Before and After Comparative Philosophy
Keywords:comparative philosophy, post-comparative philosophy, Chinese philosophy, orientalism
This paper traces the history of comparative philosophy and points to a transition toward post-comparative philosophy. It is argued that, theoretically speaking, comparative philosophy was created by making a distinction between Western and non-Western philosophy and then re-entering this distinction into one of its sides, namely non-Western philosophy. Historically speaking, comparative philosophy was preceded by Orientalist academic disciplines such as Indology and Sinology founded in the 19th century, as well as by the establishment of disciplines like “Chinese Philosophy” in non-Western countries. With the emergence of the field of comparative philosophy in the 20th century, two camps developed: one focusing on difference and the other on sameness. Post-comparative philosophy, it is argued, moves beyond difference and sameness and engages in diverse philosophical endeavours by employing sources from various traditions without constituting a specific field based on culturalist distinctions.
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