DECEMBER 1st: “Mind the Gap: Methodological Pluralism in Comparative Philosophy”–Columbia Society for Comparative Philosophy


Welcomes you to an IN-PERSON meeting:

Stephen Angle (Wesleyan University): « Mind the Gap: Methodological Pluralism in Comparative Philosophy  »

With responses from Katja Vogt (Columbia University)

ABSTRACT: Despite the political polarization that characterizes many of our societies and much of the world, comparative philosophy — which depends on crossing various kinds of boundaries — is intellectually and professionally doing reasonably well. Exciting new work continues to appear and venues for publication and discussion (print and digital, in person and on-line) are proliferating. Another thing that is proliferating, though, is names for what it is we are doing. Are comparative, cross-cultural, intercultural, blended, and fusion philosophy all the same thing? What do they share and where do they diverge, and why? Can we identify a distinctive project of comparative philosophy and say why it is important? Based on a broad survey of approaches, in this essay I offer answers to these questions. I maintain that whenever we do philosophy by drawing on at least two significantly different traditions of philosophy, we are doing comparative philosophy. Unpacking some of the key words in this definition will enable me to clarify some persistent confusions as well as to stress the constitutive gamble that lies at the heart of all comparative philosophy. I identify three different ways to do comparative philosophy well—Comparison Philosophy, Rooted Global Philosophy, and Emergent Intercultural Philosophy—and argue that which method to choose depends both on the values that motivate one’s inquiry and on the pragmatic situation that frames one’s work.

DATE: December 1st, 2023
TIME: 5:30 pm EST
LOCATION: Philosophy Hall, Room 716, Columbia University, 1150 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10027

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