On-line Lecture: Tillemans, Methodology: Meditations of a philosophical Buddhologist

The Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia (IKGA) at the  Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna, is hosting a series of lectures titled “Method and Region.”

The aim of this initiative is to reflect on the relationship between method and region. Here, methodcomprises the entire apparatus that enables us to conduct scholarly studies, including non-European theories and concepts. Region stands for what is contextually specific, such as language, history or thought. The full program is available here.

The first lecture in the series will be on Tuesday, 30 March, 18:00–19:30 CET:

Tom J.F. Tillemans (Emeritus – University of Lausanne) — Methodology: Meditations of a philosophical Buddhologist

Topic: There was a famous incident in the 1980s that sent shivers down spines, and probably still does. A prominent Princeton philosopher put a notice on his office door that philosophy students should just say “No” to the history of philosophy – Western and Eastern alike, I suppose. It may well be that the Princeton philosopher was a bit misinterpreted, but the echo of Nancy Reagan’s right-wing method to combat drug addiction – just say “No” – was unmistakable. I am going to turn the tables and look at some arguments by historians for nay-saying to philosophy, in particular those of historians of Asian thought and specialists in Buddhist Studies. Such arguments, too, don’t fare well. I will close with an instructive example from another field, linguistics, and will add a few morals to the story.

The lecture will be held online and is open to the public. To register, please write to office.ikga(at)oeaw.ac.at.

Upcoming lectures in the series Method and Region are:

Philippe Buc (University of Vienna)

Comparativist reflections on medieval Europe and medieval Japan

20 April 2021, 17:00–18:30 CET

Sonja Brentjes (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin)

What do we look for and what are we engaged in? Self-confirmation, culture wars, respectful treatment of our subjects – or “all of the above”? (organized in cooperation with the Institute of Iranian Studies, ÖAW)

25 May 2021, 17:00–18:30 CET
Michael Willis (The Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland)

Method and Region: What’s a region and what’s in it? What methods are appropriate to use?

22 June 2021, 17:00–18:30 CET
Franz Winter (University of Graz)

Auf der Suche nach dem „Einen“: Muslimische und frühe europäische Interpretation der Upanishaden

November 2021

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