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Bibliography of Intercultural and Comparative Philosophy: T-Z

Contents of this Section

This part of the section Intercultural and Comparative Philosophy includes the following pages:

Intercultural and Comparative Philosophy: An Overview

Selected bibliography on Comparative and Intercultural Philosophy:





T-Z (Current page)

PDF version Comparative philosophy. Bibliography of the studies in English: Complete PDF Version on the website


  1. Tanaka, Koji. 2016. "Ways of Doing Cross-Cultural Philosophy." In Learning from the Other - Australian and Chinese Perspectives on Philosophy, , edited by Makeham, John, 59-67. Canberra: Australian Academy of the Humanities.

    "That said, some scholars have claimed that there is, strictly speaking, no tradition of studying logic in the East, or if there is, that it fails to match the sophistication achieved in the West.(5) That is, it is claimed that even though philosophers of the Eastern traditions have taken debates and argumentation as important to topics of philosophical inquiry, they have nevertheless failed to reflect on and examine the principles that underly argumentation and rational reasoning. According to these scholars, argumentation has been put to use in elaborating on the nature of language, knowledge, reality and ethics; yet, there are no investigations of the principles underlying these modes of argument apart from the particular arguments that employ them. It is claimed that Eastern philosophers have not abstracted principles of reasoning and argumentation from particular instances and they have not formalised those principles in order to examine the features and properties of the principles.

    This is often unified in the idea that there is no development of formal logic in the East. As we will see, this has been taken to imply that there is no tradition of logic in the East.

    In this paper, I will first show that there is, indeed, no development of formal logic in the East. However, I will argue that the lack of the development of formal logic does not entail the lack of the development of logic tout court . I will use this point to show how to undertake a cross-cultural dialogue between Eastern and Western logicians.

    My examination of the possibility of cross-cultural dialogue about logic will serve as a case study of showing how to do cross-cultural philosophy and how to use non-Western materials as part of contemporary philosophy." (p. 60)

    (5) See Jay L. Gar!eld, Engaging Buddhism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015); Chad Hansen, “Logic in China”, Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (London: Routledge, 1998); and Mark Siderits, “Deductive, Inductive, Both or Neither?”, Journal of Indian Philosophy 31 (2003), 303–21.

  2. Tang, YIjie. 1983. "A Perspective on the Meaning of Comparative Philosophy and Comparative Religion Studies: The Case of the Introduction of Indian Buddhism into China." Chinese Studies in Philosophy no. 15:39-106.

    Abstract: "In this essay I do not intend to analyze or study the entire history of the introduction of Indian Buddhism into China; rather, I wish simply to investigate a bit the relationships which existed between Buddhism, after it was introduced into China in the period of the Wei, the Jin, and the North and South dynasties, and the prior existing ideologies and cultures in China at the time, and use that to illustrate the meaning of studying comparative philosophy and comparative religions."

  3. Tanner, Jeremy. 2009. "Ancient Greece, Early China: Sino-Hellenic Studies and Comparative Approaches to the Classical World: A Review Article." The Journal of Hellenic Studies no. 129:89-109.

    "This review article offers an introduction to some of the major contributions and debates within Sino-Hellenic studies. It has two purposes. First, to demonstrate the intrinsic intellectual interest of Sino-Hellenic studies, and in particular to show how such studies enrich and deepen our understanding of the Classical world.

    Second, to offer a critical overview of the highly varying styles of comparison which characterize the different sub-fields within Sino-Hellenic studies, and thus offer a model of some of the range of ways in which fruitful comparative Classical studies might be conducted. Correspondingly, my review is organized by fields: science and medicine; philosophy; comparative literature." (p. 90)

  4. Tartaglia, James. 2014. "Rorty’s Thesis of the Cultural Specificity of Philosophy." Philosophy East and West no. 64:1018–1038.

    "Given the central importance he placed on dialogue between independent discourses, then, it does seem frankly amazing that in his few explicit statements on dialogue with non-Western philosophy (Rorty 1989, Rorty 1991, Balslev 1991), Rorty’s attitude was almost entirely dismissive.


    What brought Rorty around to this apparently anomalous view? The underlying reason, I shall be arguing, is that non-Western philosophy presents the most glaring counterexample possible to a thesis that is central to Rorty’s critique of philosophy, and hence to his thought as a whole, namely his thesis of the cultural specificity of philosophy. To defend this thesis required him to reject any extension of the philosophical “conversation” beyond the Western world, despite the fact that this rejection was at odds with many other aspects of his thinking. The cultural specificity thesis is false, however, which is one of the main overall problems with Rorty’s case for pragmatism.4 This essay will continue as follows. In the next two sections I consider and reject Rorty’s various reasons for disparaging dialogue with non-Western philosophy. Then, in section IV, I sketch an alternative to the cultural specificity thesis, according to which it is no more surprising that different cultures have independently developed philosophy than that they have independently developed mathematics or astronomy." (p. 102)


    Balslev, Anindita Niyogi. 1991. Cultural Otherness: Correspondence with Richard Rorty. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press.

    Rorty, Richard. 1989. Review of Interpreting Across Boundaries: New Essays in Comparative Philosophy , edited by Gerald James Larson and Eliot Deutsch. Philosophy East and West 39 : 332–337.

    ———. 1991. “Heidegger, Kundera, and Dickens.” In his Essays on Heidegger and Others: Philosophical Papers , vol. 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  5. Taylor, Charles 1995. "Comparison, History, Truth." In Philosophical Arguments , 146-164. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    "What seems to be emerging here is a hazy picture of history in which our understanding will be embedded. It rejects altogether the Hegelian single line of development, but it retains something like the notion of potentiality.

    This structures at least local history into a before and after, and allows us to speak of advance. But because potentialities are diverse and frequently, at least by our present lights and capacities, incompatible, the gains will also involve losses, and the goods of different cultures will clash.

    But this shouldn't frighten us into a relativization of goods, or into a disclaimer of the universal relevance of our own goods, about which we could never be sincere anyway.

    It does point us to a future of humanity in which the kind of undistorted understanding of the other aimed at by "the comparativist enterprise'' will be increasingly valuable. Not only to avoid political and military conflict where possible, but also to give people of every culture some sense of the immense gamut of human potentialities. This will serve not only to enlighten our judgments where goods clash, but will help where imagination and insight are capable of mediating the clash, and bring two hitherto warring goods to some degree of common realization. We can hope to advance in this direction, to the extent that the community of comparativists will increasingly include representatives of different cultures, will in effect start from different home languages." (pp. 163-164)

  6. Tuck, Andrew P. 1990. Comparative Philosophy and the Philosophy of Scholarship: On the Western Interpretation of Nāgārjuna. New York: Oxford University Press.

    "Rather than contributing one more theoretical discussion of hermeneutics, or offering one more attempt at textual exegesis, this study examines the degree to which specific interpretations of a specific text have/been determined by factors often apparent only from the standpoint of another interpretive era or perspective. Furthermore, this study demonstrates the often stated principle that, rather than an ahistorical search for a preferred method or philosophy of interpretation, the enterprise of interpretation is inherently historical. Every reading of a text including, of course, the most carefully contextualized and historicised readings - will, in some ways, be unavoidably determined by some set of prejudgments. The choice is, therefore, not between good readings, undetermined by irrelevant considerations, and bad readings, rendered inaccurate by interpretive prejudice. The choice between one reading and an even better reading is a difference in degree and not in kind.

