Journal of Intercultural Communication, issue 8, January 2005

Jingjing Zhao and Nelson Edmondson

Conscius recognition of the limitations of human knowledge as the foundation of effective intercultural communication


In the ever-smaller contemporary world, intercultural communication plays an increasingly important role. This paper discusses how to set the contents of a relevant package of university courses, which, while giving appropriate attention to practical solutions of intercultural communication problems, at the same time strongly emphasizes the final limitations of all human philosophical, religious, ideological, and even scientific comprehension. The paper proposes an educational strategy for dealing constructively with these limitations through raising the consciousness of their nature especially on the part of persons in positions of authority in different cultures. This should produce a greater sense of cultural modesty on the part of those persons, and therewith a reduction in intercultural conflicts. With this goal in mind, the paper proposes that such limitations be made the common platform of intercultural communication, thereby enriching this field of study.

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