The Significance of Interculturality for the Problem of (In)Transparency

James M. Thompson


Clearly, the relationship I have to my thoughts and feelings is quite different to
the one another person has to them. This paper is an attempt to investigate this
asymmetry by examining a key passage in Part II of Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations. In this passage, a parallel is drawn between
the possibility of the other’s (in)transparency and intercultural encounter. In both
cases, the status of understanding shows itself to be of fundamental importance, and
provokes the question of how I can situate myself in relation to the cultural other,
on the one hand, and to my thoughts and feelings as mine, on the other.


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; culture; intercultural; communication; understanding; tradition; inner vs outer; hidden; form of life; transparency; enigma

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