Category Archives: Indian Philosophy

Interview of Interest: ABC News Radio Interview with Van Norden and Khader

Professor Bryan W. Van Norden of Vassar College and Yale-NUS College and Professor Serene Khader of the CUNY Graduate Center were interviewed by David Rutledge of ABC News Radio (Australia) on the topic “Philosophy in the Wake of Empire: The White Way to Think.” The website with a link to the audio of the interview is here.

During the interview, Professor Van Norden points out that the first Westerners to encounter Chinese and Indian thought immediately recognized it as philosophy. It was only due to the influence of Western imperialism and pseudo-scientific racism that people began to exclude Chinese and Indian philosophy from the curriculum.

Here is a direct link to the audio.

Mills Reviews Dorter, Can Different Cultures Think the Same Thoughts?

Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

2019.04.14 View this Review Online   View Other NDPR Reviews

Kenneth Dorter, Can Different Cultures Think the Same Thoughts?: A Comparative Study in Metaphysics and Ethics, University of Notre Dame Press, 2018, 276pp., $50.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780268103538.

Reviewed by Ethan Mills, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Philosophers specializing in non-Western traditions today face a dilemma. On one hand, the virtues of encouraging non-specialists to engage with non-Western material are obvious: it enhances collegiality between specializations, opens up philosophically fertile comparisons, and creates more visibility for non-Western traditions among our mono-cultural colleagues. On the other hand, there are risks of non-specialist engagement with non-Western material: linguistic limitations, less familiarity with contemporary scholarship, lack of understanding of cultural and philosophical context, and a tendency to make sweeping pronouncements about non-Western traditions based on limited exposure.

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CFP: Asian Philosophical Texts: Exploring Hidden Sources

Series Summary:

The purpose of the Asian Philosophical Texts series is to publish critical translations of primary sources in Asian philosophical traditions, along with edited volumes or monographs dealing with the philosophical issues of translating them into western languages. By making primary sources of Asian philosophies available to the wider audience in western academia and beyond, this series will offer readers access to diverse intellectual sources written by a broad range of thinkers from various historical periods and intellectual traditions, including the Indian, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese, among others. The translations, accompanied by critical essays, will shed light on major philosophical movements such as Confucianism, Hinduism, Buddhism and others, thereby providing readers with the most comprehensive picture of the multilayered development of intellectual traditions in Asia. Each text will be accompanied by a substantive introduction, critical notes, and a selective bibliography. Through the series, the editors, in collaboration with leading scholars in the field of comparative and Asian philosophy, aim to represent both the classical heritage and modern developments of the diverse and rich Asian intellectual traditions.

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Announcing “The Deviant Philosopher” Website

A team based at the University of Oklahoma have just announced a splendid new website devoted to teaching “deviant philosophy.” It is made up of Primers, Units and Lessons, and Exercises and Activities, all designed to be incorporated into existing courses or to spur the creation of new ones. The editors are also very interested in new content, so please contribute! Their discussion of the meaning of “deviant philosophy” helps to make clear the scope of the project:

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CFA: Comparative Humanities Conference in Hyderabad

Department of Comparative Literature and India Studies, English and Foreign Languages University Hyderabad is pleased to organize a Three-day National Conference on:

COMPARATIVE HUMANITIES: RE-CONFIGURING HUMANITIES ACROSS CULTURES

April 5-7, 2017

[Last date for sending in the abstract: 3rd March, 2017]

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CFP: “The Art of Commentary” at AAR

From Michael Allen…

The “Indian and Chinese Religions Compared” group of the American Academy of Religion will be hosting a session at this year’s annual meeting in Boston, Nov. 18-21. The theme of the session will be “The Art of Commentary,” and we welcome individual paper proposals (deadline March 1). For more information, please see below.

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New issue of Confluence

The latest issue of Confluence: Online Journal of World Philosophies, has just been released. It contains about 300 pages of articles, including a symposium led by Jonardon Ganeri on the question, “Is reason a neutral tool in comparative philosophy?” Near the end of the issue is a short survey article I wrote about the competing role ethical and virtue ethical interpretations of early Confucianism.

Call For Proposals: Critical Inquiries in Comparative Philosophy book series

We are currently seeking book proposals for the Critical Inquiries in Comparative Philosophy book series (Rowman and Littlefield International). The volumes in this series aim to present recent research on topics within comparative philosophy generally as well as to present original work on these topics. Right now we are most interested in developing volumes focusing on Chinese Philosophy and/or Indian Philosophy, though proposals on topics in other areas of Asian and Comparative Philosophy are certainly welcome too.

There are currently two volumes of the series in development.  Alexus McLeod’s Theories of Truth in Chinese Philosophy: A Comparative Approach will be released this November, and Bongrae Seok’s Moral Psychology of Confucian Shame: Shame of Shamelessness is due to appear in 2017. Further information on the series and individual volumes can be found at the RLI series webpage.

Those interested in discussing topics or possible proposals for the series should contact Alexus McLeod at alexus.mcleod@colostate.edu

Statistics on Asian Philosophy Panels at the 2015 Pacific APA

This last Saturday evening, I was carping to a colleague about the fact that three panels on Chinese philosophy were scheduled simultaneously during the very last time slot of the Group Program of the Pacific APA. Now that the APA has distributed a link to the evaluation survey, I decided to take a look at the actual numbers to see if there is a genuine issue of equity at the conference.

Below are the stats that I got from a first-time run-through of the main and group programs (I’m concerned with Asian philosophy broadly, which I categorized, following the panel titles or society names, as Chinese, Buddhist, Japanese, Comparative, and Martial Arts (didn’t see Indian, alas!)).

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Interpreting an Alien Philosophy: What Works for Me

[Dear readers: I am happy to present the following invited guest post from Dr. Elisa Freschi of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Dr. Freschi (BA +MA in Indology and Tibetology, BA in Philosophy, PhD in South Asian Studies) has worked on topics of Classical Indian Philosophy and more in general on comparative philosophy, epistemology, philosophy of religion, philosophy of language and on the re-use of texts in Indian philosophy (about which she has just finished editing a volume). She is a convinced upholder of reading Sanskrit philosophical texts within their history and understanding them through a philosophical approach. She has worked at the Austrian Academy of Sciences since September 1, 2012, with a Lise Meitner project on Epistemology of Sacred Texts in Vedāntadeśika’s Seśvaramīmāṃsā. For more information about her work see here.]

No matter whether one focuses on Classical Chinese philosophy (as probably most readers of this blog) or on Classical Indian philosophy (like myself), one works on something which is different than oneself. I will contend that this feeling is useful also if one focuses on contemporary Chinese, or Indian (or Tibetan and so on) philosophy, or on Classical, Medieval, Modern Western philosophy, since it alerts one to a key factor, namely the difference between oneself and one’s object of study.

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