Friday, January 27, 2012

Philosophical creativity

Are contemporary philosophers just bound to write footnotes to Plato's works?

Arindam Chakrabarti is one of my personal favourite scholars of Indian philosophy. He masters Sanskrit and philosophy, both Western and Indian, at the same time. In a very recent essay he discusses the feasability of philosophical creativity. He recalls a conversation he had with a poet who told him that poetic creativity
is a constant battle against the staleness of words and thoughts. The battle is often lost by most poets por philosophers], but sometimes it is won with those very stale words and thoughts (A.C., New Stuff: On the Very Idea of Creativity in Philosophical Thinking 2011).

Personally, I tend to think that the battle can only be won throught those very stale words and thoughts. This is also the reason why I enjoy reading Sanskrit philosophical commentaries, especially post-classical ones, since their authors were well aware of the fact that a glorious tradition was already behind them.

(I am grateful to Daniel Raveh's 2011 book Exploring the Yogasūtra who made me discover Chakrabarti's text.)

On fields of Indian philosophy which need a creative thinking to come into existence, see this post (on applied Indian philosophy).

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