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2011, Vol.4, No.1

  • 1.

    Gender, Diversity and Ethnocentrism in Europe

    Azaden Kian | 2011, 4(1) | pp.5~27 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    Gendered Islamophobia has become accentuated in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 tragedy. The way in which the question of the Islamic headscarf was handled by hegemonist feminists in Europe, especially in France, reveals similarities with the colonial narratives of the late Nineteenth century that pointed to the veil as a symbol of inferiority of Islamic culture and as a threat to Western cultural values. The 'headscarf affair' demonstrates that ethnocentrist prejudice continues to encumber Western feminist discourse. Ethnocentrism, which is founded on the primacy of difference and implies domination, reproduces the binary thinking that has marked Orientalism. This paper shows that the border line between ethnocentrism and Orientalism as the ideology of colonialism is porous and that the 'othering' process, characteristic of colonial discourse, has resurfaced in Western feminism. Racist and colonialist stereotypical images of Muslim women have thus become commonplace. Like in the colonialist era, Muslim women are depicted as oppressed, eternal victims of patriarchy, characterized by enforced confinement, ignorance, passivity and powerlessness, and in the need of rescue by Western feminists. This paper refutes ethnocentric assumptions that essentialize the differences between us/them, emancipated women/oppressed women, and that have contributed to historical invisibilization and victimization of non-Western women. It criticizes ethnocentric feminist and intellectual paradigms that mark hegemonist currents within Western feminism, and advocates a universality that is not imperialistic.
  • 2.

    Buddhist Tolerance: an Effective Way to Perceive the Other in Vietnamese Buddhism

    Hoang Thi Tho | 2011, 4(1) | pp.29~53 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    This essay uses the term tolerance conceptualized by UNESCO in the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance (1995) to analyze the Buddhist notion of tolerance and give some examples of Indian and Vietnamese Buddhism. In ancient India, Buddha had used Pali terms: Karuna, Dana, and Metta with the same meaning of tolerance. They were constructed systematically on the religious-philosophical and ethical foundations of Buddhism. Under King Asoka's reign (3rd BC) Buddhist tolerance was successfully applied to unite a vast Indian empire (a multi-religious country) and control it in peace. Buddhism was introduced into Vietnam in different times and by different ways. Vietnam is also a multi-race and multi-religious country. However, the But-Buddhism and Phat-Buddhism of the Vietnamese were adapted and acculturated from Indian and Chinese Buddhism. Thanks to the spirit of tolerance, the Vietnamese have applied it well in resolving political, cultural, and religious problems not only in war time, but also in peace time. Now, in the global context, tolerance is considered the most suitable paradigm for perceiving each other by approaching the other without preconceptions and avoiding the dissolution of each other's character and identity. Hence, tolerance is the key to coexistence through the recognition of difference and alterity.
  • 3.

    Uncanny Encountering between the East and the West: The Search for Oriental Eyes

    Jin -Bae Chung | 2011, 4(1) | pp.55~71 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    East Asian and Western ways of thinking are two heterogeneous forms of viewing the world, which can never be separated from the subject of epistemology. As a matter of fact, current academic trends in the field of humanities such as postmodernism or totality issues are, with no exception, functioning based on the particular a priori form of positing the relationship between 'I' and the world, Along this line, careful thought needs to be given to the true essence of the world: i.e., can we prove its presence existing independently from our cognition? Should it be true that this world that we're living in demonstrates not so much materialism but speculation, it cannot but be reconstructed a posteriori via our particular epistemological eyes. Seen from this perspective, any critical attempt to sublimate or critically overcome those pathological remnants of modernity should begin with our careful investigation of those invisible eyes which have been secretively facilitating that crude and inhumane rational of social Darwinism. This paper serves to critically illuminate '(post)modernity' issues in terms of Taoist philosophy. In conclusion, the possibility of viewing 'I' and the world on another epistemological dimension will be briefly discussed.
  • 4.

