Journal of International and Global Studies


How can we conceive of global culture as an entity without playing unity and diversity off one another? The diversity of interconnected cultures on a bounded planet requires shared orientations. Thus, the conceptualization of a cosmopolitan humanism is an urgent project for humanity. Particularly, it is of urgent necessity that we determine what a version of cosmopolitan humanism looks like that does not rush to universalize the views and historical experiences of the European or American world? The need for unity is juxtaposed against the ubiquitous tendency to differentiate. All are alike, yet all are different, and above all, everyone wants to distinguish him or herself from an other. People are not content to define cultures predominantly in terms of their differences, nor do individuals map neatly onto a single “identity.” A central question in the pursuit of a new and non-Western-centric humanism goes as follows: What do we owe strangers by virtue of our shared humanness (Appiah, 2006, p. xxi)? Any realistic cosmopolitanism must proceed from an understanding of humankind as one entity, without requiring us to re-design cultures to fit some sort of global template. Answers for an orientation that combines unity and diversity can be gained by deploying (1) shared biological characteristics of humans as well as (b) commonalities on the pan-cultural level. A revisit to the topic of human universals is needed.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.