On-Line Articles - Methodological Foundation of Transcultural







1. Introduction


At the beginning of human history, science, spirituality and culture were inseparable. They were animated by the same questions, those about the meaning of the universe and the meaning of life.

The germ of the split between science and meaning, between subject and object, was certainly present in the seventeenth century, when the methodology of modern science was formulated, but it did not become full-blown until the nineteenth century.

In our time, the split was consummated. Science and culture have nothing more in common; this is why one speaks of science and culture. Science does not have access to the nobility of culture, and culture does not have access to the prestige of science.

One understands the indignant cries unleashed by the concept of two cultures — scientific and humanist culture — introduced some decades ago by C.P. Snow, a novelist and a scientist [1]. Science is certainly part of culture, but this scientific culture is completely separated from humanist culture. The two cultures are perceived as antagonists. Each world — the scientific world and the humanist world — is hermetically shut on itself.

However, time has passed since 1959 when C. P. Snow formulated this concept. The marriage between fundamental science and technology is now accomplished, generating the technoscientific culture which drives the huge irrational force of globalization, centered on the economy,  which in turn could erase all differences between cultures and between religions. Part of humanistic culture has already been absorbed in the technoscientific culture. In front of this new monolithic culture, there is what I will call below the spiritual culture , which is in fact a constellation of a huge variety of cultures, religions and spiritual communities, sometimes contradictory but still united through a common belief in the two natures of the human being — on one side, his (her) physical, biological and psychical nature and, on the other side, his (her) transcendental nature.

As scientists, active participants in the technoscientific culture, we have a great responsibility: to avoid the disintegration of the spiritual culture resulting from the unbridled development of technoscience, whose probable outcome will be the disappearance of our human species. It is, therefore, urgent to establish links between the technoscientific culture and the spiritual culture. But are these links possible?

As a practicing quantum physicist I know very well that, if we insist on the technical aspects of science, no link is possible. The only way is to question the axioms of fundamental science and its most general results. Only by situating ourselves at the frontier of science or in its very center can we establish a dialogue with the spiritual culture. I had the privilege of actively participating in one of the first institutional events in this direction [2].

It is only if we question the space between, across and beyond disciplines that we have a chance to establish links between the two post-modern cultures, integrating both science and wisdom: transdisciplinarity could offer a methodological foundation for a dialogue between the technoscientific culture and the spiritual culture.




2. The transdisciplinary approach to Nature and knowledge


The methodology of transdisciplinarity is founded on three postulates [3] :


i. There are, in Nature and in our knowledge of Nature, different levels of Reality and, correspondingly, different levels of perception.

ii. The passage from one level of Reality to another is insured by the logic of the included middle.

iii. The structure of the the totality of levels of Reality or perception is a complex structure : every level is what it is because all the levels exist at the same time.


The first two postulates receive experimental evidence from quantum physics, while the last one has its source not only in quantum physics but also in a variety of other exact and human sciences.

It is interesting to note that the three postulates of transdisciplinarity correspond to the three postulates of modern physics as formulated by Galileo Galilei:


iS.  There are universal laws, of a mathematical character.

iiS. These laws could be discovered by scientific experiment.

iiiS. Such experiments can be perfectly replicated.

The universality concerns physical laws in the case of modern science and the levels of Reality in the case of transdisciplinarity. However, the language is different: mathematics in the case of modern science and a new language, of a symbolic nature, in the case of transdisciplinarity.

Physical laws are discovered by scientific experiments involving the Object only, while levels of Reality are discovered through experiments involving both the Subject and the Object. The logic of modern science is mainly binary while the logic of transdisciplinarity is ternary.

It is important to note that one can assume the validity of the three postulates of transdisciplinarity independently of their historical roots in some branches of modern science. In other words transdisciplinarity does not rest on a transfer from modern science: this would be a false epistemological and philosophical procedure. Modern science, via its most general aspects, allowed us to identify the three postulates of transdisciplinarity, but once they are formulated, they have a much wider validity then in modern science itself.

The transdisciplinary approach to Nature and knowledge can be described through the diagram shown in Fig. 1.

In the left part are symbolically drawn the levels of Reality

{ NRn, ... , NR2, NR1, NR0, NR-1, NR-2, ... , NR-n }

The index n can be finite or infinite.

Here the meaning we give to the word “reality” is pragmatic and ontological at the same time.

By “Reality” (with a capital “R”) we intend first of all to designate that which resists our experiences, representations, descriptions, images, or even mathematical formulations.

