This thought-provoking study is a welcome addition to the discipline of comparative philosophy. In a unique scholarly under-taking, Classical as well as contemporary Indian Philosophies and their authors engage in a hermeneutical dialogue with western postmodernism.
The book takes as its central theme the cornerstone of postmodern thought: its attack on rationalist and representation. I modes of thinking, and its radical questioning of the place of reason in philosophy. The theme is informed and developed through a cross-cultural exchange on a number of subjects. These range from desire, suffering, abjection, and death to the nature of being and the self, and the nature of language and writing. Thus, on the subject of desire for example, the Upanisads and Nikaya Buddhism come into contact with Deleuze and Guattari, while the discussion of language and writing sets Derrida against early Buddhism and Abhinavagupta.
Carl Olson brings a variety of thinkers and divergent traditions of thought into a lucid, penetrating debate, which serves to remind us that classical Indian philosophy is not a dead cultural artifact, but has enduring intellectual value. A significant contribution to the field of comparative philosophy in India and abroad, this book will be read with great interest by students and scholars of philosophy, as well as the general reader interested in Indian and Western thought.
About the Author:
Carl Olson is Professor of Religious Studies at Allegheny College, Philadelphia, USA. He is the author of numerous books including The Mysterious Play of Kali: An Interpretive Study of Ramakrishna (1990) and The Indian Renouncer and Postmodern Poison: A Cross Cultural Encounter (1997).
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