Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Does India think differently?

I have already argued (in Italian) that I cannot detect a fundamental opposition between Indian and Western Philosophy. On the other hand, one can imagine a gradual difformity and Buddhist Philosophy is often on top of the scale.
At the basis of the Western philosophical investigation is, in fact, often a datum. This has long been believed to be the evidence of a subject-independent external world. Thereaftere, one has thought of it as an evidence of the existence of a thinking subject. This Subject was powerful enough (or was thought to be empowered by God himself) to imagine the whole world. In contemporary existentialism the subject has lost its power. It is no more transparent to itself, no more omnipotent. But it is still the foundation of our experience of the world, of the world as Other, of God (for theologians). What if, instead, this subject is conceived of as illusory or, even worse, as neutral (as in the earliest speeches of the Buddha), not bearing any significance for (our) spiritual progress?

(the title of this post is borrowed from a conference held in honour of Prof. Ernst Steinkellner in Vienna and whose proceedings have been published under the title "Denkt Asien anders?")

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