Insofar as Nature participates in the being of the world, one must give an ontological dimension to the concept of Reality. Reality is not merely a social construction, the consensus of a collectivity, or some intersubjective agreement. It also has a trans-subjective dimension: e.g. experimental data can ruin the most beautiful scientific theory.

Of course, one has to distinguish the words "Real" and "Reality". Real designates that what it is, while Reality is connected to resistance in our human experience. The "Real" is, by definition, veiled for ever, while "Reality" is accessible to our knowledge.

By “level of Reality”, a notion I first introduced in Ref. 4 and later developed in Refs. 5 and 6, I designate a set of systems which are invariant under certain laws: for example, quantum entities are subordinate to quantum laws, which depart radically from the laws of the physical world. That is to say that two levels of Reality are different if, while passing from one to the other, there is a break in the applicable laws and a break in fundamental concepts (like, for example, causality).

The emergence of at least three different levels of Reality in the study of natural systems — the macrophysical level, the microphysical level and cyber-space-time (to which one might add a fourth level - that of the M-theory in particle physics, unifying all physical interactions and which has, for the moment, only a pure speculative status) — is a major event in the history of knowledge. The existence of different levels of Reality has been affirmed by different traditions and civilizations, but this affirmation was founded either on religious dogma or on the exploration of the human interior universe only.

Two adjacent levels (say, NR0 and NR1 in Fig. 1) are connected by the logic of the included middle, which differs from classical logic in the following essential way.

Classical logic is founded on three axioms:


1. The axiom of identity: A is A.

2. The axiom of non-contradiction: A is not non-A.

3. The axiom of the excluded middle: There exists no third term T (“T” from “third”) which is at the same time A and non-A.

In the framework of classical logic, one immediately arrives at the conclusion that the pairs of contradictories advanced by quantum physics are mutually exclusive, because one cannot affirm the validity of an assertion and of its opposite at the same time: A and non-A.

Most quantum logics [7] have modified the second axiom of classical logic — the axiom of non-contradiction — by introducing non-contradiction with several truth values in place of the binary pair (A and non-A).  History will credit Stéphane Lupasco (1900-1988) with having shown that the logic of the included middle is a true logic, formalizable and formalized, multivalent (with three values: A, non-A, and T) and non-contradictory [8].

Our understanding of the axiom of the included middle — there exists a third term T which is at the same time A and non-A — is completely clarified once the notion of “levels of Reality” is introduced.

In order to obtain a clear image of the meaning of the included middle, we represent in Fig. 2 the three terms of the new logic — A, non-A, and T — and the dynamics associated with them by a triangle in which one of the vertices is situated at one level of Reality and the two other vertices at another level of Reality. The included middle is in fact an included third term[1]. If one remains at a single level of Reality, all phenomena appear to result from a struggle between two contradictory elements. The third dynamic, that of the T-state, is exercised at another level of Reality, where that which had appeared to be disunited is in fact united, and that which had appeared contradictory is perceived as non-contradictory.

It is the projection of the T-state onto the same single level of Reality which produces the appearance of mutually exclusive, antagonistic pairs (A and non-A). A single level of Reality can only create antagonistic oppositions. It is inherently self-destructive if it is completely separated from all the other levels of Reality. A third term which is situated at the same level of Reality as that of the opposites A and non-A, if one exists, cannot accomplish their reconciliation.

The T1-state present at the level NR1 (see Fig. 1) is connected to a pair of contradictories (A0 and non-A0) at an immediately adjacent level. The T1-state allows the unification of contradictories A0 and non-A0, but this unification takes place at a level different from the one NR0 on which A0 and non-A0 are situated. The axiom of non-contradiction is thereby respected.

The logic of the included middle is capable of describing the coherence among these levels of Reality by the iterative process described in Fig.1. This iterative process continues to indefinitely until all the levels of Reality, known or conceivable, are exhausted.

In other words, the action of the logic of the included middle on the different levels of Reality induces an open structure of the unity of levels of Reality. This structure has considerable consequences for the theory of knowledge because it implies the impossibility of a self-contained complete theory.

The open structure of the unity of levels of Reality is in accord with one of the most important scientific results of the twentieth century concerning arithmetic, the theorem of Kurt Gödel [9] , which states that a sufficiently rich system of axioms inevitably leads to results which are either undecidable or contradictory. The implications of Gödel’s theorem have considerable importance for all modern theories of knowledge, primarily because it concerns not just the field of arithmetic, but all of mathematics which include arithmetic.