    Within any set of rules for what counts as a desirable interpretation, choices between more and less preferable readings of texts can and will be made. And a study such as this suggests that our conventionally agreed - on rules of interpretation - the rules that tell us what is relevant, and what sorts of judgments are harmfully prejudiced - are anything but constant. Our preferences in regard to what constitutes a good interpretation are just as determined as our readings themselves." (Preface, pp. VI-VII)

  7. Udoidem, Iniobong S. 1987. "Wiredu on How Not to Compare African Thought with Western Thought: A Commentary." African Studies Review no. 30:101-104.

    "Kwasi Wiredu, a prominent African philosopher from Ghana, recently published an essay entitled "How Not To Compare African Thought to Western Thought" (1984) in which he criticized the prevalent method of comparing what is regarded as African philosophy with Western philosophy. Wiredu begins the essay with the assertion that all cultures are characterized by two levels of thought, namely, the traditional non-scientific and the theoretical or scientific thought (p. 149-50). He also notes, although without examples, that some contemporary philosophers both in Africa and the West are in the habit of comparing the traditional non-scientific thought of the African people with the highly theoretical and scientific thought of the Western world. He sees this type of comparison as improper and argues that since there is traditional folk thought in Africa as well as in the West, if there is to be any comparison at all, it must be with folk thought to folk thought and scientific thought to scientific thought (p. 157).

    Wiredu's essay is an excellent academic treatise in its own right, but as an Africanwho is attempting to reflect philosophically and possibly attempting to provide leadership for the thrust of African philosophical search, there are some pitfalls in the essay which need to be pointed out. The purpose of this commentary is to highlight and hopefully clarify some of the misleading innuendoes in contemporary literature about African philosophy and the role of an African philosopher within the world of philosophy." (p. 101, anote omitted)

  8. van Binsbergen, Wim. 1999. "'Cultures does not exist': Exploding self-evidences in the investigation of interculturality." Quest: An African Journal of Philosophy no. 13:37-114.

    "The structure of my argument is as follows. To begin with, I shall indicate how the concept of ‘culture’ has taken root as a key concept in our contemporary social experience and in philosophy. Precisely because it has done so, it is of the greatest importance to subject to empirical and philosophical scrutiny such self-evidences as attach to ‘culture’.


    As a next step, I shall explore the conditions under which my claim that ‘cultures do not exist’ may acquire meaningfulness. Since in this connection I put forth the social sciences as an example for philosophy, I am compelled to discuss the place of empirical knowledge within philosophy. I shall stress that intercultural philosophy ought to take into account such knowledge as the empirical sciences have gathered through explicit and well-tried methods; and here I am thinking particularly of the empirical discourse on African ethnicity, and of the neo-diffusionist arguments in favour of extensive cultural connections in space and time informing Africa’s cultural history and its place in the world as a whole. But as a next step I shall argue — by reference to my own complex itinerary through Africanist cultural anthropology — how this particular empirical science, despite its unmistakable relevance for intercultural philosophy, is yet so philosophically naïve, and so disposed towards a North Atlantic epistemological perspective from an epistemological point of view, that cultural anthropology can at best constitute a mere point of departure for our theoretical explorations of interculturality. Finally I posit that intercultural mediation ideally situates itself beyond any specific cultural orientation, which allows me to characterise intercultural philosophy as the search for a transgressive and innovative, metacultural medium for the production of knowledge. It is the quest itself which makes this a commendable undertaking, even though its metacultural goal is unlikely to be ever reached." (p. 38)

  9. van Brakel, Jaap. 2006. "De-essentialising Across the Board: No Need to Speak the Same Language." Rechtstheorie & Rechtspraktijk no. 35:263-284.

    "Let me repeat and stress that on my view there are no linguistic, cognitive, emotional, etc. universals. I admit that there may be a few cultural universals, but these universals are contingent (not genetically fixed for all times and places) and they are not sufficient to support communicative interaction for any length of time. And it remains the case that a rich or ‘thick’ interpretation and understanding of them is different in different lifeforms. Note, for example, that trading may take place, while both sides may have their own banking system and different reactions in case of undue performance." (p. 284, a note omitted)

  10. ———. 2014. "Heidegger on Zhuangzi and Uselessness. Illustrating Preconditions of Comparative Philosophy." Journal of Chinese philosophy no. 41:387-406.

    Abstract: "In this article, I look at those passages in the Zhuangzi usually associated with ‘‘uselessness.’’ I discuss in what way these passages may have been suggestive to Martin Heidegger to explain his ideas of the necessity of the other thinking and of the ‘‘waiting people’’ being entirely unusable to others. Then I make some brief comments concerning basic conditions of interpretation, using examples taken from the Zhuangzi passages discussed. These conditions include family resemblance across the board, a principle of agreement, and the issue of ‘‘planetarization’’ (Heidegger’s term)."

  11. van Brakel, Jaap, and Ma, Lin. 2015. "Extension of Family Resemblance Concepts as a Necessary Condition of Interpretation across Traditions." Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy no. 14:475-497.

    Abstract: "In this paper we extend Wittgenstein’s notion of family resemblance to translation, interpretation, and comparison across traditions. There is no need for universals. This holds for everyday concepts such as green and qing 青, philosophical concepts such as emotion(s) and qing 情, as well as philosophical categories such as form(s) of life and dao 道. These notions as well as all other concepts from whatever tradition are family resemblance concepts. We introduce the notion of quasi-universal, which connects family resemblance concepts from a limited number of traditions. The possibility and necessity of extending family resemblance concepts across traditions dissolves the false antinomy of universalism versus relativism."

  12. ———. 2022. "Necessary Preconditions of the Practice of Comparative Philosophy." In Comparative Philosophy and Method: Contemporary Practices and Future Possibilities , edited by Burik, Steven, Smid, Robert W. and Weber, Ralph, 31-53. New York: Bloomsbury.

    "In this contribution, we embrace a rather broad notion of comparative philosophy. We consider that it involves such a wide range of activities as translation, interpretation, exposition of the conceptual schemes of an "alien" philosophical tradition in terms of the conceptual schemes of the interpreter's "own" tradition, as well as comparison of these conceptual schemes in a learnable meta-language constructed by the interpreter. Our use of the word "interpretation" includes translations and any other form of interpretation of human actions, experiences, and utterances/inscriptions (including comparative philosophy). We ask: What are the necessary conditions and/ or unavoidable constraints of interpretation practice, in particular comparative interpretation of philosophical traditions? In clarifying more abstract considerations, we shall draw our examples from comparison of classical Chinese texts and their interpretations in modern languages (including modern Chinese)." (p. 31, notes omitted)

  13. van der Wesfhuizen, Jacob. 2005. "One more time: Views on Aristotle's philosophy and Intercultural Philosophy." Phronimon no. 6:71-79.

