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Philosophies versus Philosophy: In Defense of a Flexible Definition

Philosophies versus Philosophy: In Defense of a Flexible Definition COMMENT AND DISCUSSION University of Helsinki / Estonian Institute of Humanities, Tallinn University It is strange that no one has taken up Carine Defoort's clearly formulated and timely argument about the intercultural tensions in interpreting what philosophy is, although the issue deserves at least a roundtable, if not an international conference.1 I doubt that this is because there is a general consensus that the matter is now settled, and I would therefore like to develop the argument a bit further and offer a few additional factors to consider. It is also obvious that the problem is not limited to the subject of Chinese philosophy alone: all traditions of thought from all over the world, but most notably the Indian, Islamic, and Japanese heritages, are affected by the positions we adopt. As in most debates about the commensurability of cultural traditions, we can find differences when we look for them, and similarities if these are what we would like to see, so the ``conflict of sensitivities'' 2 is also a matter of attitudes. My own position is that regardless of what we prefer to call the practice of deeper thought (and `philosophy' is a very good name), it would http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Philosophy East and West University of Hawai'I Press

Philosophies versus Philosophy: In Defense of a Flexible Definition

Philosophy East and West , Volume 56 (4) – Oct 11, 2006

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1529-1898
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Abstract

COMMENT AND DISCUSSION University of Helsinki / Estonian Institute of Humanities, Tallinn University It is strange that no one has taken up Carine Defoort's clearly formulated and timely argument about the intercultural tensions in interpreting what philosophy is, although the issue deserves at least a roundtable, if not an international conference.1 I doubt that this is because there is a general consensus that the matter is now settled, and I would therefore like to develop the argument a bit further and offer a few additional factors to consider. It is also obvious that the problem is not limited to the subject of Chinese philosophy alone: all traditions of thought from all over the world, but most notably the Indian, Islamic, and Japanese heritages, are affected by the positions we adopt. As in most debates about the commensurability of cultural traditions, we can find differences when we look for them, and similarities if these are what we would like to see, so the ``conflict of sensitivities'' 2 is also a matter of attitudes. My own position is that regardless of what we prefer to call the practice of deeper thought (and `philosophy' is a very good name), it would

Journal

Philosophy East and WestUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Oct 11, 2006

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