On the Possibility of Trans-Cultural Pizzas and/or Philosophy
Keywords:comparative philosophy, trans-cultural philosophy, Chinese philosophy, methodology, diversity
The history of pizza is shrouded in mystery. Competing interpretations of the exact origin, development, and even etymology are as diverse as pizzas themselves. What is certain, however, is that from various types of flatbread meals popular among soldiers and poor workers emerged some standards. Certain experts were then able to refine the process and carefully combine ingredients. The key to this tradition, as well as its popularity around the world, is found in the core elements developed by such pizzaiolos. But this has all changed, and contemporary pizza is no longer topped with whatever just happens to be available, as in the flatbreads of old. Nor does it have to adhere to the standards set forth by experts on taste. Today there are Hawaiian, chocolate, and even fruit pizzas. There are pizzas with cauliflower crust, smashed chicken “bread” and pizzas topped with 24 karat gold. And perhaps most importantly, customized pizzas—pizzas that are designed by the consumer with no regard for anything but their own momentary desires. We think this represents a twofold problem, in terms of both approach and of carrying on tradition, and also think comparative philosophy is just like pizza.
In this paper we will thus address these problems through proposing a conception of the trans-cultural that is linked to the art of pizza. Moreover, we expand the scope of diversification to include methodology. Based on methodological insights derived from Chinese tradition and contemporary Chinese scholarship, we argue that comparative philosophy as an art (poiesis) could be a welcome alternative which involves: respect for authority (tradition), trust in tested methods and recipes as conditions for creativity and originality, recognition of the philosophical import of style (form is content) and the significance of inspiration and mastery of skills.
Rošker, Jana S. 2020. “Chinese Philosophy, ‘Postcomparative’ Approaches and Transcultural Studies: A Reply to Vytis Silius.” Asian Studies 8 (3): 305-16. https://doi.org/10.4312/as.2020.8.3.305-316.
Sigurðsson, Geir. (Forthcoming ). “Towards Commensurable Interpretations: A Hermeneutic-Deconstructive Engagement with China.” Asian Studies 11 (1).
Silius, Vytis. 2020. “Diversifying Academic Philosophy: The Post-Comparative Turn and Transculturalism.” Asian Studies 8 (2): 257–80. https://doi.org/10.4312/as.2020.8.2.257-280.
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