Phenomenology as a doorway into Indian Philosophy

India, Mughal Art. Photo by Nathan Hughes Hamilton (flickr C.C.)

The Journal of the British Society of Phenomenology has announced a selection of free articles from past issues.Included, along with heavyweights of the Western phenomenological tradition such as Nancy, Lyotard, Gadamer, Sartre, Warnock, Heidegger and Husserl, is J.N. Mohanty's “Phenomenology and Indian Philosophy: The Concept of Rationality”, Vol. 19, No. 3, 1988, pp. 269-281. (direct link here)In the paper Mohanty shows the struggles we face in understanding non-Western philosophies. Th … [Read more...]

All Good Intentions: But does Sam Harris have what it takes to be Buddhist?

flickr CC https://www.flickr.com/photos/dennisredfield/4553054788/in/photolist-7WkAyC-7Whjsi-8Q3Qoa-9CWL98-7Rnixa-9wLiJe-9CZGFw-9wLhFn-9wPeCA-9wLi4x-9wPhWL-9wPham-9wLhaZ-4b4jNJ-8rBQWn-rtWZ7M-eH3ZnE-4aZiYa-ATVSC-buSpvy-rAeuoe-rAe9TU-9wPeWh-bHM9BF-bHMak6-diH1pt-eH3Zj1-eH3Zry-qDxXUT-qDxYVk-riKoR1-ry3FTh-rAezbm-rAeuP4-qDkDDu-rh1MC4-8rBQUT-7R2r1x-riQRxu-9R1vhf-9R1r37-9UoK6F-qPcuQ-diGXSU-diGZuw-diGWEH-auALgk-buSqa1-buSnsN-9gV233andhttps://www.flickr.com/photos/127466868@N05/15211359780/in/photolist-pbbciN-psELDP-psFffk-pqDdCj-psoviX-pbckb6-pbbpW1-psEJoM-pbaHiD-pbbvHm-pbbZD1-psERrz-psoydK-psDEbY-pbaKB6-psoxHr-pbaCwV-psETY8-pqDexf-pqDjf1-psoCbz-psoyxc-psoAFF-pqDfo3-pbb97Y-psD6CG-pbbc2z-pqCUcG-pbbWoJ-psoZra-psoXJn-psp4XV-pbbY8p-pbbXcY-pbbod1-pbbZwN-psD5is-psovbx-pbbbF4-pbbwzw-psoz7t-pqCGXN-psEGNx-pbb9Fc-pbb66M-pbaLfk-pbbZfK-pbaAyM-psDdPf-psozZk

A guest post by Marek Sullivan:The recent email scuffle between linguistics professor and political commentator Noam Chomsky, and atheist neuroscientist Sam Harris has brought to light the severity of Harris’s emphasis on intention as the ultimate moral parameter in questions of military ethics. According to Harris, “Ethically speaking, intention is (nearly) the whole story.” This is how he can claim that Bill Clinton and Osama Bin Laden live “in a different moral universe entirely,” or elsew … [Read more...]

Buddhist mindfulness, morality, and Protestant presumptions

Achahn Chuen meditation; on a beach near Traverse City, MI (photo by Brian Ambrozy, flickr C.C.)

In case you've been living under a rock, mindfulness is all the rage these days. Since January I have filed away nearly every story on or popular mention of 'mindfulness' that crossed my path. At current, I'm at 43 links and I'm certain it's just a drop in the bucket of what's out there. I have a lawyer in Florida explaining "Mindfulness: What it is and how it helps" a Cosmopolitan article explaining (above a picture of Jennifer Aniston): Jo Usmar, Cosmo's ex-Sex and the Not So Single Girl, has … [Read more...]

Žižek points us to the dark side of Buddhism, again

Screenshot from Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter ... and Spring

This week The Guardian published a selection of short essays titled, "I watch therefore I am: seven movies that teach us key philosophy lessons." The newspaper deserves great praise for bringing together a wonderful variety of philosophers to draw our attention to the moral and epistemological issues in films. Greats like Julian Baggini, who I had the fortune of seeing with Owen Flanagan and Tim Lott last spring (video), Christine Korsgaard, an exemplary Kant scholar and philosopher in her own r … [Read more...]

Studying Philosophy or Religion? Two articles you should read and share today

Religious Studies textbooks

As winter break wraps up and spring semester starts at colleges and universities across the country, more than a few students out there will be reconsidering their choice of majors, or at least dabbling in fun and interesting classes outside their department. While a number of classes may come highly recommended, two courses that really must be taken by any student today are an Introduction to World Religions and an introductory Philosophy course, which come under many names:"World … [Read more...]

Does the “arc of the moral universe” bend toward justice?

Ryan Bell interviews Michael Shermer on the Moral Arc

As we pause on this day to reflect on the life and vision of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. it's easy to throw our hands up and admit defeat. Black men and boys are being killed by their neighbors and police with impunity, Muslims in the West face increasing scrutiny and bigotry, governments continue to ignore the wrongs of their nations past - and present - toward indigenous peoples, the latest boom in the economy seems to be just numbers on a screen for most Americans as 95% of recent income … [Read more...]

Superscholar.org introduces an Infographic on Eastern Philosophy

history of eastern philosophy

Hmm... I almost put up scare quotes around 'Eastern Philosophy' - but then I thought I'd just put them up around 'Eastern' - and then just around 'Philosophy' - but perhaps each, separately, needed its own scare quotes. Then again, what exactly is an 'infographic'?Scare quotes and worries about definitions aside (do some research and decide for yourself what these words mean), I was sent this the other day and found it interesting and useful enough to warrant sharing. As an educator I think … [Read more...]

Notes on teaching Buddhist philosophy

buddha with plato and aristotle at the academy

I'm teaching Buddhist philosophy in Bodhgaya, India at the moment, so much of my blogging-life is taken up by activities here. In lieu of all of that (I will post on my usual topics now and then) I thought I'd share notes from my teaching.Teaching Buddhist philosophy to American college students from diverse backgrounds (some with extensive philosophy, some with Buddhism, some with a mix or neither) has been a challenge. To start, I wanted to get them thinking as philosophers, inheritors of … [Read more...]


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