The Gödelian structure of the unity of levels of Reality, associated with the logic of the included middle, implies that it is impossible to construct a complete theory for describing the passage from one level to the other, and, a fortiori, for describing the unity of levels of Reality. If such unity does exist, this linking of all the levels of Reality must necessarily be an open unity.

There is certainly coherence among different levels of Reality, at least in the natural world. In fact, an immense self-consistency — a cosmic bootstrap [10] — seems to govern the evolution of the universe, from the infinitely small to the infinitely large, from the infinitely brief to the infinitely long. A flow of information is transmitted in a coherent manner from one level of Reality to another in our physical universe. However, if coherence is limited only to the levels of Reality, it stops both at the “highest” level and at the “lowest” level. If we introduce the idea of a coherence which continues beyond these two limiting levels, we must conceive the unity of levels of Reality as extending by a zone of non-resistance to our experiences, representations, descriptions, images, and mathematical formulations. The “highest” level and the “lowest” level of the totality of levels of Reality are united across a zone of absolute transparence. In this zone there are no levels of Reality.

Quite simply, the non-resistance of this zone of absolute transparence is due to the limitations of our bodies and of our sense organs — limitations which apply regardless of what measuring tools are and will be used to extend these sense organs. The zone of non-resistance corresponds to the sacred — to that which does not admit of any rationalization.

The unity of levels of Reality and its complementary zone of non-resistance constitutes what we call the transdisciplinary Object.

A new Principle of Relativity [3] emerges from the coexistence between complex plurality and open unity: no level of Reality constitutes a privileged place from which one is able to understand all the other levels of Reality. A level of Reality is what it is because all the other levels exist at the same time. This Principle of Relativity can provide a new perspective on the dialogue between different academic disciplines and between cultures. In the transdisciplinary vision, Reality is not only multidimensional, it is also multireferential.

The different levels of Reality are accessible to human knowledge thanks to the existence of different levels of perception, described diagrammatically at the right of Fig. 1. They are found in a one-to-one correspondence with levels of Reality. These levels of perception

{ NPn, ... , NP2, NP1, NP0, NP-1, NP-2, ... , NP-n}

allow an increasingly general, unifying, encompassing vision of Reality, without ever entirely exhausting it.

As in the case of levels of Reality, the coherence of levels of perception presuppose a zone of non-resistance to perception. In this zone there are no levels of perception.

The unity of levels of perception and this complementary zone of non-resistance constitutes what we call the transdisciplinary Subject.

The two zones of non-resistance of transdisciplinary Object and Subject must be identical for the transdisciplinary Subject to communicate with the transdisciplinary Object. A flow of consciousness that coherently cuts across different levels of perception must correspond to the flow of information coherently cutting across different levels of Reality. The two flows are interrelated because they share the same zone of non-resistance.

The open unity between the transdisciplinary Object and the transdisciplinary Subject is conveyed by the coherent orientation of the flow of information, described by the three oriented loops in  Fig. 1 which cut through the levels of Reality, and of the flow of consciousness, described by the three oriented loops which cut through the levels of perception.

 The loops of information and consciousness have to meet in a least one point X in order to insure the coherent transmission of information and consciousness everywhere in the Universe. In some sense, the point X is the source of all Reality and perception. The point X and its associated loops of information and consciousness describe the third term of transdisciplinary knowledge : the Interaction term between the Subject and the Object, which can be reduced neither to the Object nor to the Subject.

This ternary partition

{ Subject, Object, Interaction }

is radically different from the binary partition

{ Subject, Object }

which defines modern metaphysics. Transdisciplinarity, with its ternary structure, marks a major rupture with modern metaphysics. It is precisely due to this rupture that transdisciplinarity is able to provide a methodological foundation of a dialogue between technoscientific and spiritual cultures.

The views I am expressing here are in total conformity with those of the founders of quantum mechanics Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Pauli and Niels Bohr.

In fact, Werner Heisenberg came very near, in his philosophical writings, to the concept of "level of Reality". In his famous manuscript of the year 1942 (published only in 1984) Heisenberg, who knew Husserl well, introduced the idea of three regions of reality, able to give access to the concept of "reality" itself: the first region is that of classical physics, the second — of quantum physics, biology and psychic phenomena and the third — that of the religious, philosophical and artistic experiences [11]. This classification has a subtle ground: the closer and closer connectivity between Subject and Object.




