Vaidya on Indian Philosophy and the Inclusion Problem in Critical Thinking Education

Blog contributor Anand Vaidya has written before on what he calls the inclusion problem in philosophy (see links to his previous discussions here).  In a new post on the Blog of the APA he’s considering what Indian philosophy might contribute to the ways philosophers currently teach critical thinking.

Anand begins by noting the importance of critical thinking education for many philosophy departments today.  However, few of the standard critical thinking textbooks mention any non-Western material.  Anand says,

This could leave a student with the impression that while Socrates, Aristotle, John Venn, and George Boole all contributed to the development of logic and critical thinking, no non-western thinker had anything to say about these matters.

This would not be a problem if it were true that non-western philosophers had nothing to say about matters pertaining to logic and critical thinking. And it would not be such a problem even if they did have something to say, if it were also true that logic and critical thinking were not important parts of an education in philosophy and the humanities in general. But it is a problem, because there are many contributions from non-western traditions, such as Arabic philosophy, Chinese philosophy, and Indian philosophy, and often we sell the importance of philosophy by pointing to critical thinking. In this post, I will try to briefly characterize one location where one can find an important kind of contribution to critical thinking that is relevant to contemporary issues concerning critical-thinking education and its future direction.

Anand goes on to discuss the character view of critical thinking education and how two Indian texts, the Carakasaṃhitā and the Milinda-Pañhā, might contribute to critical thinking education within in this framework.

Please read the whole post here to see Anand’s critical thinking in action!

4 Replies to “Vaidya on Indian Philosophy and the Inclusion Problem in Critical Thinking Education”

  1. Looking forward to reading the post–I’ve bookmarked it! Right now at Yale-NUS, our first-year students are all reading the inference section of Annaṃbhaṭṭa’s Tarkasaṃgraha, with a few sections of the Dīpika. This is after they have read Descartes for two weeks, so they have an introduction to epistemology from a different perspective. Once the unit is over and I’ve heard back from my colleagues about how it went, I’ll report back. (This is a team-taught course–I gave the lecture to 200 first-years and distributed teaching notes to my colleagues, and we all teach sections of about 16 students.)

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  3. Pingback: Expanding the canon part nThe Indian Philosophy Blog | The Indian Philosophy Blog

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