Latest issue of Synthese

Readers may be interested to know that the journal Synthesewhich characterizes itself as “An International Journal for Epistemology, Methodology and Philosophy of Science”, is publishing an article about the Bhagavad Gītā and Spinoza, currently available under “Online first.” The journal is typically ranked highly as a journal of analytic philosophy, and this publication may signal new a revived openness to non-Western philosophy.*

The article, for readers interested, is by Christina Chuang of Nanyang Technological University here in Singapore, and is titled “Rational devotion and human perfection.” It was brought to my attention after she gave a talk on the paper here at Yale-NUS College. In the paper she argues for a view of the three yoga-s which I take it is in some ways similar to Rāmānuja, privileging bhakti. However, Chuang argues that Spinoza’s concept of intuition is a useful way to understand bhakti, and that understanding confluences between Sāṃkhya and Spinoza can resolve the apparent interpretive tension among the three yogas. (NB: I have not yet had the time to look at the paper in detail, myself, having only heard Dr. Chuang’s talk.)

Since we’ve talked about where publishing for Indian philosophy is possible and also beneficial, the publication of this article may be helpful for philosophers looking for more “mainstream” journals that are open to Indian philosophy.

*See Roy Perrett’s clarification below about Synthese‘s publishing history.

About Malcolm Keating

Malcolm Keating is Assistant Professor of Philosophy in the Humanities Division at Yale-NUS College, Singapore.

3 Replies to “Latest issue of Synthese”

  1. Although I haven’t yet had an opportunity to access Dr Chuang’s intriguing new paper yet, she surely deserves congratulations for its appearance in Synthese – a self-described “International Journal for Epistemology, Methodology and Philosophy of Science” which only infrequently publishes work in non-Western philosophy. As a matter of historical record, though, it should be noted that this publication does not in fact signal an entirely new openness of this decidedly “analytic” journal to non-Western philosophy (even if such articles have only appeared rather rarely). At least the following four well-known articles on Indian philosophy have previously appeared in Synthese:

    Jonardon Ganeri. “Objectivity and Proof in a Classical Indian Theory of Number” (2001).
    J. L Shaw, “‘Saturated’ and ‘Unsaturated’: Frege and the Nyāya” (1989).
    Mark Siderits, “The Sense-Reference Distinction in Indian Philosophy of Language” (1986).
    J.F. Staal, “Formal Structures in Indian Logic” (1960).

    Hopefully, there will be journal space in the future for even more!

    • Dear Roy, thanks for making Synthese’s publishing history clear–I ought to have run a search before posting, rather than rely on recent memory for frequency. & I suppose I should not have said “new openness to” but rather “revived openness to” or “newly renewed”, etc, since it has been over 15 years since the last paper appeared (and as you note, it is one of just a few).

      I also hope there will be space for more, and that they will receive submissions to enable them to publish work in non-Western philosophy (Indian and beyond).

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