3. The dialogue between technoscientific and spiritual cultures and the presence of the sacred


Academic disciplines study fragments of levels of Reality and there is a multitude of disciplines associated with a single level of Reality.

Academic disciplines are connected exclusively to the Object, i.e. with only one zone out of the three zones described in the diagram of Fig. 1. Founded on the mechanistic model of classical science, they correspond to an in vitro knowledge, the disciplinary knowledge DK (see Table 1). They are oriented toward power through domination of the external, physical world. By definition, they are supposed to be neutral, i.e. their study has to be done in a way that is independent of any system of values.












External world - Object

Correspondence between

 external world (Object)


internal world (Subject)




analytic intelligence

new type of intelligence -

 harmony between

mind, feelings and body

oriented towards

power and possession

oriented towards

astonishment and sharing

binary logic

included middle logic

exclusion of values

inclusion of values


Table 1. Comparison between disciplinary knowledge DK and transdisciplinary knowledge TK.





However, according to the diagram of Fig. 1, these entire features are in fact ad hoc, artificial and illusory, because the Object has always to be in interaction with the Subject, through the third, Interaction term.

The resulting full knowledge is a new type of knowledge — the transdisciplinary knowledge TK, which corresponds to an in vivo knowledge. This new knowledge is concerned with the correspondence between the external world of the Object and the internal world of the Subject. The TK knowledge is really knowledge of the third term. By definition, TK knowledge includes a system of values.

It is important to realize that disciplinary knowledge and transdisciplinary knowledge are not antagonistic but complementary. The methodologies of both are founded on the scientific attitude.

The above considerations explain the somewhat paradoxical statement that transdisciplinary knowledge is able to bring a new vision not only of academic disciplines but also of cultures, religions and spiritual traditions.

The crucial difference between academic disciplines on one side and cultures on the other side can be seen on the diagram of Fig. 1. Cultures are not concerned with fragments of levels of Reality only : they simultaneously involve a level of Reality, a level of perception and  fragments of the non-resistance zone of the sacred. In other words, cultures, religions and spiritual traditions correspond to a well-defined horizontal section of the diagram of Fig. 1.

The resistance implied by the levels of Reality is connected with the territory in which a well-defined culture appears, with the corresponding historical events through which a given collectivity of people has gone, and with the mixture of different cultural and spiritual customs carried by the people crossing the given territory at the time.

The resistance implied by the levels of perception is connected with the given set of spiritual practices and cultural habits, associated with a given theology, a given religious doctrine or a given ensemble of cultural personalities and their teachings through the historical time.

The non-resistance zone of the sacred is, in fact, shared by all cultures. This fact could explain why there is an inextinguishable desire of universality, more or less hidden in any culture in spite of its claim of absolute specificity.

Two crucial problems today are certainly the status of the sacred (as foreseen by Mircea Eliade) and the status of technoscience.

As can be seen in Fig. 1, again, technoscientific culture is entirely situated in the left part of the diagram, while spiritual culture crosses all the three terms which figure in the diagram. This asymmetry between the two post-modern cultures demonstrates the difficulty of their dialogue: this dialogue can occur only when there is a conversion of technoscience towards the values and towards the sacred, i.e. when the technoscientific culture becomes a true culture. This conversion must inevitably go through a fundamental change of attitude of scientists themselves. This process is already visible throughout the world but old habits of mind are still extremely strong.

The encounter between different levels of Reality and different levels of perception engenders different levels of representation. Images corresponding to a certain level of representation have a different quality than the images associated with another level of representation, because each quality is associated with a certain level of Reality and with a certain level of perception. Each level of representation appears like a veritable wall, apparently insurmountable because of its relation to the images engendered by another level of representation. These levels of representation of the sensible world are therefore connected with the levels of perception of the the scientist, the artist, or religious people. True artistic creation and deep religious experiences arise at the moment which bridges several levels of perception at the same time, resulting in a transperception. Transperception permits a global, undifferentiated understanding of the totality of levels of perception. True scientific creation arises at the moment which bridges several levels of representation at the same time, resulting in transrepresentation. Transperception and transrepresentation can explain the surprising similarities between moments of scientific and artistic creation, as brilliantly demonstrated in a book written by the great mathematician Jacques Hadamard [12].

The problem of the sacred, understood as the presence of something of irreducibly real in the world, is unavoidable for any rational approach to knowledge. One can deny or affirm the presence of the sacred in the world and in ourselves, but, if a coherent discourse on Reality is to be elaborated, one is obliged to refer to it.

