A European member of the ISCWP noted, in our recent “Call for Board Nominations,” the plan to continue a geographical balance between East Asian and North America, and this led her to wonder why Europe was excluded. She writes: “…I would love to know who else in Europe is studying on comparitive philosophy, since indeed I am starting to think that I am one of few.”The rationale behind the ISCWP policy is pragmatic. To-date, all of our activities have taken place in East Asia or in North America, and a very high percentage of our members reside in one of these two regions. It is possible that this is an artifact of the ISCWP’s youth and conscious focus on these two areas; after all, the ISCP‘s current president, Prof. Yolaine Escande, is French and the ISCP will hold its 17th bi-annual international conference in Paris this coming July. And of course one can also point to European comparative philosophers with international reputations, like François Jullien or Heiner Roetz.
Still, it has been my impression formed by conversations with colleagues from Europe over the years that comparative philosophy is, indeed, even less developed in Europe than in the U.S., perhaps partly because the European philosophical profession is even less welcoming to non-Western philosophizing than are our colleagues here in the U.S.
I wonder if any readers of the blog have experiences or opinions on this subject?