Western philosophers still tend to think that philosophy, in a sense that they can take with professional interest, does not exist in non-Western traditions. To persuade them otherwise would require them to make an effort that they prefer to evade. I attempt to begin to persuade them by closely paraphrasing a few arguments by the early Chinese philosopher Chuang Tzu and a few by the Indian skeptic and mystic Shriharsha. One of Chuang Tzu's arguments has some resemblance to Plato's Third-Man argument, another with the impossibility of distinguishing between waking reality and dream, and a third with the impossibility of objective victories in debates. The skeptic Shriharsha, in a way that can be taken to parallel Wittgenstein's attack on conventional philosophy, shows that philosophical definitions cannot be rigorous enough to fulfill the task that philosophers set for them. The rest of this paper is devoted to the problem of commensurability. I contend that philosophies are either commensurable or incommensurable depending on the light in which one prefers to see them. Each way of seeing them involves a loss of a possibility that may be considered precious, but the Westerner who continues to insist on the full incommensurability of non-Western philosophies with his or her own is losing a great deal that might be intellectually helpful.
Keywords Conference Proceedings  Contemporary Philosophy
Categories No categories specified
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ISBN(s) 9781634350518
DOI 10.5840/wcp20-paideia19985122
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