Comparative Philosophy: A Methodological Approach

Part of the Einstein Meets Magritte: An Interdisciplinary Reflection on Science, Nature, Art, Human Action and Society book series (EMMA, volume 10)

Since the passing of its founder – Charles Moore – in 1967, the Hawaiian ‘Philosophy East and West’ has approached comparative philosophy as synonymous for ‘non-Western philosophy’. This is not in agreement with what I consider comparative philosophy to be. To me, the focus remains on the word ‘comparative’: only by real comparison do we bring cultures closer. Those who limit themselves to a purely descriptive juxtaposition lay the load of comparing on the shoulders of the reader, who is often not best placed or equipped to successfully do this, through lack of experience and knowledge. Comparison is the task of philosophy.

What is this comparison? It is most certainly not the search for similarities, because these are often trivial. Dissimilarities are much more interesting to explore; they represent furthermore the characteristics of civilizations. Additionally, the sum of all these dissimilarities can be used as the basis for a world-encompassing meta-philosophy. But it is not my purpose to construct a World philosophy.


Methodological Approach Chinese Philosophy Indian Philosophy Mystical Experience Ultimate Reality 
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© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2009

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