    Rationes Seminales and Life Transformation

    Jangsaeng Kim | 2011, 4(1) | pp.73~97 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    The purpose of this article is to examine the meaning of the theory of Seminal Reason (rationes seminales) by extracting the most fundamental thoughts from the understanding of the phenomena of life transformation and with them form four categories, viz.: "Stabilism," "Dynamism," "Internalism," and "Externalism," ─under which the rest of the body of understanding is to be classified, As an endeavor, this article will first, introduce four basic thoughts on the philosophical analysis of the phenomena of life alteration; second, expound on Augustine's Theory of Creation in which understanding of life appears and where seminal reason offers a comprehensive explanation for the four categories of understanding life changes; lastly, examine the meaning of the theory of Seminal Reason illuminated in four different interpretations of understanding life.
  • 5.

    The Combination of Emblematics and Natural History: Botanical Emblem Books for Meditational Uses

    Sohee Kim | 2011, 4(1) | pp.99~137 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    This study investigates the interaction between emblematics and natural history, focusing on sixteenth-century botanical emblem books, in which plants can be seen as means of meditation. In the second half of the sixteenth century, the two genres of emblematics and natural history became so closely related that the empirical knowledge of natural history provided the reader a key for uncovering the disguised meaning of emblems. In particular, botanical emblem books, which appeared in the mid sixteenth century, demonstrate the combination of close scientific observations of plants and devotional approach to nature as God's divine creation. This didactic and meditational use of botanical emblems is most evident in three botanical emblem books by Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1601), Joachim Camerarius the Younger (1534-98), and Thomas Palmer (1540-1626). In these books, Hoefnagel, Camerarius and Palmer demonstrated their emblematic way of looking at plants as an aid to meditation as well as their botanical knowledge in detail and accuracy, encouraging the audience to appreciate fully both the aesthetic beauty and the symbolic and allegoric meaning represented by each plant. Thus, these botanical emblem books represent their distinctive worldview of the late sixteenth century, with its combination of art, science, and emblematics.
  • 6.

    A Commitment to Democracy Does Not Entail an Open Borders Immigration Policy

    Dan Ernst | 2011, 4(1) | pp.139~148 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    Arash Abizadeh, in his recent contribution, "Democratic Theory and Border Coercion: No Right to Unilaterally Control Your Own Borders," made an argument for the provocative conclusion that states with a commitment to democracy must allow non-citizens a say in determining the immigration policies they enact. I show that Abizadeh's argument fails; he does not prove that a commitment to democracy entails an open borders immigration policy.
  • 7.

    Investigating the Musical Mind: Situated Cognition, Artistic Human-Robot Interaction Design, and Cognitive Musicology

    Uwe Seifert | 2011, 4(1) | pp.149~162 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    There are different domains in which convergence might take place. Within the arts we can think of the convergence of different forms of expressive media such as music, theater, film, and dance. Concerning media, we also may think of convergence of technical representations of different kinds of modalities as in multimedia and multi-modal environments. Furthermore, in the sciences one can think of convergence of different approaches to research questions. Artistic human-robot interaction design with schema theory might provide a basis for the study of subjective and objective mind using new media art environments as laboratories. The subjective or individual mind is studied within the humanities. Cognitive science as situated cognition and the humanities might converge in investigating the mind. Cognitive musicology is given as an example of a possible converging way of studying the subjective and objective mind. The use of robots plays an essential part of such a converging approach. Artistic human-robot interaction design is proposed as a research strategy. Social schema theory is related to artistic human-robot interaction design. The humanities, I think, should actively take part in the formation of a society in which humans are socially interacting with robots or artificial agents in daily life, art, entertainment, edutainment, therapy, and teaching.
  • 8.

    Crossing the Sacred-Profane Divide in Gnosticism and John’s Gospel

    Horace Jeffery HODGES | 2011, 4(1) | pp.163~176 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    Marcel Mauss and Mary Douglas together offer a theoretical understanding of gift-giving that enables us to draw a crucial distinction between the crossing of the sacred-profane boundary in Gnostic systems and the Johannine one. This distinction is particularly evident when such crossing leads to transactions involving the offer of nourishment. The sacred and the profane do not easily mix in any system, but in Gnostic texts and John's Gospel, the conflict between these dynamic forces of the two realms is presented as working itself out differently. This conflict is irresolvable in the former due to its substance dualism, but it is resolvable in the latter due to its ethical dualism. Gifts of nourishment accentuate this difference, such that the reciprocity and the ambiguity that Mauss sees in gift-giving work out their implications differently. Conflict is shown to be accentuated in Gnostic systems, but ultimately resolved in the Johannine one.