In his recent book Orientalisme, occidentalisme et universalisme (Paris: MA Éditions-ESKA, 2020), Jean-Yves Heurtebise, who has worked and teached in Taiwan for many years, summarizes the results of his own research on the topic of transcultural philosophy. His understanding of transculturality underlines the need for critical work, in order to challenge many of the prejudices which have become a solid part of several hundreds years of East and West exchanges.
In this interview, we want to ask Heurtebise to define “transcultural philosophy” and answer a series of questions that are particularly relevant to today’s Taiwan: What are the differences between transcultural and comparative philosophy? How can we reconsider the importance of cultural difference from a non-essentialist perspective? And what is the role that a Taiwanese perspective can play in the context of the ongoing philosophical encounter between the East and the West?