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Friday, December 14, 2012

Can Academia.edu help Indian Philosophy?

I have been recently asked about the role of the site Academia.edu for my general purpose of integrating Indian philosophy in "Philosophy" in general. The following one is my answer:

"As you already know, I work in the field of Indian philosophy and I see the integration of Indian philosophy within "philosophy" tout court as one of my main aims. People working in Indian philosophy (just like in the case of Chinese literature, Japanese history of science, etc.) often end up working in areal studies institutes, together with other people working on South Asia (and so on), but far away from people working on the same topics in different areas. In this sense, Academia.edu is precious, because it enables one to meet/discuss with these colleagues and cross the rigid academic boundaries separating us".

What do you think? Do you use Academia.edu? For what purposes?

4 comments:

Dominik Wujastyk said...

When I upload a new article or book review to my academia.edu account, the system offers one the chance to add subject-tags to the upload. That causes all the people who share that subject interest to get a notification on their academia.edu home page about my upload. I think that's a powerful tool for cross-disciplinary communication. As a direct result of tagging an ayurveda article as "history of medicine" (as well as ayurveda, etc.) I get a lot of interest and "follows" from colleagues in Middle Eastern and European studies who aren't specifically Indianists.

elisa freschi said...

Thanks, Dominik. This is exactly my experience. One notices that there is more direct interest from one's colleagues working on similar topics in distant areas than would have thought judging from conferences and workshops (which are still often very much focused on a single area).

Jayarava said...

I've been thinking about this. The potential is there - but I don't think it is being realised.

Some people do follow my work. But todate you are the only person who has contacted me on the basis of what I put on academia.edu and that was of a more personal nature. Several hundred people have looked at my article on the origins of the Śākyas - but not a single interaction.

A follow a few dozen people, and I have downloaded several articles. But I don't think I've contacted anyone there as a result.

So it's one more way to stay alert to new writing, but it's not much beyond that. I like the concept, and it is a convenient way of uploading work to the internet, but that's about it.

elisa freschi said...

I agree about the practical side of having an easily accessible page where I can upload my documents.
My experience with fellow Academia.edu-ers is, however, different. I have often interacted with several of them and have received several interesting messages (together with many requests of help on minor points, such as examinations programs). It might have to do with the fact that I am not on Facebook (etc.) and that I hence focus all my "contact"-energies on Academia.edu?

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