Together At the Margins — Chinese Philosophy & Jewish Philosophy

chinese philosophy

Apparently Jewish philosophy is in the same boat with Chinese philosophy. Apparently too size and mass have nothing to do with marginality and marginilizaition; or maybe the problem is with western philosophy today. At any rate, it seems clear that the very big no less than the very small can be forced to occupy a mental margin. I read a number of months back this article here about Chinese philosophy and thought, and its position in philosophy departments in the United States. The problems are legitimating problems, the exact ones that bedevil the place of Jewish philosophy qua philosophy. Like the sources that shape Jewish philosophy, Chinese philosophical source material is considered unphilosophical by philosophy-department colleagues. The sources are too aphoristic, story-based, and homiletic to count as philosophy. As critics have long suggested, this kind of framing shows up western philosophy in all its particularism as a parochial form of inquiry obsessed nowadays primarily with method and defined by canon. Philosophy would stand out as the least cosmopolitan discipline in the humanities compared to art and music, history, literature, or religion.

chinese jewish peddlar

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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