Discuss if reality be defined outside of our cultural beliefs.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that another way of defining the question is if one is bound by their cultural understandings in assessment of others.  I think that one is always going to possess their own cultural beliefs.  It might be artificial to suggest that one is going to shed every element of their own cultural understanding in seeking to understand "the other" or "another."  This is not to say that one cannot grasp the ideas or even absorb another culture because of one's own cultural reality.  It just stresses that idea that reality is constructed through the valences of one's own culture and that individuals have to understand its role in how we assess other cultures.  The believe that reality can be strictly defined in shedding of our own culture denies the basic essence of the relative nature of cultural understanding.  In this, one sees how culture is a dominant part of our understanding.  Reality can be defined outside of our own cultural beliefs, but these beliefs help to become the prism, to a great extent, as to how other cultures are viewed and understood.