like a normative ground in common. Obviously my proposal is philosophically very disapointining because it doesn't face the problem in its theoretical nature. It's a merely pragmatical consideration, but I don't see any other practicable way.

Kind regards,
Bertold Bernreuter