Mircea Eliade once stated in an interview: “The sacred does not imply belief in God, in gods, or spirits. It is . . . the experience of a reality and the source of consciousness of existing in the world"  [13]. The sacred is first of all an experience ; it is transmitted by a feeling — the “religious” feeling — of that which links beings and things and, in consequence, induces in the very depths of the human being an absolute respect for the others, to whom he is linked by their all sharing a common life on one and the same Earth. The transdisciplinary model of Reality casts new light on the meaning of the sacred.

The zone of non-resistance is at once immanent transcendence and transcendent immanence: the former puts the accent on transcendence, whereas the second puts it on immanence. These two terms are therefore, in part, contradictory and consequently inadequate for designating the zone of non-resistance, which appears as the irreducibly real which can neither be reduced to immanent transcendence nor to transcendent immanence. The word sacred is appropriate for designating this zone of non-resistance, insofar as the included middle reconciles immanent transcendence and transcendent immanence.

One way or another, different cultures and religions, as well as agnostic and atheist currents are defined in terms of the question of the sacred. Experience of the sacred is the source of a transcultural attitude.

The transcultural designates the opening of all cultures to that which cuts across them and transcends them. It concerns the time present in transhistory, notion introduced by Eliade, which concerns the unthinkable, the unthought-of, and epiphany.

The transculture does not mean a unique type of culture, but the open, transcendent unity of all cultures.

The transcultural attitude is not in contradiction with any cultural, religious or spiritual tradition or with any agnostic or atheistic current, to the extent that these traditions and currents recognize the presence of the sacred. In fact, the presence of the sacred is our own human transpresence in the world.

One can understand why my position differs from the one recently expressed by the great post-modern thinker George Steiner [14]. I fully agree with him that the barbarity of the 20th century is without precedent in the human history. However, when George Steiner, quoting Samuel Beckett ("He doesn't exist, the bastard!") and Bertrand Russell ("It isn't nice of Him not to give us news"), expresses his own deep belief in the value of a future atheistic civilization, I find myself very doubtful. It is my conviction that a post-modern humanism disconnected from the sacred has no chance to survive in the framework of the recent, strong and irrational technoscientific culture. The fascination of post-modern humanists in the face of technoscience is troubling.

The concept of transculture which I am formulating here is very near that which the great Arab poet Adonis calls the mysticism of art: a movement towards the hidden face of Reality, a living experience, a perpetual travel towards the heart of the world, a unification of contradictories, the infinity and the unknown as aspiration, freedom from any philosophic or religious system [15].

The transcultural attitude is also close to what which the great Christian theologian and philosopher Raimon Panikkar calls the intrareligious dialogue: a dialogue which occurs in the heart of any human being [16].

Transdisciplinarity calls for a new form of humanism - transhumanism - which offers each being the greatest capacity for cultural and spiritual development. It involves searching for that which is between, across, and beyond human beings — that which could be called the Being of beings.

The transcultural attitude is not simply a utopian project — it is engraved in the very depths of our being. Through the transcultural, the conflict of cultures — an increasingly present menace in our time — has no more reason to be. If the transcultural were to find its proper place in modernity, no war of civilizations could take place.





Theoretical physicist at CNRS, University of Paris 6, France

Member of the Romanian Academy

President of the International Center for Transdisciplinary Research (CIRET)





[1] C. P. Snow, The Two Cultures, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1993 ; this book is based upon a lecture delivered by C. P. Snow in 1959.

[2] Basarab Nicolescu, Science as “Testimony”, in Proceedings of the Symposium Science and the Boundaries of Knowledge : the Prologue of Our Cultural Past, organized by UNESCO in collaboration with the Cini Foundation (Venice, March 3-7, 1986), UNESCO, Paris, 1986, pp. 9-30 ; the Venice Declaration can be found on the Internet page


[3] Basarab Nicolescu, La transdisciplinarité, manifeste, Le Rocher, Monaco, coll. "Transdisciplinarité", 1996 ; English translation : Manifesto of Transdisciplinarity, State University of New York (SUNY) Press, New York,  2002, translation by Karen-Claire Voss.

[4] Basarab Nicolescu, Nous, la particule et le monde, Le Mail, Paris, 1985.

[5] Basarab Nicolescu, Science, Meaning and Evolution - The Cosmology of Jacob Boehme, with selected texts by Jacob Boehme, translated from the French by Rob Baker, foreword by Joscelyn Godwin, afterword by Antoine Faivre, Parabola Books, New York, 1991.

