THE MULTI-CULTURAL: BETWEEN THE ONE AND THE MANY
Contemporary debates in sociology, history and politics tend to highlight the opposition between unifying globalisationand identitary resistance among peoples and cultures. In this essay, Jean-Jacques Wunenburger discloses other processes – much deeper, subtler and more complex – which can be reduced neither to identitarian affirmation (on the basis of the expression ‘shock of civilisations’) nor to a fusion of the cultural model with the dominant power. He inquires into the epistemological and anthropological conditions of a model capable of bringing together ‘the same’ and ‘the other’, the ‘universal’ and the ‘difference’ in a harmonious way.
Globalisation aims at eliminating border differentiation and erasing cultural differences by standardising financial practices, the consumption of material and intangible goods, languages, etc. Long idealised by the aspirations of a juridical cosmopolitism of European origin, it has become the form of unilateral domination of a neo-liberal trading and juridical model of American origin. The recurrent question about this ideal is whether the juridical relation of egalitarianism among the world’s inhabitants actually requires a standardisation of languages, mores, creations and values of the type that can be seen in the Biblical reference to the time before the tower of Babel.
One of the reactions to this influence of globalisation consists in claiming radical differences between people and cultures (as well as between religions), deep-rooted identities, watertight borders, purity of ethnic or religious groups, etc., thus opening the way to intense intercultural confrontations.
As often occurs, after identifying the two extremes, appeal can be made to a third way embodying a compromise capable of making way for a mixture of warring differences. This would open a new Babelian utopia of identities participating with diversity: a third way between the retreat to antagonistic identities (ending up in identitarian phobia) and a loss of identities through standardisation (the so-called ‘macdonaldisation of the world’). This new utopia attempts to affirm differences (in an anti-globalist fashion) as well as their coexistence, or more precisely: their positive interconnection (in a post-modern sense). From then on, there is an increasing claim for hybridisation and créolisation, that is, processes leading to a confusion of pluralities, a tree structure free from specific cultural traits, characterised by grafts and borrowings ensuring relationships and intertwined alterity.
How can we ensure that this cultural impulse can in turn ensure a consistent, strong, regulatory, protective and creative paradigm? How can we open to the difference of the other and become enriched by it without losing identity and slipping into chaotic undifferentiation? Wouldn’t such a third way end up in a vague and inconsistent thinking with uncertain outlines? Very often this type of thinking is schematized and enacted by terms such as hybridisation and cross-breeding – both cultural metaphors deriving from bio- and zoo-technology. Can such analogies do justice to the complex procedures required to synthetise the heterogeneous? Can post-modern creolisation resist the cacophonic tendency of globalisation, the introverted assertion of identity thinking and the civilisational shock?
What are the prerequisites, the logic forms, and also the difficulties and paradoxes of this emerging and alternative thinking? Without a doubt, it is a matter of constructing a new transcultural category to transform enclosed identities, a category that might be distinguished from the post-modern creolisation and hybridisation. An alterity that has been assumed should in fact be situated beyond the pair of alienated identity and its undifferentiated fusion. How can we think of interculturality in which a ‘plural unity’ can be achieved?
These categories of creolisation and hybridisation are destined to represent and normalise the cultural transformations deriving from the encounter of different cultures. They favour in this way immigration and multiculturalism. How can these differences be brought together without levelling and blurring them? How can we compose a plurality of identities without mixing and standardising them, without leaving them juxtaposed with no relationship whatsoever? How can some cultural imaginaries open themselves to alterity (putting an end to eurocentrism) and integrate transgressions without being impoverished in a formless (post-modern) mixture, being rather enriched in an unheard of and innovating figure which may in turn transform former structures?
We may take a few very concrete examples that might become sources of a new hermeneutics. For example, How is it possible for the Westernisation of martial arts to avoid the production of soft versions (as is usually the case with New Age phenomena) and instead enrich the Asian tradition by means of the categories and experiences of Western social sciences (as can be found in Tai chi and shamanism)? How can, on the contrary, Asian technological imaginaries produce new imaginaries which are far from duplicating or aping Western models and in which Taoist tradition integrates high-tech mobility as a new ethos (related also to cars and robots)? How can religious or spiritual corpuses (Christianity, Buddhism), without opposing each other or merging in some pseudo-concordism, produce mythemes or theological concepts that amplify rather than reduce their cultural horizon?
