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“Seeing for oneself”: The significance of Herodotus’ Histories for intercultural research

Flavia Monceri


This paper aims to show the relevance of some of Herodotus’ ideas for two core issues of contemporary theory and practice of intercultural research, that is to say the researcher’s position and the search for an adequate approach to (cultural) diversity. Such issues are still usually addressed, if inadvertently, from within the exclusive framework of Western modern science, although they can be considered as recurring problems to which different and competing solutions can be given in any time and place. Herodotus’ Histories suggest a different solution, based on the method of autopsìa (“seeing for oneself”), so questioning the idea that only a particular understanding of “science” and the “scientific method” is the most correct one and therefore the only viable option to conceive of “research” in contemporary times.


Herodotus; intercultural research and researcher; autopsìa (“seeing for oneself”);

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