Comparative Philosophy

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The Comparative Philosophy Seminar seeks to advance constructive philosophical projects by bringing together scholars with training in diverse areas of Asian (mostly Buddhist) thought and Western Philosophy. Comparison in this context is not employed to loan authority to one set of obscure discoveries by revealing its resonances with the works of others, deemed less obscure. Nor does it sociologize philosophy in search of general laws of human cultural and intellectual development. Rather, the intent is to explicate, and employ, the fullness of an expanded philosophical toolset—and see how that works. The seminar ordinarily invites respondents who are versed in the relevant field of philosophical inquiry, but who are not necessarily specialists in Asian thought. In order to facilitate an ongoing conversation, seminar meetings for a given year are loosely organized around a very general theme, which speakers are asked to address when possible. In past years, the themes have been “Personal Identity” (2007–2008) and “Meta-Ethics” (2008–2009).

Professor Jonathan C. Gold

Professor Hagop Sarkissian

Jay Ramesh



10/12/2018 Rm. 101, 80 Claremont Ave., Columbia University
5:30 PM
How I Came to Conclude that Confucian Discourse is not Philosophy
Eske Møllgaard, University of Rhode Island

Respondent: Andrew Lambert, College of Staten Island, CUNY

11/02/2018 Rm. 101, 80 Claremont Ave., Columbia University
5:30 PM
Spontaneous Arising and an Ethics of Creativity in Early Daoism
Erica Brindley, Pennsylvania State University

Respondent: Christopher Gowans, Fordham University

11/30/2018 Rm. 101, 80 Claremont Ave., Columbia University
5:30 PM
Can the Vaiśeṣika Individuate Universals?
David Nowakowski, Union College