In order to prepare this vast conceptual work of complex anthropology, we shall explore various epistemological rectifications to the idea of the mixing of differences, drawn from various philosophical conceptions (from Plato to Schleiermacher, passing through Leibniz) that are to be developed to avoid the ambiguities and illusions of creolisation.
Every encounter with alterity (in customs, language, etc.) requires a translation. The latter must at the same time integrate the alterity with my identity and respect the singularity of the difference. Such a relational exercise has always been likened to treachery (thus the well-known equation ‘translator = traitor’). The problem is precisely that of translating an alterity in its own culture, at the same time renewing it. Translation is no betrayal, but rather an unveiling of layers of latent meaning. The development of Japanese martial arts in the West is an example of this problem inherent to intercultural translation. Consequently, a translation is a transformation, or a metamorphosis (the other into the same, the same into the other). This is what Éric Caulier, tai chi theoretician and practitioner, means when he writes:
“In order to penetrate certain mysteries of taijiquan practice in China, I had to abandon my cultural references, but such an attitude rapidly becomes unworkable when the same discipline is to be taught in the West. On the contrary, I had to regain full possession of my cultural context if I wished to transmit a living and comprehensible teaching; otherwise, I would be condemned to attract only through a superficial and exotic aspect. Unless the original context is taken into account, one is condemned to a partial view of the matter. Without translation or interpretation, taijiquan is reduced to a caricature. It is merely one more item on the long shelf of new well-being recipes. It would become a fleeting effect of fashion, taken up by some “new activists” in search of exoticism. A true translation or interpretation makes it possible to cast light on the archetypical models conveyed by taijiquan and to appreciate the richness and diversity of the forms manifested by these universal schemes”1.
The Mediating Third-Party Link
A mixture of differences also presupposes, among other things, a reference to a common symbolic core out of which an interface may arise. The religious dialogue shows that it can often be reduced to one from two paths: the one seeking a transcendent unity (fusion with the smallest common denominator) or a common origin, starting from the point of view of filiation (Christ traced back to Dionysus, then to Osiris, in the mythical pattern of death and resurrection of a divine figure). But doesn’t this path reproduce the inevitable process of a face-to-face that also ends by privileging one or the other party? It is always worth seeking a third path from which both the one and the other can best be described and understood, a mediation, a third-party that might bring together two entities and, above all, integrate a third?2 A form of intercultural rationality thus invites us to establish, in any situation involving comparison, the mediating point of view of a third interpreting party, who alone can overcome the horizontal and frontal position of disparity and make way for a dominating intelligence that replaces both points of view. This hermeneutic power of the mediator is invoked by the founder of German hermeneutics, Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834), and can also be found – scattered and fragmented – in various forms of contemporary thought.
In Schleiermacher, as in most philosophers of the Romantic period, we find the idea (ultimately retraceable to Plato) according to which communication is only possible where there is a bi-polar structure enabling the creation of a symbolic bond. In a text drawn from his work On Religion3, Schleiermacher affirms – anticipating certain ideas of the psychologist C.G. Jung – that each human soul, that is every psyche, is the outcome of two opposite instincts. All of us have an inner bipolar structure consisting of two tendencies: the attraction of whatever surrounds us and its eventual integration in our own life by absorbing it completely and assimilating it in the innermost part of our soul. The other tendency consists in the aspiration to increasingly develop one’s own internal ego and disclose it from the inside to the outside, penetrating all, communicating part of it without ever exhausting its scope.
In short, we can recognize a centripetal tendency leading us to assimilate what is outside ourselves, and a centrifugal tendency that is rather extroverted, a tendency pushing us to communicate our ego to the outside. Schleiermacher also maintains, for the purpose of his hermeneutic psychology, that every person develops one of these polarities more than the other, in variable proportions. However, the recessive tendency remains always present since no being is totally unilateral or univocal. As a consequence, we see the development of a wide diversity of psychological structures in humankind, since persons are different from one another due to the multiple situations affecting the same bipolar structure. Nevertheless, as Schleiermacher ascertains, beings are for the most part aligned with extremes, whence the development of contrary behaviours, generating conflicts and hence difficulties in communication. As a result, the problem is to bring these two poles closer, thus completing or accomplishing the ‘closed circle’, re-establishing a balance in the psychological constitution of individuals and their attitudes (whether they open or close circles).
