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Wim van Binsbergen
Intercultural Encounters
African and anthropological lessons towards a philosophy of interculturality
Reihe: Ethnologie: Forschung und Wissenschaft
Bd. 4, 2003, 616 S., 40.90 EUR, 40.90 CHF, br., ISBN 3-8258-6783-8

This book brings together fifteen essays investigating aspects of interculturality. Like its author, it operates at the borderline between social anthropology and intercultural philosophy. It seeks to make a contribution to intercultural philosophy, by formulating with great precision and painful honesty the lessons deriving from extensive intercultural experiences as an anthropologist. Its culminating section presents an intercultural philosophy revolving on the tenet `cultures do not exist'. The kaleidoscopic nature of intercultural experiences is reflected in the diversity of these texts. Many belong to a field that could be described as "meta-anthropology", others are more clearly philosophical; occasionally they spill over into belles lettres, ancient history, and comparative cultural and religious studies. The ethnographic specifics supporting the arguments are diverse, deriving from various African situations in which the author has conducted participatory field research (Tunisia, Zambia, Botswana, and South Africa).

Wim van Binsbergen is professor of Foundations of Intercultural Philosophy, Philosophical Faculty, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, and chair of the theme group on globalisation, African Studies Centre, Leiden.

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