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GED3101/PHI3101 Philosophy and Cross-Cultural Communication: Home

Course Description

One of the defining features of being human is the ability to communicate with others; yet, human beings often find it difficult to make themselves heard and to interpret one another. Given our increasingly interconnected and crowded world, the ability to communicate across differences of culture and identity is perhaps more important than ever. In this course, we will explore some of the philosophical issues involved in cross-cultural communication and miscommunication, including topics such as prejudice, “common sense,” contrasting background assumptions, truth, trust, cultural identity, and dialogue. Culminating projects will involve experiential application of philosophical theories.

Recommended Books

The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays

This book is a collection of 15 essays by Clifford Geertz published between 1957 and the mid-1960s. In these essays, Geertz clarified the object of cultural study- not hidden subjectivities or whole ways of life but publicly available symbols. Other issues dealt with in these essays include the incompleteness of human nature without culture to organize action and experience, different conceptions of the continuity of human personality in different cultures, the resurgence of ethnic particularisms in the new nations, and the problem of when and why ritual practices break down or fail, etc.

How to Do Things with Words

John L. Austin was one of the leading philosophers of the twentieth century. This book is a collection of lectures presenting Austin’s conclusions in the field to which he directed his main efforts on a wide variety of philosophical problems. For this second edition, the editors have returned to Austin’s original lecture notes, emending the printed text where it seemed necessary. An appendix contains literal transcriptions of a number of marginal notes made by Austin but not included in the text. Comparison of the text with these annotations provides new dimensions to the study of Austin’s work.

Recommended Databases