Background: How is intercultural understanding possible? As shown by hermeneutic theories
of understanding, it is inevitable to interpret different cultures within our own cultural perspective
regulating our understanding as a preconception. Nevertheless, this basic framework of our understanding
is usually considered as strange, because we are so familiar with it that we are unable to grasp it.
With the progress of intercultural interpretation, we begin to shed light on the horizons of both other
cultures and our own.
Objective: However, how can we reflect on our own preconception? Hans-Georg Gadamer answers this
question by arguing that the horizon of other ‘calls’ us to interrupt our horizon for a moment and
enables us to distance ourselves from it. If so, why are we shocked to hear this unfamiliar call, though
we still remain in our own horizon?
Method: In order to answer this question, I consider some significant theories of such philosophers as
Gadamer, Martin Heidegger and Vladimir Jankelevitch.
Result: As the result of my consideration, I claim that we can hear the above-mentioned unfamiliar call
in our own horizon because not only are we surrounded by the horizon of our culture, but we also transcend
it at the same time.
Conclusion: This implies that while belonging to our cultural community, we originally dwell in a primary
and unlimited community (‘cosmopolis’) that precedes all of the actual communities. Furthermore,
we can realize unconditional hospitality only when we are ‘cosmopolitan’.