    Abstract: "In my view a philosopher is a person of wisdom who produces a guide to life, providing us with some tools for dealing with practical problems and survival issues on at least five adaptation domains. These are a) metaphysics: man's relationship to the cosmos; b) politics: man's relationship with others; c) ethics: man's relationship with himself and his behaviour toward others; d) epistemology: man's relationship with his mind and his method of thinking,. and e) aesthetics: man's relationship with and appreciation of beauty. This paper is destined to mainly present an unshackled response to the informed and well-versed papers by Anastasios Ladikos titled Revisiting the virtue of courage in Aristotle,. and Murray Hofmeyer: The Promise and Problems of Intercultural Philosophy; (Phronimon - Journal of the South African Society for Greek Philosophy and the Humanities -Volume 5(2) 2004). My concern with Aristotle's ideas stems from the fact that his propositions are connected to ancient battlefield circumstances and conditions, as well as the Spartan Culture of his time. If juxtaposed with scenes of violence in our time we can draw many parallel behavioral patterns that can pass as valid and reliable characteristics of modern-day soldiers in mortal face-to-face combat or victims of crime in violent confrontation with rapists, murderers and assaulters."

  14. van Hensbroek, Pieter Boele 2013. "Beyond Crossing Borders. Beyond Intercultural Philosophy." In Hegel’s Twilight: Liber Amicorum Discipulorumque Pro Heinz Kimmerle , edited by Ramose, Mogobe B., 31-41. Leiden: Brill.

    "Heintz Kimmerle is the exemplary philosopher of crossing borders and of cross-border dialogues in



    What concerns us in this article is the mission of Kimmerle in relation to Philosophy and Intercultural Philosophy. In its broadest meaning this mission concerns reshaping the western tradition in Philosophy by making it move beyond its Eurocentric heritage. Kimmerle argues that the western tradition in philosophy is not equipped to face the new realities of a globalised world in which there is no hegemonic place for western culture. There is a real need for Philosophy to renew itself and to go intercultural. Such a move is not just a matter of adding a new branch of Intercultural Philosophy to mainstream Philosophy, but one of groping for an intercultural idea of Philosophy. In Kimmerle’s words, it involves a “Annäherung du einen interkulturellen philosophie Begriff"

    (Kimmerle 1994, 15)." (p. 31)


    "In sum, the idea that philosophy is basically western philosophy is not well substantiated.

    This provides space for Intercultural Philosophy as an attempt at elaborating an ’intercultural dimension’ which can lead the discipline of Philosophy into the age of globalization. I will now proceed to a critical discussion of this argument." (p. 37)

  15. Van Norden, Brian W. 2017. Taking Back Philosophy: A Multicultural Manifesto. New York: Columbia University Press.

    Foreword by Jay L. Garfield.

    "Jay Garfield and I did not anticipate the storm of controversy that would result when we published “If Philosophy Won’t Diversify, Let’s Call It What It Really Is” in The Stone column of the New York Times blog (May 11, 2016). Perhaps we should have: after all, we were calling upon ethnocentric philosophy departments to rename themselves “departments of Anglo-European philosophy” to reflect their intentional disregard of everything outside the mainstream philosophical canon.

    However, it immediately became obvious that our challenge to the chauvinism of US philosophy departments had struck a nerve. This book is an effort to develop in detail the case for a multicultural approach to philosophy.

    Like the original editorial, this book is polemical and intentionally provocative in the hope that it will incite discussion and raise awareness. This work is also intended to be interesting and accessible to general readers. Since the point is to get nonspecialists excited about the issues so they will want to read more and gain a deeper understanding, my argumentation is less guarded and less detailed than I would produce in a work intended solely for my fellow scholars." (Preface, p. XXIII)


    "To assist those who want to learn more about philosophy outside the Anglo-European canon, I maintain a bibliography, “Readings on the Less Commonly Taught Philosophies,” at http: //bryanvannorden .com. I am grateful to James Maffie and Sean Robin for suggestions of some titles to include related to Native American thought, and to Travis W. Holloway for advice about readings in Continental thought." (Preface, p. XXIV)

  16. Wang, Xinli. 2018. "Incommensurability and Comparative Philosophy." Philosophy East and West no. 68:564-582.

    "My challenge to the viability of comparative philosophy between two disparate cultural traditions, such as the Western and Chinese philosophical traditions, concerns the two most prevailing forms of comparative philosophy: as cross-cultural philosophic understanding and as cross-cultural philosophic communication, which I will call the Gadamerian model of comparative philosophy (section 4). Based on my presuppositional interpretation of the thesis of incommensurability as cross-language communication breakdown (section 2), effective cross-cultural language communication between Chinese and Western cultural-language communities (section 3) is inevitably partial due to substantially distinct cultural schemes embedded within both cultural traditions. More precisely, there are two special forms of incommensurability faced by comparative philosophers: the failure of mutual understanding (the radical form of incommensurability) and effective communication breakdown (the modest form of incommensurability). Consequently, a comparative philosophy that predicates on mutual understanding and communication between the two cultural-language communities is severely compromised. Cultural relativism based on the incommensurability thesis continues to impede the effort of comparative philosophy (section 5). However, this does not mean that no meaningful semantic comparison is possible between two distinct cultural-philosophic traditions, as some radical relativists claim. A different kind of comparability, namely the presuppositional comparison at the cultural-schemes level, will be discussed as a promising

    solution (section 6)." (pp. 564-565)

  17. Wawrytko, Sandra A. 2009. "Feminism and/in Asian Philosophies." APA Newsletters no. 9:5.

    "Feminism has much to gain from a close reading of Asian philosophies. Stereotypical views of Asian cultures as irretrievably misogynist obscure both the constructive and deconstructive contributions Asian philosophies can make to feminist discourse. I will briefly outline doctrines found in key schools that can support and further feminist aims: 1) Daoism’s radical reassessment of the “feminine” (Yin), 2) Confucianism’s advocacy of the universal potential for self-cultivation, and 3) Mahayana Buddhism’s deconstruction of sexism as one among many forms of discrimination. Since I have already discussed points two and three elsewhere, my main focus here will be Daoism." (p. 5)

  18. Weber, Ralph. 2013. "“How to Compare?” – On the Methodological State of Comparative Philosophy." Philosophy Compass no. 8:593-603.

    Abstract: "From early on, comparative philosophy has had on offer a high variety of goals, approaches and methodologies. Such high variety is still today a trademark of the discipline, and it is not uncommon of representatives of one camp in comparative philosophy to think of those in other camps as not really being about ‘comparative philosophy’. Much of the disagreement arguably has to do with methodological problems related to the concept of comparison and with the widely prevailing but unwarranted assumption that comparative philosophy should be about comparing ‘culturally different philosophies’.

    This paper seeks to problematize this assumption by clarifying conceptually the notions of ‘comparative philosophy’ and of ‘comparison’, by showing the prevalence of the assumption in recent second-order discussions of methodology in comparative philosophy and its restraining implications in a randomly selected contribution of ‘Chinese philosophy’. At the end, a rallying call for a (self-)critical comparative philosophy is issued."

  19. ———. 2013. "A Stick Which may be Grabbed on Either Side: Sino-Hellenic Studies in the Mirror of Comparative Philosophy." International Journal of the Classical Tradition no. 20:1-14.

