ZHANG Longxi - Professor of Comparative Literature, City University of Hong Kong
Difference is a basic fact in life and in our understanding of life, as people are all different as individuals and as social groups and communities. In humanities and social sciences, however, differences are often ignored on the individual level, while emphasized on the collective level. This is particularly true in understanding different cultures. By examining some recent works in East-West cross-cultural studies, the lecturer will argue that we should pay attention to the complexity of difference and what Geoffrey Lloyd calls the “multidimensionality” of things so as to avoid the mistake of subsuming individual differences under collective categories, and to go beyond the simplistic claims of universalism as well as the relativist dilemma of cultural incommensurability.