Schleiermacher then introduces the mediator as reference. The latter is an individual in whom the two tendencies are balanced; he is the hero, the legislator, the inventor, the tamer of Nature, the ‘good daemon’ who is, in the end, the great communicator. From a theological point of view, we can say that Schleiermacher rediscovers the Greek god of communication, Hermes, thanks to whom information circulates harmoniously among human beings and who can generate universal understanding: “If therefore we have mediators at our disposal, they are those beings in whom the composite structures are in balance and who, as a consequence, can make these structures circulate. So, if we have such mediators, each will silently cast light on himself and the others, and the communication of thoughts and feelings will occur in a simple fashion, through the easy play consisting both of uniting the different beams of this light and subsequently dividing them again, and of dispersing it to reconcentrate it again on different objects. The least consistent word will count, whereas nowadays the clearest expressions are not free from misunderstandings”4. In short, for Schleiermacher it is a matter of finding a fertile structure that can produce a balance between complementary opposites, starting from the existence of a third-party communicator.
What can we say in this context about contemporary philosophy? We can start from Sartre’s Critique of Dialectical Reason (1960) which, despite its Marxist rather than existentialist inspiration, still presents a continuity with regard to the analyses of the ‘relation with the other’ expounded in Being and Nothingness (1943) and illustrated in his theatrical works. However, in his Critique of Dialectical Reason, Sartre shows that he is more concerned with political action and with that entity that seems to constitute society, whereas in his earlier work he remains too confined in the windowless relationship between I and you, he now further stresses a ternary structure. The binary formation as the immediate relationship between person and person is the necessary basis for any ternary relationship. But inversely, like the mediation of one man between two men, the latter is the basis on which reciprocity is recognised as a reciprocal relation. We can say that reciprocal relationships only exist when the binary has been surpassed to the benefit of the ternary. Consequently, in human relationships, there must always be a third person – present or absent – who constitutes their basis. Speaking of a Paris street-scene, Sartre says: “These onlookers who lean over the water for the taxi-driver who looks at them from his vehicle are united by the same curiosity, and this active curiosity reveals the existence of a transcendent but invisible end. There is something to be looked at. Through his mediation, the third party reactivates the objective meanings already inscribed in the things that constitute the group as a whole”5. Here we are not dealing with a street impact by means of the splitting of a group of onlookers and someone who watches them. From this example, it is clear that in the end everyone must watch something else, a third-party object which in some way gives objective meaning to the whole situation.
Many daily communications occur in the form of stories, narrations, not in the instrumental form. Narration is based on ‘pragmatic markers’.
On the other hand, Dany-Robert Dufour tackles the same question in Les mystères de la trinité (The Mysteries of the Trinity)6. The study of language reveals to us the importance of the absent third, of the ‘he’ as necessary tie between the ‘I’ and the ‘you’ in any instance of communication. Similarly, the last works of Jean-François Lyotard on narrativity also meet Dufour’s thesis. Many daily communications occur in the form of stories, narrations, not in the instrumental form. Narration is based on “pragmatic markers”7, that is, features that render the discourse operative. And the essential marker that enables the narration to achieve the status of communication introduces precisely an ‘other’ who re-counts. In other words, in recounting, one always operates in the form of: “he told me that”. Here we are dealing with a ternary device: the narrated, the narratee and the narrator. These instances constitute what Lyotard calls the ‘pragmatic triangle’, whose function is to repeat proper names… I have the story of x, I am y, you are z, and you are now the depository. We arrive thus at a kind of triangle: ‘I’ recount to ‘you’ the story I know about a third (‘he’) and so on. It is essential to consider how the communication includes this opening towards the third party within language itself.