    Abstract: "Recently, Jeremy Tanner has published a highly informative review article in the Journal of Hellenic Studies , in which he introduces and advertises “Sino-Hellenic Studies” as a new and upcoming subfield in academic inquiry. Tanner particularly focuses on what he terms “Sino-Hellenic comparative philosophy,” while developing his perspective clearly from within contemporary Classicists’ academic parameters. In this paper, I approach the matter precisely from the other end, i.e. from within contemporary comparative philosophy, distinguishing four different approaches in comparative philosophy, pointing out some pitfalls in comparison and offering a perhaps provocative conclusion by provincializing and politicizing “Sino-Hellenic Studies”. The paper not only seeks to supplement Tanner’s review, but also and more importantly to introduce some fundamental methodological problems to be dealt with in any comparative inquiry."

  20. ———. 2014. "Comparative Philosophy and the Tertium : Comparing What with What, and in What Respect?" Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy no. 13:151-171.

    Abstract: "Comparison is fundamental to the practice and subject-matter of philosophy, but has received scant attention by philosophers. This is even so in “comparative philosophy,” which literally distinguishes itself from other philosophy by being “comparative.”

    In this article, the need for a philosophy of comparison is suggested. What we compare with what, and in what respect it is done, poses a series of intriguing and intricate questions. In Part One, I offer a problematization of the tertium comparationis (the third of comparison) by examining conceptualizations of similarity, family resemblance, and analogy, which it is sometimes argued can do without a tertium comparationis. In Part Two, I argue that a third of comparison is already required to determine what is to be compared, and insofar as that determination precedes the comparison that tertium may be called “pre-comparative.” This leads me to argue against incomparability and to show how anything can indeed be compared to anything.

    In Part Three, I relate my arguments to what is today commonly labelled “comparative philosophy.” Finally, I raise some questions of ontology and politics in order to demonstrate the relevance of a philosophy of comparison."

  21. ———. 2018. "Reply to Xiao Ouyang." Philosophy East and West no. 68:256-261.

    "I read Xiao Ouyang’s comments on “Rethinking Comparative Philosophical Methodology” as a contribution to these important discussions in methodology and particularly regarding the aims of comparative philosophy. That he has chosen my work on comparison and criticism of comparative philosophy as a springboard to articulate these larger issues honors me, and I shall of course take the opportunity to clarify some of my views and respond to some of the criticism from Ouyang’s side.

    Nonetheless, I should also like to engage with some of the more encompassing thoughts offered by Ouyang. There is much that he writes that I can agree with, and I am especially thankful for his revisiting the early methodological debates published in the first few volumes of Philosophy East and West. These earlier contributions to comparative philosophy are important not only in terms of what they have to say, but also in terms of raising awareness that there is a history to the discipline. Critical reflections on the history of comparative philosophy, as well as other aspects, are in my view still fundamentally lacking. Further professionalization of the discipline would mean that we start writing local and global histories of the discipline, posing questions pertaining to the sociology of comparative philosophy and investigating the broader intellectual and political contexts that have influenced the formation and development of the discipline. Many key figures featured in the first volumes of Philosophy East and West and writing about methodology spoke out firmly in favor of a plurality of approaches, which is as sound an intellectual position as it is necessary for the flourishing of any discipline." (p. 257)

  22. ———. 2021. "Comparative Philosophy and Comparison." In Comparative Methods in Law, Humanities and Social Sciences , edited by Adams, Maurice and Van Hoecke, Mark, 149-174. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.

    "This chapter discusses comparative philosophy and some of its theoretical insights into comparison. Like every academic discipline, comparative philosophy is a practice that has its own history, sociology, politics, economy, and so forth. This is why understanding the past and present practice is important to contextualize theoretical insights." (p. 149)


    "This diversity in voices and approaches is why this chapter begins with an overview of the discussion around the subject of comparative philosophy.

    It starts by introducing some of the dominant views that are currently being advocated in the discipline or sub-discipline. This will help readers new to the subject with starting points from which to read further, as well as orient them in the field. The chapter also deals with the present conceptualization of the logic of comparison and offers distinctions that may be useful in discussing comparing from the point of view of comparative philosophy and traverse other related disciplinary and interdisciplinary areas. Against this backdrop, the chapter concludes with some of the other theoretical issues being discussed in the field of comparative philosophy and comparative studies more generally at the present." (p. 153)

  23. Weber, Ralph, and Kahteran, Nevad. 2021. "Towards Post-Comparative Philosophy: Interview with Ralph Weber." Asian Studies no. 9:211-221.

    [Question:] "Comparative Philosophy without Borders (written together with Arindam Chakrabarti, currently at Stony Brook University in New York) speaks about four phases of Comparative Philosophy in a Pluralistic World. According to your best insights and knowledge, in which phase are we right now?"

    [Answer:] "Now, in our book, Comparative Philosophy without Borders, Arindam Chakrabarti and I wanted to put a spin on the practice of comparative philosophy at the third, current stage, which eventually might lead us to a fourth stage. The spin would take us beyond comparative philosophy to what I prefer to call “post-comparative” philosophy, but others, who work towards similar ends like, for example, Jonardon Ganeri, call by various different names. It would amount to just doing philosophy as one thinks fit for getting to the truth about an issue or set of issues, by appropriating elements from all philosophical views and traditions one knows of but making no claim of “correct exposition”, and instead just addressing hitherto unsolved problems and possibly raising issues that have never been considered before, anywhere. The crucial point is one about epistemic authority. An argument is not persuasive because it is one made, say, from within Indian philosophy, but it is persuasive because it is a good argument." (pp. 214-215)

  24. Wen, Haiming. 2010. "A Survey of Roger Ames's Methodology on Comparative Philosophy." Contemporary Chinese Thought no. 41:52-63.

    "This article discusses Roger Ames’s methodology of comparative philosophy.

    The crux of Ames’s philosophy is to correct Western thought, especially Western misinterpretations of Chinese philosophy. His academic career is based on two themes that surround this central problem. The first is traditional Western philosophy’s misunderstanding of Chinese philosophy, and the other is illustrating and advancing the profundity of Chinese philosophy. The thrust of his method is achieved through three academic fields of research: classical translations of Chinese philosophy, commentaries on Chinese philosophy and thought, and English and Chinese works on comparative philosophy. These three fields of research draw from four theoretical frameworks: neo-Confucian interpretations of Chinese philosophy, Western Sinological training, American pragmatism, and important theoretical questions in contemporary Chinese–Western comparative philosophy. This article discusses his methodology of comparative philosophy from these multiple angles." (p. 53)

  25. Wenning, Mario. 2020. "Intercultural Encounter in the Age of Hybridity: A Response to Eric S. Nelson." Philosophy East and West no. 70:225-237.

    Book discussion of: Chinese and Buddhist Philosophy in Early Twentieth-Century German Thought. By Eric S. Nelson. London, Oxford, New York, New Delhi,Sydney: Bloomsbury Academic, 2017.

    "In short, the book is more ambitious than its historical theme and modest tone suggest. In broad agreement and sympathy with the hermeneutic vistas and normative pillars of this attempt at a rescuing critique that combines the best of immanent and external critique, this essay will suggest two dimensions to complement Nelson’s narrative: (1) the role of the imagination in the Sino-German philosophical encounter and (2) the need to self-critically question the extent to which the models of intercultural understanding developed a century ago can be relevant given the contemporary situation.2 In particular, the challenge of increasing forms of cultural hybridity for intercultural hermeneutics will be highlighted. The conclusion of this essay will briefly draw on Karl Löwith, who has anticipated the task of rethinking the challenge of the East-West entanglement of cultural traditions in his reflections on Japanese modernity." (P. 227)

    (2) From a different perspective, Kai Marchal has formulated a related doubt concerning the applicability of the early twentieth-century reception of Asian traditions in Germany for current debates in East-West philosophy (see in this issue of Philosophy East and West).

