Monday, June 4, 2018

Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy Conference -- Kraków, Poland

This week I'm excited to travel to Kraków, Poland to attend the 2018 Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy (SACP) Annual Conference.  You can find more details on the conference website and on the Indian Philosophy Blog.

I'm excited to visit Eastern/Central Europe for the first time.  A couple friends and I are also planning to visit Budapest, Hungary after the conference.

The conference will take place at three venues.  My talk will be at the oldest building at Jagiellonian University, whose esteemed alumni include Copernicus, Pope John Paul II, and Stanislaw Lem.

I hope to write another post after the trip with a report about how it went, along with some photos!  Cześć!

Here's the abstract for my talk:

"Śrī Harṣa and the Limits of Philosophy"

In his Khaṇḍanakhaṇḍakhādya (Buffet of Destruction), the Advaita Vedānta skeptic Śrī Harṣa (c. 12th century CE) offers extensive critiques of various schools of classical Indian philosophy.  Concentrating on his trenchant criticisms of Nyāya metaphysics, I argue that Śrī Harṣa is attempting to demonstrate the limits of philosophy.  The Buffet of Destruction is intended to leave its readers – appropriately enough – having lost their appetite for constructive philosophical activity.  In light of his awareness of the minefield of incoherencies involved in asserting any view of non-dualism, Śrī Harṣa is not giving positive arguments in favor of any view; rather, he is attempting to remove impediments to the possibility of non-dual experience.  This can be seen as a sophisticated development of the type of mystical skepticism found in several Upaniṣads.  Śrī Harṣa prompts contemporary philosophers to consider the limits on the power of philosophy to answer ultimate questions and could inspire creative new uses for philosophy. Śrī Harṣa offers a blueprint for philosophy beyond its typical dogmatic pretensions as a source of truth: philosophy might instead be a transformative activity that can make us both intellectually humble and profoundly open-minded.

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