The originality of Jean-François Lyotard or Francis Jacques8 lies in their valorisation of the absent third party, which may be present and eventually become the active and actual mediator of a face-to-face dialogue. One may therefore claim that ‘the interreligious’ – which was the starting point of our inquiry – gains by drifting towards an outside narrator (the third person) and diverts the I-you dialogue – which would otherwise be exposed to the competitive relationship of the imposed differences or similarities. It is thus a gain to deviate from the dialogue and pass the baton to a hermeneutic mediator. Such a mediator can be the source of a new discursivity which could be dubbed a trialogue, an account that provides a fresh view of the two earlier texts9.
The Paradox of Identity
How can we conceive a type of communication between heterogeneous cultures which is nevertheless provided with relational structures due to their original and forgotten affinities? If true communication operates between heterogeneous entities and is oriented towards the same whole, what is communication? How can they be recognised as similar in dissimilarities without suppressing the latter for the benefit of a universal, identical information? This kind of approach is already propounded, towards the XVII century, in the philosophical logic of Leibniz, who sought to conceptualise a universal harmony of substances (called ‘monads’) enclosed in a unique perspective on the All of the universe. For Leibniz, actually, whatever lives constitutes an absolutely unique monad, meaning a substance in itself and for itself, whose power contains the totality of all that exists, like a mirror that reflects everything around it. Each monad is thus a ‘point of view’ on everything, which Leibniz compares to the different perspectives of travellers coming from different cardinal points, as they approach the same town. The identity of a monad comprises the multiplicity of all that is: “Every substance is like an entire world and like a mirror of God, or else of the whole universe, which each expresses in its own way, a little as the same town if seen differently by the person who looks at it. Thus, the universe is in some way multiplied as many times as there are substances, and the glory of God is similarly doubled by as many as are the wholly differing representations of his work”10. Consequently, since each substance is self-sufficient, it has neither doors nor windows11; nevertheless, it is not like an isolated atom, having no ties with other monads. We must therefore imagine an inter-substantial communication operating through relations, without contact and without producing real effects. In other words, the substantial tie (vinculum substantiale) is comparable to the ether of Newtonian cosmology. For centuries, Newton’s ether had been conceived as a semi-material environment capable of influencing at a distance. Each monad has at disposal what the Romantics called ‘elective affinities’, relations at a distance (which, for Goethe, as also for Plato, brings together conflicting beings) and what Lewinian psychologists call “energy fields”12. From that moment, monadic substances are in line with the others, to the extent to which each contains within itself the lines or the imprint of the internal structure of the other monads13. Its configuration yields by itself, taking the same line as the others, without abandoning itself or changing its nature. In this way, a harmony of substances is established without loss of substance and preserving the uniqueness of each one of them, without translating dissimilarity into similarity. Later, Leibniz extends this paradigm to all problems of organising differences and develops a project of ‘unity of religions’, without actual uniformity. So, it becomes clear that there exists a universal model of monadic harmony reaching mutual compatibility without being wholly identical: “The perceptions or expressions of all substances respond to each other, so that each, carefully following certain reasons or laws that it observes, encounters the other, which has done the same, as when several, agreeing to meet together at some place on a certain date, manage to do so effectively, if they wish. Although all express the same phenomena, this does not mean that their expressions are perfectly similar. It suffices that they be proportional, just as several spectators believe they are seeing the same thing and agree on that basis, whatever each one sees and says according to the measure of his sight”14.
An alterity that has been assumed should in fact be situated beyond the pair of alienated identity and its undifferentiated fusion.
Weaving against Intermixing
In Plato we find several hermeneutic molds for a fruitful relationship between different beings. Turning to the myth of an androgynous humanity, he criticises the sterility of homogeneous fusions (male or female homosexuals) and enhances the value of exogamy, a coupling of different entities15. If we accept the transposition of the myth of gendered individuals to cultures, one finds in Plato a paradigm of the marriage of cultural differences, even extending to procreation and childbearing. This liaison, relationship, interlacing of opposites cannot however occur without conditions. The myth insists on the preparation of the coupling by a divine intervention that re-positions the sexual organs, and the fable confirms the need for prior preparation and adaptation of the entities to be joined together. The union of opposites and complementary entities is, too, exposed to bad disharmonic liaisons – unless it is regulated by a delicate harmony.