  26. White, David. 1956. "Translation and Oriental Philosophy: An Introductory Study." Philosophy East and West no. 6:247-255.

    "It is the purpose of this introductory study to demonstrate briefly a method for reading Asian texts in translation. This method is not original with the writer; it has been well practiced by A. K. Coomaraswamy, Heinrich Zimmer, D. T. Suzuki, Arthur Waley, and many others. But its application to the problem at hand is perhaps sufficiently unfamiliar to warrant this effort." (p. 248)


    "This completes the effort to show that a little general knowledge makes it possible to read Indian texts in translation with understanding. Of course, an Indian philosopher would find the explication incomplete. The positive content of the term "mokṣa" has not been developed, for example; and such important presuppositions as those provided by Atman (Self) and Brahman ("undifferentiated Absolute" or Godhead) have not been mentioned.

    These and many other omissions are due to the limited purpose of the study. If the Western philosopher objects, however, that, though this exercise has demonstrated a method for reading in translation, it has scarcely shown much of philosophic import, it might similarly be pointed out that one does not get much of the detailed essence of Descartes' thought from a first acquaintance with a single short section of the Discourse on Method (in translation). What we have seen here is simply that it is possible to get accurate initial understanding of an Indian text in translation by employing that general knowledge of Indian thought and culture which is available to any Western reader who is interested in taking advantageof it." (p. 255)

  27. Wimmer, Franz Martin. 1998. "Introduction." Topoi no. 17:1-13.

    "Intercultural philosophy is dealing with the question of whether it is possible and necessary to develop new ways of philosophizing because of the present condition of humankind. We are living in a global world, while we are still thinking in frameworks conditioned by regionally bound cultural traditions. The answer to our question therefore shall be: problems of philosophy can and ought to be made clear by way of interculturally orientated polylogues. What that means and why it is the answer to the question can only be sketched here.

    Recently the subject of interculturality has been discussed in growing intensity within several academic disciplines. Thereby it is not primarily concerned with problems of multicultural societies; i.e. not questions concerning the necessary and sufficient conditions to be fulfilled in a society in which the members are rooted in different and sometimes even incompatible traditions. Further, the question is not about a theory of the foundations and the origin of cultures, nor about their mutual relationships. The question is about nothing but philosophy itself." (p. 1)

  28. ———. 1998. "Intercultural Philosophy – a New Orientation in Philosophy." In Philosophie et democratie en Europe, 165-182. Sofia: Commission nationale de la Bulgarie pour l'UNESCO.

    Summary: "Probably every human culture has developed typical ways of philosophising in the sense that there were given explanations of the world, of what man is, and of the right relationships between human beings.

    Some of the cultures of the past have invented systems of writing and documentation, thereby establishing long lasting traditions of thought. Amidst a period of globalisation of many aspects of human life, the problem now arises, whether there will be one single form or method of philosophy in the future. If so: what then will be the role of the different traditions in shaping this future thinking? If not: must we give up the idea that philosophy ever can argue for universally acceptable truths or insights?

    This paper deals with some aspects of these questions by discussing the role of (Euro-) centrism in the historiography of philosophy, and by analysing the impact of the different languages of philosophy on thinking itself."

  29. ———. 2002. Essays on Intercultural Philosophy. Chennai: Satya Nilayam Publications.

    "I am quite sure about the necessity of intercultural dialogues and polylogues in a global society. And I am also sure about the inevitability for a global philosophy with such dialogues. Perhaps, this will happen beside academic philosophy. If they turn out to be fruitful, that would not be the first case in the history of philosophy when something necessary and fruitful was not primarily dealt with by institutionalised discourse.

    Wherever such dialogues are initiated, we can ask what probably will be the topics and the possible outcomes of intercultural philosophy in the future. We can only guess from the past and present. It can be expected that encounters of philosophers from different regions will intensify in the future, that there will be discussions of values and norms as well as on logical and epistemological questions, where the different traditions may criticise each other. Of course, there can be a broader understanding of the varieties of human reasoning during the ages, together with increased knowledge about particularities and about possible universality. Hopefully, such encounters and discourses can contribute establishing peace and humanity. That can only be the case, if philosophical discourse is practised in the spirit of mutual interest and esteem, encountering one another on an equal footing in spite of differences." (p. 4)

  30. ———. 2007. "Cultural Centrisms and Intercultural Polylogues in Philosophy." International Review of Information Ethics no. 7:1-8.

    Abstract: "A "dilemma of culturality" for philosophy, tending to universality, is given with the fact that there is not one and the definitely adequate language or tradition of philosophy. There are many, each of them being cultural, not natural. The question is about the possibility of systematic philosophy with the presupposition that there are different cultural coinages in every philosophical thinking which can be influential on every level of reflection and argumentation. Intercultural philosophy is bound to reflect on this problem. In the following text, I propose to distinguish four different types of centrism being influential in intercultural encounters: expansive, integrative, separative, and tentative centrism. Then some examples are given for certain types of centrism in the fields of history and philosophy. Finally, I shall argue for dialogical or rather: polylogical interactions, in the field of philosophy."

  31. ———. 2013. "Intercultural Philosophy - Problems and Perspectives." Cirpit Review no. 4:115-124.

    Abstract: "This article aims to describe some basic questions and challenges of the project of an interculturally orientated philosophy. Firstly, the challenges of historiography of philosophy in a global perspective is discussed, which is not restricted to comparisons.

    Further there are questions of a theory of culture, particularly with regard to the dilemmatic situation of philosophy between cultural conditionality and intended universality. Concepts of different types of centrism and polylogic interaction are discussed in view of extra-philosophically conditioned inequalities of philosophical discourses on a global scale."

  32. ———. 2015. "Symposium: How Are Histories of Non-Western Philosophies Relevant to Intercultural Philosophizing?" Confluence: Online Journal of World Philosophies no. 3:125-161.

    Abstract: "The view that philosophy is a uniquely and essentially European endeavor rooted in ancient Greece became dominant in Europe only in the late eighteenth century, eclipsing several centuries during which Europeans had denied this proposition. Advocates of intercultural philosophy aim to integrate Western and non-Western philosophical histories and traditions in hopes of better addressing the crucial questions facing global humankind. A Native American standpoint charges this project with being exploitative, and disrespectful."

    F.-M. Wimmer: How Are Histories of Non-Western Philosophies Relevant to Intercultural Philosophizing? 125; R. Bernasconi: The Kantian Canon: Response to Wimmer 133; P. Hountondji: Franz Wimmer’s Statement: A Comment 139; T. Norton-Smith: A Shawnee Reflection on Franz Wimmer’s »How Are Histories of Non-Western Philosophies Relevant to Intercultural Philosophizing?« 145; F.-M. Wimmer: Reply 151-161.

  33. Wiredu, J. E. [Kwasi]. 1997. "How Not to Compare African Traditional Thought with Western Thought." Transition: A Journal of the Arts, Culture and Society no. 75/76:320-327.

