The Quest for Change: From Domination to Dialogue

Abstract: This paper explores the distinction between domination and dialogue. It analyses dialogical philosophy, mainly in the works of Mikhail Bakhtin and some other contemporary authors, grounding the universal character of dialogue as constitutive of human personality itself. Dialogism is a fundamental characteristic of language. In its normative role, dialogism can serve as the standard for the evaluation and critique of existing relationships within a socially and culturally diverse world. It can also serve as a regulative principle in the ennoblement of human relationships. This paper highlights intercultural philosophy and its grounding of the ideas of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue. It analyses the manifestations of cultural diversity in Latin American, African and the African-American philosophies. These philosophies show the tendency to evolve from ethnocentrism to more openness and finally to inter-philosophical global dialogue. Dialogism is opposed to historical-cultural conditions that hinder it. In analyzing the historical contradiction between domination and dialogue, this paper points out its causes, such as calculative ‘instrumental reason’, colonial exclusion of the other, and the asymmetries of power. The current hegemonic US policy aiming for global domination is at odds with the dialogical and collaborative relationships of sovereign nations as equals. The paper argues for the implementation of dialogical relationships within society and in the international arena as well as for the collaboration of peoples, which is necessary to find a solution to social and global problems. The concept of the dialogue of civilisations—asserting a plurality of civilisations—orients us toward the study of intra-civilisational and inter-civilisational relationships, with the aim of fostering dialogue. The enhancement of dialogical relationships is both a condition and an indispensable means of progression toward a more humane, peaceful and just world order.
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