Sunday, December 3, 2017

Recent Online Philosophy Happenings

In the last week I've made two contributions to the world of online philosophy, which you can read about below.  In the science fictional world, I'm working on reading some novels published in 2017 so I can compile a Best of 2017 list (I've finished Ada Palmer's Seven Surrenders, I'm working on N. K. Jemisin's The Stone Sky, and up next is Kim Stanley Robinson's New York 2140).  Stay tuned.

"Cārvāka Critique of Inference" for Global Philosophy: Resources for Philosophy Teachers and Students

Global Philosophy is an online resource created by Sonia Sikka and Anna Lännström and managed by Manvitha Singamsetty.  Its goal is to provide resources for philosophy teachers looking to expand and diversify their curriculum by adding non-Western philosophy.  It also provides similar resources for students.  Since many philosophy teachers are eager to add non-Western philosophy, but don't know where to begin, this is a valuable resource.  (A similar resource is The Deviant Philosopher, to which I have also contributed).

My contribution for Global Philosophy concerns the irreligious Cārvāka school of classical India, particularly their argument against the concept of inference (anumāna) as reported by their opponents.  Part of this argument involves questioning how we can know the truth of statements such as, "Wherever there's smoke, there's fire," which raises issues similar to one familiar to most philosophers today: Hume's Problem of Induction.  From the entry:
The irreligious Cārvāka school, which existed at least as far back as the time of the Buddha (c. 400 BCE), is often depicted as denying the validity of inference as a means of knowledge. There are virtually no extant texts written by members of the Cārvāka school, but the Sarvadarśanasaṃgraha (Collection of All Philosophical Views), a doxography composed by the 14th century Advaita Vedāntin Mādhava, summarizes the Cārvāka argument against inference.
You can read the rest of the entry here.  Thanks to Anna Lännström for the invitation to contribute!

"Reflections on the Hamburg 'Buddhism and Scepticism' Workshop" on the Indian Philosophy Blog

I've cross-posted entries from the Indian Philosophy Blog in the past, for example, when I provided details about this conference several weeks ago.  This time I thought I'd provide a quote from the post.
On Nov. 14-16, 2017 I attended a workshop called “Buddhism and Scepticism: Historical, Philosophical, and Comparative Approaches” held at the University of Hamburg. It was sponsored by the Numata Center for Buddhist Studies and the Maimonides Center for Advanced Studies with Oren Hanner as the convener. You can find more information here, including abstracts for the talks. You can even watch videos of the talks here. [Edit: Eli Franco’s and Dong Xiuyuan’s talks are unfortunately unavailable]. Also, Felix Baritsch (Deutsche Buddhistische Union) informed me that he will be writing a summary of the workshop for an upcoming issue of the Journal of World Philosophies, so look for that soon.
Rather than discuss each talk individually, I thought I might discuss some general impressions.
You can read the rest of the post here, which includes a bit of interesting discussion in the comments.

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