    Reprinted in K. Wiredu, Philosophy and an African Culture , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1980 and in Albert G. Mosley, African Philosophy: Selected Readings , Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall 1995, pp. 159-171.

    "Many Westerners have been puzzled by the virtual ubiquity of gods and spirits in traditional African explanations of things. Robin Horton, the Western anthropologist, has suggested that this failure of understanding is partly attributable to the fact that many Western anthropologists "have been unfamiliar with the theoretical thinking of their own culture."(1) I would like to suggest that a much more significant reason is that they have also been unfamiliar with the folk thought of their own culture. Western societies, too, have passed through a stage of addiction to spiritistic explanations of phenomena. What is more, significant residues of this tradition remain a basic part of the mental makeup of a large mass of the less sophisticated sections of Western populations. More importantly still, elements of the spiritistic outlook are, in fact, deeply embedded in the philosophical thought of many contemporary Westerners: philosophers and even scientists. Obviously, it is a matter of first-rate philosophical importance to distinguish between traditional, that is, prescientific, spiritistic thought and modern scientific thought by means of clearly articulated criteria. It is also of anthropological and psychological interest to try to understand how traditional modes of thought function in the total context of life in a traditional society. Since African societies are among the closest approximations in the modern world to societies in the pre-scientific stage of intellectual development, the interest anthropologists have shown in African thought is understandable." (p. 320)

    (1) Robin Horton, "African Traditional Thought and Western Science," reprinted in Rationality , edited by Bryan Wilson (Oxford, Basil Blackwell) from Africa , vol. 3 7, nos. I-2 (1967).

  34. Wiredu, Kwasi. 1998. "Can Philosophy Be Intercultural? An African Viewpoint." Diogenes no. 46:147-167.

    "Actually, the question of whether philosophy can be intercultural must sound highly redundant to contemporary African academic philosophers, most obviously because their philosophical discourse is generally in the language of some foreign culture, either English, French, German, Spanish, or possibly Portuguese.

    One direct implication of this is that the philosophies of our own cultures, as expounded in such languages must, in principle, be intelligible to the people who own the languages concerned." (p. 147)


    "What do these considerations show? They show not only that philosophy can be, but also that it has sometimes been and sometimes still is, intercultural. This is obvious but sometimes denied by implication. Thus it is sometimes thought to be sufficient proof of error to comment that somebody is using Western intellectual canons to evaluate some African conception. No, that can never be sufficient. One must go further to show that there is something wrong with the specific canons in question or that they are inapplicable for specific reasons. This law of criticism would apply also to someone criticizing another for using some canons of reflection deriving from African thought in evaluating some doctrine in Western philosophy. The point now is that one can only go beyond such parochialism by a mode of reasoning intelligible to both the African and Western sides, in other words, by what I have called independent considerations." (p. 148)

  35. Wong, David B. 2003. "Comparative Philosophy." In Encyclopedia of Chinese Philosophy , edited by Cua, Antonio S., 51-58. New York: Routledge.

    "Doing comparative philosophy compels one to examine one’s deepest assumptions about value, knowledge, the structure of reality, and the proper way to do philosophy itself. The comparison of Chinese and western traditions has yielded fresh and illuminating perspectives on the basic assumptions of each tradition. Comparative philosophy, however, presents special pitfallsas well as special benefits. The desire to draw an interesting and dramatic contrast between traditions often leads to overgeneralization and oversimplification of each tradition, making both appear more different than they are. On the other hand, the desire to make another tradition speak to the problems of one’s own tradition often leads to a blurring of genuine differences." (p. 51)

  36. Xiao-ming, Wu. 1998. "Philosophy, Philosophia, and Zhe-xue." Philosophy East and West no. 48:406-452.

    "In other words, is it possible to treat philosophy not from philosophy's own point of view, but from another point of view, the point of view of the other? Indeed, one may want to separate oneself from philosophy, in order to describe and decry its law from "the absolute exteriority of another place," a place that might as well bear the name "China." Is China not one of the names synonymous with exteriority and alterity in (Western) philosophical discourse? "But," Derrida says, "exteriority and alterity are concepts which by themselves have never surprised philosophical discourse. Philosophy by itself has always been concerned with them" (M , p. xiii). Thinking that one can treat philosophy from outside philosophy is to ignore the logic of the philosophical logos and to be reappropriated by it. Setting oneself up in direct opposition to philosophy, one plays into the hand of philosophy and loses the game." (p. 407)


    M = Derrida, Jacques. Margins of Philosophy. Translated by Alan Bass. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982

  37. Xie, Ming. 2011. Conditions of Comparison: Reflections on Comparative Intercultural Inquiry. New York: Continuum.

    "This book explores, and seeks to offer new ways of thinking about, the epistemological conditions of what I would like to call "comparative intercultural inquiry." It is a critical-comparative study of the epistemes, or presuppositional perspectives, of intercultural discourse. By focusing on how conceptual resources of cultures (such as underlying assumptions, implicit categories of thought and belief, and unconscious or semiconscious social imaginaries) may prefigure our perspectives and predetermine our habits of mind, the book argues for the cognitive, conceptual, and epistemological nature of comparative intercultural inquiry, alongside with and apart from its historical, social, political, and ethical dimensions. Cultural exchange or dialogue may sometimes seem to be merely an ideal or even an illusion, but it is real in the impact of encounters between cultures." (p. 1)

  38. ———, ed. 2014. The Agon of Interpretations: Towards a Critical Intercultural Hermeneutics. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

    Contents: Acknowledgments VII; Ming Xie: Introduction: Towards a Critical Intercultural Hermeneutics 3;

    Part One: Resources of Phenomenology and Hermeneutics

    Ian Angus: 1 The Intercultural Horizon of Contemporary Understanding 23; 2 Jean Grondin:: Do Gadamer and Ricoeur Have the Same Understanding of Hermeneutics? 43; 3 Suzi Adams: The Commonality of the World and the Intercultural Element: Meaning, Culture, and Chora 65; 4 Bernhard Waldenfels: Comparing the Incomparable: Crossing Intercultural Borders 83; 5 R. Radhakrishnan: World, Home, and Hermeneutic Phenomenology 99;

    Part Two: Intercultural Complications and Problematics

    6 Graham Harman: Objects and Orientalism 123; 7 Zhang Longxi: Understanding, Misunderstanding, and the Critical Function of Hermeneutics in Cross-Cultural Studies 140; 8 Hans-Georg Moeller: Universal Values or Cultural Relativity: A Pointless Question 156; 9 David B. Wong: Reconciling the Tension between Similarity and Difference in Critical Hermeneutics 165;

    Part Three: Expanding Horizons: Empathy, Dialogue, Critique, Wisdom

    10 Mihai I. Spariosu: Some Observations on the Prospects of Intercultural Hermeneutics in a Global Framework 187; 11 Lawrence K. Schmidt: Intercultural Understanding in Philosophical Hermeneutics 210; 12 Richard Shusterman and Wojciech Małecki: Making Sense of Critical Hermeneutics: Pragmatist Reflections 233; 13 Lorenzo C. Simpson: Critical Interventions: Towards a Hermeneutical Rejoinder 252; 14 Hans-Herbert Kögler: Empathy, Dialogue, Critique: How Should We Understand (Inter)Cultural Violence? 275; Ming Xie: Afterword: Contesting the Real 302; List of Contributors 309; Index 311-326.

