Multiculturalism, Postcolonialism, Gift Paradigm: A Necessary Dialogue. By Francesco Fistetti

1. Decentering the West
In recent years, multiculturalism has been a topic which has provoked a heated intellectual and political debate because of the variety of its philosophical, sociological and ethical implications. The stake of this debate is an epistemological revolution of western universalism and a radical reconsideration of requirements that Max Weber collected under the expression “western rationalism”. My assumption is that it’s necessary to intersect theory of recognition, gift paradigm and postcolonialism in order to deconstruct the monological dogmatic universalism which has dominated the western culture, but also in order to reconstruct a universalism open to difference and otherness. The outcome of this work of deconstruction and reconstruction is pluriversalism, i.e. the conception of the world outlined in The Convivialist Manifesto. In a world become post-western, the biggest challenge that the West is forced to face is of engaging in a courageous unprecedented “Cultural Turn”, without which the risk of the “clash of civilizations” (S. Huntington) will grow out enormously. The challenge concerns the capacity of the western conscience to achieve an attitude of comparing its categories and valuation methods with those of other cultures, and to put its rationality in a historical perspective. This capacity of looking at oneself through the eyes of the others involves a relativisation of our culture and our forms of life, and promotes the blame of any ethnocentric exclusivism.

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