A colleague alerted us to a series of posts by (or about) the philosophers and historian of philosophy Joel Katzav on various aspects of the intersection of politics and philosophy and its impact on the fortunes of (especially contemporary) Indian philosophy.
The first one (here) starts with a summary of Sharad Deshpande’s distinction between a first and a second generation of contemporary Indian philosophers and notes that —contrary to what one might think— contemporary Indian philosophers managed to publish on the prominent European and Anglo-American philosophy journals much more often in the past (roughly upto WW2) than now (!).
The second article argues that this disappearance might be due to the fact that these journals (i.e., Mind, The Philosophical Review and The Journal of Philosophy) have been taken over by Analytic philosophers. The conclusion is worth quoting in full:
Thus, in addition to being characterized by its use of marginalization as a way of gaining advantage over other approaches to philosophy, 1950s and 1960s analytic philosophy was characterized by its persistent silence about how it went about its business.
The third article starts by reassessing the parallel absence of Indian philosophy and of all non-Analytic philosophy in the same journals. It then discusses the institutional ties through which Indian philosophy could nonetheless thrive in the 1950s to 1970s.
The fourth post is the only one not by but about Joel Katzav, and it is written by Mohan Matthen. It offers a counter-narrative about the absence of Indian philosophy from the top European and Anglo-American journals. Let me quote its main thesis:
Indians didn’t generally feel intellectually equal to white people, and they didn’t have the resources to compete. Some isolated figures had the confidence and courage to produce work that could be internationally published [EF: these are the ones who manages to publish on top journals prior to WW2]. But they and their successors did not have the connections to the mid-century ferment to enable them to continue to sneak into these venues.
Joel Katzav answers to Matthen in the comment section to the post (which contains, by the way, further interesting comments).
What do readers, especially those more well-versed in contemporary Indian philosophy, think?
UPDATE: I could fix two inaccuracies thanks to Joel Katzav.