  39. Xu, Keqian. 2010. "Chinese “Dao” and Western “Truth”: A Comparative and Dynamic Perspective." Asian Social Science no. 6:42-49.

    Abstract: In the Pre-Qin time, pursuing “Dao” was the main task in the scholarship of most of the ancient Chinese philosophers, while the Ancient Greek philosophers considered pursuing “Truth” as their ultimate goal. While the “Dao” in ancient Chinese texts and the “Truth” in ancient Greek philosophic literature do share or cross-cover certain connotations, there are subtle and important differences between the two comparable philosophic concepts. These differences have deep and profound impact on the later development of Chinese and Western philosophy and culture respectively. Interestingly, while the modern Chinese philosophy has gradually accepted and established the Western conception of “Truth” on its way towards modernization, the “post-modern” Western philosophy is just undergoing a process of deconstructing its traditional concept of “Truth”, thus, in a certain sense, going closer to the traditional Chinese “Dao”. From a comparative, relative and dynamic perspective, there could possibly be a fusion of horizon between the Chinese “Dao” and the Western “Truth”."

  40. Yancy, George, ed. 2007. Philosophy in Multiple Voices. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.

    Contents: Acknowledgments IX; George Yancy: Introduction: No Philosophical Oracle Voices 1; 1 Nancy Tuana: What Is Feminist Philosophy? 21; 2 Sarah Lucia Hoagland: What Is Lesbian Philosophy? (A Misleading Question) 49; 3 Randall Halle: What Is Queer Philosophy? 81; 4 Lucius T. Outlaw Jr.: What Is Africana Philosophy? 109; 5 Lewis R. Gordon: What Is Afro-Caribbean Philosophy? 145; 6 Jorge J. E. Gracia: What Is Latin American Philosophy? 175; 7 Dale Turner: What Is American Indian Philosophy? Toward a Critical Indigenous Philosophy 197; 8 David Haekwon Kim: What Is Asian American Philosophy? 219; About the Contributors 273-276,

  41. Yang, Guorong. 2005. "Knowing, Being, and Wisdom: A Comparative Study." Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 57-72.

    "Knowing and being axe often regarded as the respective subject-matters of epistemology and ontology." (p. 57)


    "In this article, drawing on the rich resources from both Chinese and Westem philosophical traditions, I attempt to make a general but concrete examination of the ontological dimension of knowing. I will first investigate the known with its metaphysical implication as the unity of things-in-themselves and things-for-us and their internal order that makes it possible for us to understand them. I then move to the knower to bring to light the significance of human existence in the process of knowing. I argue that, as the subject of knowing, the knower cannot be reduced to abstract reason; instead, the knower possesses various cognitive faculties; it is the union of cognition and evaluation and the union of reason, emotion, and will. Third, I turn to the ontological foundation of objective knowledge. In opposition to Kant and Locke, I argue that the relationship between the known and the knower is both intrinsic and extrinsic, which makes interaction between them possible and provides a concrete ontological tbundation for the objectivity of knowledge. Finally, by disclosing the interaction of knowledge and wisdom, I analyze the fusion of the horizon of epistemology and that of ontology, which will manifest, on a deeper level, the unity of being and knowing." (P. 58)

  42. Yang, Xiaomei. 2011. "Do Differences in Grammatical Form between Languages Explain Differences in Ontology between Different Philosophical Traditions?: A Critique of the Mass-Noun Hypothesis." Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy no. 10:149-166.

    Abstract: "It is an assumed view in Chinese philosophy that the grammatical differences between English or Indo-European languages and classical Chinese explain some of the differences between the Western and Chinese philosophical discourses. Although some philosophers have expressed doubts about the general link between classical Chinese philosophy and syntactic form of classical Chinese, I discuss a specific hypothesis, i.e., the mass-noun hypothesis, in this essay. The mass-noun hypothesis assumes that a linguistic distinction such as between the singular terms and the predicates is sufficient to justify or necessarily leads to a specific ontological distinction such as the distinction between the particular and the universal. I argue that one cannot read off semantic properties simply from syntactic ones and hence the syntactic differences do not automatically translate into the semantic differences between languages, that the syntactic features of Chinese nouns do not have explanatory significance in explaining why the particular-universal problem does not arise in the classical period of Chinese philosophy, and that the part-whole ontology allegedly informed by the mass-noun-like semantics does not provide a natural or intuitive picture of the language-world relation."

  43. Zene, Cosimo. 2015. "World Philosophies in Dialogue: a Shared Wisdom?" Confluence: Online Journal of World Philosophies no. 2:11-32.

    Abstract: "Martin Heidegger’s lecture in 1964 ›The End of Philosophy and the Task of Thinking ‹ signalled a crisis and the acknowledgement of substantial changes within Western philosophy. Reflecting upon the concept of critical dialogue among World Philosophies (WP) can be seen as a corrective of this crisis and a novel advancement. I aim to substantiate this by referring to the work of three authors: i) Jean-Luc Marion’s reflections on Heidegger will give us the chance to overcome a narrow understanding of ›philosophy‹ and the possibility of discovering »new horizons« for the discipline which are revealed as a »donation« towards »wisdom«; ii) Reyes Mate’s considerations on ›Thinking in Spanish ‹ will offer, aided by Walter Benjamin, a concrete example for renegotiating the space and the place for those »excluded from thinking«; and iii) Paul Ricoeur’s meditation On Translation puts forward the ethical element of »linguistic hospitality« and transformation of the self when encountering alterity. While it is impossible to do justice to these authors in a short article, I maintain that their work deserves close attention because it depicts the struggle within Western philosophy on its way towards maturity: still entangled with so many challenges derived from its troubled history, this maturity appears only faintly, on the horizon, precisely, in the form of ›traces‹. On these grounds, I believe that Anglo-European philosophy can no longer postpone opening up to an indispensable dialogue with other systems of thought wherein the presence of WP and the renewed effort of many philosophers committed to this endeavour is recognised."

  44. Zhang, Ji. 2012. One and Many: A Comparative Study of Plato’s Philosophy and Daoism Represented by Ge Hong. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press.

    "Why does this book compare Ge Hong (AD 284–344?) with Plato (428–347 BC)? Reasons of personal intellectual history are involved. When I encountered Platonism in the field of Christian systematic theology, I admired its persistent search for inner coherence of truths and was deeply impressed by its transcendentalism and its unshakable influence on two streams of Western thought, philosophy and theology. Although I resonated with its idealism, over the years it became increasingly clear to me that this intellectual tradition imposed on me a demand that restricts the development of my own thought rooted in Chinese tradition. In contrast, Daoism has provided me with the free space that I was looking for in the formation of my intellectual identity. I first encountered Ge Hong when I attended a seminar at Harvard University in 1998. Since then I have felt that I was coming home to something that had unconsciously shaped my thought yet had not been properly named. Eagerness to come to terms with Daoism and Ge Hong’s religious philosophy in particular has become the inner drive for the current study." (introduction, p. XIII, anote omitted)(1)

  45. Zhang, Longxi. 2007. Unexpected Affinities: Reading across Cultures. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

    "Since this book contains the first set of Alexander Lectures to discuss a wide range of texts from the perspective of East-West studies, the opening chapter tries to lay the ground for such broadly comparative work through a critique of cultural incommensurability, that is, the idea that East and West are mutually exclusive and have nothing in common. By showing the inherent difficulty of the incommensurability argument and the ironic commonality of this argument in both East and West, the first chapter makes the case that we need the broad cross-cultural perspective to understand and appreciate different literary and cultural traditions. The remaining three chapters build on that ground to show the validity and significance of cross-cultural understanding through a discussion of specific themes and textual details.


