The discussion over universal vs. cultural relative values hits the core of anthropological knowledge. Although cultural relativism served as an almost irrefutable basis for anthropological practice of understanding the Other, several factors of a recent origin have started to undermine the obvious. The “Arab spring,” the “Occupy” movements, the debate over female circumcision that attracts global attention, local uses of the relativistic arguments in political contexts and the debates over universality of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, all of these trigger a new discourse on the universality of human values. Universality turns our attention to the problem of translatability of cultures – without an assumption that there is shared, intercultural space and a certain level of commensurability between cultures, any rapport would be impossible. The translation problem directs us toward a discussion on cross-cultural communication and the universality of values and their hierarchies. The discussion has showed that values are not constant residua within intercultural space but rather they are part of an interpretive activity of the participants of a cross-cultural interaction.
Date of Publication
Brocki, Marcin. “THE PROBLEM OF UNIVERSAL VALUES AND INTERCULTURAL SPACE – NEW/OLD PREDICAMENT OF ANTHROPOLOGY.” Politeja, no. 44, 2016, pp. 131–142.