[6] Basarab Nicolescu, Levels of Complexity and Levels of Reality, in "The Emergence of Complexity in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology", Proceedings of the Plenary Session of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, 27-31 October 1992, Casina Pio IV, Vatican, Ed. Pontificia Academia Scientiarum, Vatican City, 1996 (distributed by Princeton University Press), edited by Bernard Pullman ;

Basarab Nicolescu, Gödelian Aspects of Nature and Knowledge, in "Systems - New Paradigms for the Human Sciences", Walter de Gruyter, Berlin - New York, 1998, edited by Gabriel Altmann and Walter A. Koch ;

Michel Camus, Thierry Magnin, Basarab Nicolescu and Karen-Claire Voss, Levels of Representation and Levels of Reality: Towards an Ontology of Science, in The Concept of Nature in Science and Theology (part II), Éditions Labor et Fides, Genève, 1998, pp. 94-103, edited by Niels H. Gregersen, Michael W.S. Parsons and Christoph Wassermann ;

Basarab Nicolescu, Hylemorphism, Quantum Physics and Levels of Reality, in Aristotle and Contemporary Science, Vol. I, Peter Lang, New York, 2000, pp. 173-184, edited by Demetra Sfendoni-Mentzou, introduction by Hilary Putnam.

[7] T.A. Brody, On Quantum Logic, in Foundation of Physics, vol. 14, n° 5, 1984, pp. 409-430.

[8] Stéphane Lupasco, Le principe d'antagonisme et la logique de l'énergie, Le Rocher, Paris, 1987 (2nd edition), foreword by Basarab Nicolescu ; Stéphane Lupasco - L'homme et l'oeuvre, Le Rocher, Monaco, coll. "Transdisciplinarité", 1999, under the direction of Horia Badescu and Basarab Nicolescu.

[9] See, for example, Ernest Nagel and James R. Newman, Gödel's Proof, New York University Press, New York, 1958 ; Hao Wang, A Logical Journey - From Gödel  to Philosophy, The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts - London, England, 1996.

[10] Paul Davies, Superforce - The Search for a Grand Unified Theory of Nature, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1984, p. 195.

[11] Werner Heisenberg, Philosophie - Le manuscrit de 1942, Seuil, Paris, 1998, translation from German and introduction by Catherine Chevalley; German original edition: Ordnung der Wirklichkeit, R. Piper GmbH § KG, Munich, 1989 (published first in W. Heisenberg Gesammelte Werke, Vol. C-I : Physik und Erkenntnis, 1927-1955, R. Piper GmbH § KG, Munich, 1984, pp. 218-306, edited by W. Blum, H. P. Dürr and H. Rechenberg).

[12] Jacques Hadamard, The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1945; French edition : Essai sur la psychologie de l'invention dans le domaine mathématique, Gauthier-Villars, Paris, 1978.

[13] Mircea Eliade, L'épreuve du labyrinthe, interviews by Claude-Henri Rocquet, Pierre Belfond, Paris, 1978, p. 175; translation in English: Ordeal by Labyrinth, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1982.

[14] George Steiner, Penser Europe, in L'Europe en quête d'harmonie, Rencontres Européennes de Clichy, La Maison sur le Monde, 71250 Mazille, France, 2001, pp. 42-68, edited by Aude Fonquernie.

[15] Adonis, La prière et l'épée - Essais sur la culture arabe, Mercure de France, Paris, 1993, pp. 143-146, translation from Arab by Leïla Khatib and Anne Wade Minkowski.

[16] Raimon Panikkar, The Intrareligious Dialogue, Paulist Press, USA, to be published ; Le dialogue intrareligieux, Aubier, Paris, 1985, translation from English by Josette Gennaoui ; Entre Dieu et le cosmos, Albin Michel, Paris, 1998, interviews by Gwendoline Jarczyk.



* Opening talk at the 6th International Congress on Philosophy and Culture « Differentiation and Integration of Worldviews: Dynamics of Dialogue Between Cultures in the XXI Century », Sankt Petersburg, Russia, November 2003, Russian Academy of Science, published in Differentiation and Integration of Worldviews, series «International Readings on Theory, History and Philosophy of Culture» n° 18, Eidos, Sankt Petersburg, 2004, edited by Liubava Moreva, p. 139-152.

[1] The expression "included third" is more precise. However, in order to respect the well-established terminology in logic I will keep, in the following, the name "included middle".

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