East–West Cultural Relationship: Some Indian Aspects

Diogenes 50 (4):83-94 (2003)
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Cultural space knows no official boundary. Civilizational interaction, recorded and unrecorded, is an ongoing process. Diffusionism and parallelism get interfused in civilizational studies. To think of one-sided borrowing or lending in the realm of culture rests on bias or prejudice, perhaps both. To think that originally there was only one culture (Egypt or India or China) and that all other cultures are its diffused or dispersed form is incorrect, both theoretically and evidentially. Comparably incorrect is the anthropological hypothesis that different cultures, in response to diverse social and natural stimuli or conditions, developed quite independently and in parallel manner. Once we believe, as I think we must, that cultural space is a continuum, the parallelistic thesis is bound to collapse. If, on the other hand, we totally reject the possibility of independent, relatively independent, origin and development of different cultures, we are obliged to deny the differentiable identity and personality and distinct cultures. To deny cultural pluralism is psychologically untenable and ideologically pernicious, and I have argued the point at length elsewhere.



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