THE COLUMBIA SOCIETY FOR COMPARATIVE PHILOSOPHY
KARSTEN STRUHL (John Jay College) and GRAHAM PRIEST (CUNY Graduate Center)
Please join us at Columbia University’s Religion Department on FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11th at 5:30PM for their lecture entitled:
“Buddhism and Marxism: Points of Intersection”
Although Marxism and Buddhism might seem like unlikely bedfellows, they have a number of things in common. Both say that contemporary life is unsatisfactory, and both have a diagnosis of why that is. Both offer hope of making it better. In this presentation, we will suggest ways in which these two perspectives can mutually complement, enrich, and support each other to offer a deeper understanding of our existential and social predicament. Among the topics we will discuss are the following: the relation of the Buddhist diagnosis of suffering (the illusion of self and its attendant desires, cravings, and attachments.) to the Marxist diagnosis of suffering (division of labor, class exploitation, and alienation); their respective analyses of the overcoming of suffering, and how the realization of Marx’s vision of communism would require an agency liberated from the illusion of self; the Buddhist understanding of illusion and the Marxist theory of ideology; the way in which craving, as it is understood within the Buddhist perspective, reinforces and is reinforced by what Marx calls commodity fetishism; their respective practices, and engaged Buddhism as revolutionary social practice; the complementarity of Buddhist ethics and Marx’s political-economic critique of capitalism; and how each perspective can contribute to confronting the fundamental existential crisis of the 21st century – climate change and the ecological crisis.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11, 5:30-7:30 pm
Rm. 101, 80 Claremont Ave, Columbia University: http://goo.gl/maps/zfUKH
PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBSITE: http://www.cbs.columbia.edu/cscp/