Plato’s myth of the androgynous again opens a suggestive line of interpretation by showing that reinforcing the identity of a cut-off part proves to be sterile. Conversely, if we want to reconstitute a living world, it is best to establish a complementary harmony with the other. But this reinsertion within a totality does not involve mere absorption within a whole. The severed parts of the androgynous must still be reconstructed in order to be adapted to each other and rendered functional to remake a whole. Such is the theme developed in the myth of the androgynous as told by Aristophanes in Plato’s Symposium: “First you must know that humankind consists of three genders, and not two – male and female – as we have at present. There is a third holding the other two together. The shape of each of these humans was a single piece with a round back and circular flanks. They had four hands, and the same number of legs as hands; then, two faces on top of a perfectly round neck, and alike the one to the other, so that the head belonging to these two faces, placed opposite to each other, was single… Why were there three genders and why were they so formed? It is because the male was originally an offshoot of the sun; the female gender an offshoot of the Earth; lastly the one that participates in both an offshoot of the moon, since the moon is also part of the two stars… Consequently, these beings had a prodigious strength and vigour: their pride was immense. They even came into conflict with the gods”16. In order to punish them, Zeus cut all these beings into two. Under such conditions, the cutting split the natural being. Thus, each half longed for its other half and joined it again. Initially, each half sought to unite with other halves, randomly, in an endless, totally sterile cycle. Zeus decided to reposition the sexual parts so that certain encounters could be fruit-bearing couplings. Since then, Zeus makes possible two types of relations between halves: those between male and female, coming from the mixed whole (heterosexuals), which become fertile; those between two halves of the same sex (homosexual), which are sterile. In this way, the halves of homogeneous beings unite, but are sterile, while those that are complementarily opposite manage to procreate.
In what sense can this symbolic text help us to progress in considering the problem of mixed identities? Firstly, this myth of an androgynous humanity may actually be the first systematic text on that subject, since it explains the properties of an individual, or a sexual gender or society, not in relation to another external element, but from its place in the whole, of which it is one of the poles. Its structure and its contrary-symmetrical relations precede the adventitious relationships contracted by the elementary entities. In such a case, there are two types of juxtaposition of sterile entities, which merely halve the homogenous (‘the’ pure male and ‘the’ pure female). In other words, the relationship between similar beings involves a coming together, but it is lifeless. On the other hand, for the mixed category consisting of heterogeneous, opposite and complementary elements – that of the androgynous – to re-form Unity, a linking third party must first be introduced (such is the contrivance of Zeus). This third party is symbolised by the sexual organs and their positioning. In other words, to avoid complementary coming together by contiguity and ensure that the two parties come together in their difference, a mediating structure is needed, a ‘plug’. Being plugged in, or in other words: having influence, is the condition that allows you to grasp and, similarly, on the intellectual level, to understand. But the divided elements, which seek to turn once more toward each other (through the intervention of Eros) can only provide a plug if they simultaneously turn towards the total roundness of their origin, that is, towards the ‘round-shaped’ world. In short, one of the lessons taught by the Greek myth is that it is not sufficient to unite with the Other to recreate a living resemblance, nor is it sufficient to be similar if we want to reconstitute a unity. True unity is that of a complex, and such unity presupposes a fundamental opposition between two partners who reunite in dissimilarity when they turn towards the One (uni-versus), symbolised by the round androgynous.
Can we then transpose the myth to the problem of dissimilar societies or cultures, which are at the same time parties sharing the same world, the All of the world, understood as a round being? In such a case, the uni-versity of cultures would no longer belong to a homogenising and abstract universality, but to a hierogamy (a sacred marriage of opposed complements), to an erotic-agonistic tension, on a background of mediation by cosmic totality. Intercultural relations, which create a bond between dissimilar cultures, can be understood, in a Platonic sense, as coming under a symbolism of the lunar star, that is, the one placed in the middle, serving as an intermediary between opposites. It is thus distinct not only from cultural relations of solar inspiration, of exclusively male and even phallocratic domination, but also from one-sided female-inspired – or maternal – relations seeking a generalised fusion through a common adherence to Mother-Earth. We would thus be halfway between the subjection of decentred peoples under a dominant authoritarian group and an imperial unification that absorb all parties in a fusional unity17.
