Eliot Deutsch (1931-2020)

Professor Eliot Deutsch, distinguished scholar of Indian philosophy, comparative philosophy, and aesthetics, has died. From an obituary by Roger Ames posted on the University of Hawai’i Department of Philosophy website. The life of Eliot Deutsch lies at the center of Continue reading Eliot Deutsch (1931-2020)

Eudaimonist Buddhist modernism and the norm of authenticity

I now finish my present reply to Evan Thompson’s response. Let us return to Thompson’s general critique of Buddhist modernism. He doesn’t “reject using Buddhist ideas in the project of ameliorating suffering and promoting human flourishing.” On that, it seems, Continue reading Eudaimonist Buddhist modernism and the norm of authenticity

Indian Philosophy During the Pandemic: A Call for Examples and Ideas

During the current pandemic almost all academic conferences have been canceled or postponed. In my own case, for instance, I was planning to have a busy April and May. I was supposed to present on women philosophers in ancient India Continue reading Indian Philosophy During the Pandemic: A Call for Examples and Ideas

Why is Evan Thompson not a Buddhist? (1)

Recently Evan Thompson released a book with the provocative title Why I Am Not A Buddhist. The book is an interesting constructive exploration that draws heavily on Thompson’s long background in the mind sciences as well as a deep engagement Continue reading Why is Evan Thompson not a Buddhist? (1)

Fixed duties require less care in their performance than optional ones (Maṇḍana’s view)

Maṇḍana reforms Mīmāṃsā philosophy of action and deontic by saying that one undertakes actions only because one believes them to be the means to a desired output. A problem Maṇḍana needs to face is the following: If the performance of Continue reading Fixed duties require less care in their performance than optional ones (Maṇḍana’s view)

Inert and alive substances: Alternative classifications in Veṅkaṭanātha

In the Nyāyasiddhāñjana and the Nyāyapariśuddhi, Veṅkaṭanātha discusses some fundamental ontological topics in order to distinguish his positions from the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika position. The Nyāyasūtra proposes a fundamental division of realities into dravya ‘substances’, guṇa ‘qualities’, and karman ‘actions’,1 with the Continue reading Inert and alive substances: Alternative classifications in Veṅkaṭanātha

Learning from Gārgī’s Silence

“Thereupon, Gārgī Vācaknavī fell silent.” (Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad 3.6) I’m currently teaching a class called “Ancient Women Philosophers: India and Greece,” which is interesting for many reasons. I’ll get to some of those reasons in another post. In this post I want Continue reading Learning from Gārgī’s Silence

Is mindfulness meditation a problem for Christians?

As mindfulness meditation practices become ever more popular and widespread, their claim to be a “non-sectarian technique” takes on progressively greater importance, just as it does with yoga. By claiming their practices to be secular techniques, teachers not only can Continue reading Is mindfulness meditation a problem for Christians?