The Cultural Community: An Husserlian Approach and Reproach

Husserl Studies 28 (1):25-47 (2012)
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What types of unity and disunity belong to a group of people sharing a culture? Husserl illuminates these communities by helping us trace their origin to two types of interpersonal act—cooperation and influence—though cultural communities are distinguished from both cooperative groups and mere communities of related influences. This analysis has consequences for contemporary concerns about multi- or mono-culturalism and the relationship between culture and politics. It also leads us to critique Husserl’s desire for a new humanity, one that is rational, cooperatively united, and animated by a universal philosophical culture. Reflecting on culture, a spiritually shaped and shared domain of the world, draws us to reflect also on ourselves as social and rational animals, and to ask, what should we reasonably hope for—and aim for—in a human culture that expresses and supports our shared lives of reason? Aristotle is used for occasional comparisons and contrasts.

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Molly Brigid McGrath
Assumption College


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