In Plato’s conception, the bond between different beings also takes up the analogy with weaving – a delicate art and technique in contrast to the mere mixture. Between a bond that accentuates resemblances and a de-bonding that follows the trend of differences, weaving effectively builds up an effect that is neither a mixture nor a juxtaposition, and is thus differentiated from contemporary intermixtures. It is the royal art of true Masters, inspirers or legislators, of human communities: “It means not allowing separation between temperate and energetic characters, but weaving them together, on the contrary, through their common opinions, honours, famous men, pledges exchanged between them, so as to form a smooth tissue, and… a beautiful weave”. The aim of political action is reached when “the art envelops human beings in a common life through concord and friendship, thus forming the most magnificent and best of tissues, and envelops in each city all the people, slaves and free men, and holds them in its weave and commands and directs, without there being anything overlooked that concerns the city’s happiness”18.
In such a way, Plato illustrates the search for the figure of a society based on the idea of justice, which is clearly demarcated not only from the democratic Athenian city, which lives on excessive separation (gods and men, free men and slaves), but also from mystical communities in which initiatic selection excludes those who are not disciples of the god. Any such mixed sociality would therefore be placed under the aegis of AtheneMinerva who, with Hephaistos (according to the myth of Protagoras), is the possessor of the knowledge necessary to humankind. For, as shown by James Hillman’s reading of Plato, Athene, daughter of Zeus, is the goddess-mother of weaving who opposes both the violence of Prometheus and the drunkenness of Dionysus and knows how to shift the implacable will of Ananke towards the need of this world. After all, Athene has always been capable of combining and weaving the implacable forces of vengeance, transforming them into the structure of the Acropolis, utilising that remarkable combinatory term of ‘foreign resident’”.19
In human relationships, there must always be a third person – present or absent – who constitutes their basis.
Are such speculations just an ideal seeking to reconcile myth and reason, or is it possible to see there some kind of syncretic pole that recognises a socio-political configuration based on a mediation of diurnal and nocturnal regimes?20 One can, of course, see nothing in this weaving but an episode of the future of societies, an ephemeral and uncertain moment that sees a diurnal pole tilt and become its opposite, or vice-versa. In such a case, socio-political syncretism, which is based on an interpenetration of civil and religious societies, would occur with an historical rhythm, involving the alternation of opposite phases, through a compensation of extremes.21 However, it is also possible to take this paradigm of weaving as a sign of the existence of an autonomous form, a specific configuration, not a median transition, but a society of a third kind, based on a complex interlocking of contrary structures. For Joël Thomas, the history of Greece and Rome makes it possible to identify these complex configurations (the century of Pericles, the Augustan period of the foundation of the Roman Empire, mirrored symbolically by Vergil’s Aeneid) that unite opposite poles. In this case, we see a kind of balanced hybridisation between a logic of vertical separation and a logic of horizontal circulation, allowing the culture to ‘breathe’ and bringing it to its highest creative point: “Man is never so profoundly alive as when he integrates, in his religion, his culture, structures based on circulation and exchange, meaning on a metamorphism that gives us what I should call a profound description of the world… It is only in enantiodromia, that ‘open’ form of hybridisation, that one is truly creator, and thus alive”22.
This kind of modelling thus allows us to give back form and sense to composite units that are equally far from extremes. The weaving paradigm facilitates the conceptualisation of mixed entities. This should enable the search, within a historical period, for a mixture of units distant and separate in space or time. Platonism provides a myth-related logic capable of incorporating mediation, a ‘hermetic’ function (traceable to the god Hermes, the figure of the ferryman), who assures the passage between two opposites while nourishing both of them at the same time. Thus, an apparently offset pole becomes a bridge; a point of passage, which is nevertheless far from ensuring circulation flows, is implanted in the art of both transferring and weaving, to the extent that the peripheral becomes once again a true centre by means of its hybridisation of differences, while the dominant identity pole retreats into its reductive identity.