    All these chapters are conceptually linked by images and ideas, and they all demonstrate the thematic patterns of textual encounters, the similarities in conception and expression, and the unexpected affinities between literatures and cultures East and West." (preface, pp. XIII-XIV)

  46. ———. 2016. "Comparison and Correspondence: Revisiting an Old Idea for the Present Time." Comparative Literature Studies no. 53:766-785.

    Abstract: "Analogical thinking that relates everything to everything else in a complicated system of correspondences was common in ancient Mesopotamia, ancient Greece, early modern Europe, as well as ancient China. Such premodern theories of knowledge about correspondences between the cosmos and the human world are discredited in modern scientific thinking, but by revisiting some of the old ideas, of which the value has not been sufficiently recognized in modern scholarship, we may find them helpful in rethinking the disciplinary compartmentalization of knowledge and the possibilities of dialogues between different disciplines in comparative studies."

  47. ———. 2017. "East-West Comparative Studies: A Challenge and an Opportunity." Know: A Journal on the Formation of Knowledge no. 1:45-65.

    "There is always so much to learn and to know. Today we have a much better condition for East-West comparative studies as the world has become more connected as a “global village” and also as there is much more interest in the non-Western world and its literatures and cultures among Western scholars and students. At the same time, our world today is also suffering from much conflict and regional wars, humanitarian crises, massive numbers of displaced people as exiles and migrants, the rise of religious fundamentalism, the threat of terrorism, and many other disasters stemming from the lack of tolerance and understanding, especially understanding across cultures, histories, and traditions. In a real sense, East-West comparative studies is not just an academic pursuit of knowledge but has particular relevance to our world and the waywelive our lives.

    It is my strong belief that when the world pays more attention to the value of cross-cultural understanding beyond the fundamental differences of East and West, we will have a world that is not just better in understanding, but better in every sense." (pp. 61-62)

  48. Zhang, Xianglong. 2010. "Comparison Paradox, Comparative Situation and Inter-Paradigmaticity: A Methodological Reflection on Cross-Cultural Philosophical Comparison." Comparative Philosophy no. 1:90-105.

    Abstract: "It is commonly believed that philosophical comparison depends on having some common measure or standard between and above the compared parts. The paper is to show that the foregoing common belief is incorrect and therewith to inquire into the possibility of cross-cultural philosophical comparison. First, the "comparison paradox‟ will be expounded.

    It is a theoretical difficulty for the philosophical tendency represented by Plato's theory of Ideas to justify comparative activities. Further, the connection of the comparative paradox with the obstacles met by cross-cultural philosophical comparisons will be demonstrated. It will be shown that to attribute the difficulty of cross-cultural comparisons to incommensurability of traditions is irrelevant and misleading. It is to be argued that the original possibility of comparison depends on the "comparative situation‟, i.e., the mechanism of meaning-production that functions in a non-universalistic and anonymous way. A philosophical paradigm does facilitate the attendance of such a situation, but it is also possible for the situation to emerge between paradigms in a gamesome way. Accordingly, the genuine comparison at issue will not originate primarily and merely on the level of concepts and propositions, but can only be achieved through inter-paradigmatic conditions, where we have the sharp awareness of a paradigm‟s boundary from which we can attempt to achieve situational communication with another paradigm. In light of this, the perspective of a philosophical comparison differs not only from the traditional or universalistic one, but also from Gadamer‟s hermeneutics, such as the doctrine of "fusion of horizons‟. The new perspective finds an illustration in Heidegger‟s relations with Daoism."

  49. Zhu, Rui. 2018. "Comparative Philosophy: In Response to Rorty and MacIntyre." Philosophy East and West no. 68:264-266.

    "In my view, comparative philosophy, done either through the comparison of life experiences or through the comparison of comparisons, in order to be genuinely philosophical, must cultivate irony, especially an insider’s irony. The point of comparison lies neither in the search for mutual understanding or a common ground, which may or may not be found, nor in the final adjudication of winners and losers, which, though happening all the time, shall never constitute a proper philosophical concern. Instead, comparative philosophy, conducted with a uniquely alert intercultural consciousness, not aimed at striking a dialogue or taking still shots of various comparable historical answers to satisfy curiosity, may represent an object-centered self-reflection.


    In other words, comparative philosophy, as philosophy, is perhaps best conducted by a specialist of a foreign culture who not infrequently casts a backward glance at one’s own culture, as opposed to by a specialist of one’s own culture looking out into an exotic foreign culture for similarities and differences that may be used to confirm some preferred transcultural wisdoms or character types. In brief, what comparative philosophy ought to do to philosophy may resemble something like what Michael Taussig’s symbolic anthropology has done to anthropology — it teases and criticizes one’s own culture, aiming to unself one’s own deep-entrenched illusions, to expose the limit of one’s consciousness, as opposed to strengthening and expanding it at the expense of the rivals’." (pp. 265-266)

  50. Zhu, Rui, and Beckford, Corey. 2018. "Reply to Steven Burik." Philosophy East and West no. 68:271-276.

    "Important objections are raised by Steven Burik in his comment on Rui Zhu’s response to Rorty and MacIntyre. We will try to address them without proceeding in an eristic, point-by-point manner. In general, it seems that at least some of Burik’s objections are based on his misreading of Zhu’s response. Burik is not to blame, however.

    Zhu’s response was short and many of the points made there were not sufficiently explained or developed. By way of his generous commentary Burik has provided us a much needed opportunity to offer some remedies.

    A key distinction in Zhu’s response was its reference to comparative philosophy as a form of intercultural studies and as philosophy. The former compares philosophies and the latter does philosophy. It goes without saying that the two are difficult to separate. Nevertheless, the distinction is real and can be felt by any comparative philosopher through the tension between scholarly expositions and creative philosophizing. In this reply to Burik we will recalibrate the distinction in terms of that between understanding and thinking, even though the profile drawn here might be a bit too sharp for our comfort. But such is the risk we have to bear for the sake of heuristics." (p. 271)


    Steven Burik, "Comment on "Comparative Philosophy: In Response to Rorty and Macintyre" by Rui Zhu", Philosophy East and West, 68, 2018, pp. 266-270.

  51. Zong, Desheng. 2010. "A New Framework for Comparative Study of Philosophy." Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy no. 9:445-459.

    Abstract: "The aim of this essay is to outline a conceptual framework for a type of philosophy (or approach to philosophy) to be herein called “non-sentential philosophy.”

    Although I will primarily concern myself with the conceptual coherence of the framework in this essay, illustrations will be provided to show that the notion has rich implications for comparative studies. In particular, I believe this theoretical framework will be of interest to those looking for a way to capture the differences between certain non-Western philosophical traditions—such as Chinese philosophy—and Western philosophy, a tradition in which the sentential approach is dominant."