These four conceptual operators, among many others not tackled here, extracted from texts that are miscellaneous either in chronology or in their problem-solving, may become a sort of hermeneutic point of convergence facilitating an approach to that enigmatic idea of the harmony of differences, a sublime form of multiculturalism. While the latter is generally the outcome of hazy thinking and impoverishes the relationship (making it become a kind of unpredictable and in the end a chaotic mix), strong harmonic thought aspires to be the preparatory condition for the encounter of heterogeneous societies and to become a lasting condition, maintaining both similarities and dissimilarities. More deeply however, we can say that the condition of cultural duality (a binary couple) is not simply the result of some conventional or arbitrary construction, but that it is the active implementation of a previous arrangement of potentialities so that the experience of the encounter of different entities is implemented with a considerable degree of precision. The ultimate difficulty of this problem is that the coexistence of different but compatible identities is set in motion by potentialities, that is, by means of that which is not yet implemented. The potential of cultures that are different in their identity remains a fascinating and sometimes discouraging enigma.
- E. Caulier, Les sens du mouvement, une approche transdisciplinaire du tai chi chuan, EC éditeur, Belgium, 2019, p. 58-59. This type of nuance is also found in M. Heidegger, comparing the Japanese translation. See J.C. Gens, “L’inspiration extrême-orientale de la méditation heideggerienne de l’espace” in Esthétiques de l’espace ; occident et orient (in: J.J. Wunenburger and V. Tirloni, eds: Ésthétiques de l’espace ; occident et orient, Mimésis, 2010, p. 131 et seq.
- See our analysis in “Interreligious epistemological and hermeneutics paradigm”, in Diverse cultural and religious ways of thinking: a dialogue, Revue Concilium, Londres, 2017, no. 1, p. 17-26.
- F. Schleiermacher, Discours sur la religion (1799), trans. Aubier, 1944, p.122.
- Schleiermacher, op.cit., p 126.
- J.P. Sartre, Critique de la raison dialectique, Gallimard, 1960, p. 189.
- R. D. Dufour, Le mystère de la trinité, Gallimard, 1991, chapter 23, p. 94 et seq.
- J.F. Lyotard, La condition post-moderne, Ed. de Minuit, 1979.
- See F. Jacques, Dialogiques, Recherches logiques sur le dialogue, Paris, PUF, 1979. Différence et subjectivité. Anthropologie d’un point de vue relationnel, Paris, Aubier-Montaigne, 1982.
- On this point we may quote the works of the American sociologist T. Caplow, Two against One: coalitions in Triads [Deux contre un. Les coalitions dans les triades], (A. Colin, trans. 1971) and his European inspirer Georg Simmel. They show how the triadic form makes it possible to render the revolving multiplicity of relational and communication processes. Like Plato and Aristotle, Simmel insists on the fact that only a three-entity communication structure can contain complexity. Similarly, Caplow reminds us that when two entities cannot manage to come into direct contact, a third makes it possible by the operation of mediation, by explaining and ‘translating’, for example. Here, the regulatory third is consequently present.
- Leibniz, Discours de métaphysique, IX.
- Leibniz, op.cit., XXVI.
- Voir K. Lewin, Psychologie dynamique, PUF, 1959.
- Voir Leibniz, Nouveaux essais sur l’entendement humain, II, 12, 1.
- Leibniz, Discours de métaphysique, XIV.
- Plato, Le Banquet [The Symposium], 189d sq., Les Belles-Lettres.
- See our development in “L’unité plurielle au miroir des médiations mythiques” in: Joanna Nowicki, ed: Europe : La danse sur les limites, Paris, Romillat, 2005, p. 105-116.
- Plato, Le politique, Les belles-lettres, p. 311.
- J. Hillmann, Le polythéisme de l’âme, Mercure de France-Le mail, 1982, p 116.
- See J. Thomas, “La pensée complexe des romains” in Sociétés, no. 38, 1992.
- See our study: “Le comble et la catastrophe : pour une histoire héraclitéenne”, Revue européenne des sciences sociales, Genève, 1986, tome XXIV, no. 73.
- J. Thomas, “L’espace du héros ou les destins croisés”, Eranos Jahrbuch, 1987, vol. 56, Insel Verlag, Frankfurt-am-Main, 1989, p. 176.