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22.04.2018 14:05 Alter: 58 days

What Is Comparative Philosophy?

Call for Publications

Theme: What Is Comparative Philosophy?
Publication: Edited book by Martin Ovens
Deadline: 1.8.2018

The book derives from an international colloquium organised at Wolfson
College, Oxford on the theme, ‘What is Comparative Philosophy?’.

Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

It will contain a selection of papers structured within an initial
outline of, and concluding reflections on, the general problematics
of comparative philosophy. Each paper will be preceded by a brief
introductory section. Among the suggested themes and problems
concerning the nature, aims, basis, validity and value of comparative
philosophy are:

1. How to define or characterise comparative philosophy and
distinguish it from other forms of philosophical enquiry, practice
and scholarship; distinctions, if any, between ‘comparative’,
‘intercultural’ and ‘cross-cultural’ philosophy.

2. Incommensurability; sceptical views relating to the possibility of
valid and meaningful comparison; how comparisons are to proceed; the
concept of comparison itself.

3. Interpreting across cultural, linguistic and historical boundaries;
the ‘sins’ of chauvinism, perennialism and oversimplification in the
practice of comparative philosophy; different philosophical agendas
and the role of bias or prejudice; how to approach texts of different
traditions; understanding difference and context; different styles and
modes of discourse.

4. The origins and historical development of comparative philosophy;
for example the intellectual and cultural encounters between China,
Japan, India and Europe.

5. How ‘comparative philosophy’ and ‘philosophy’ itself are practised
throughout the non-English-speaking world; issues concerning
communication, diversity, open-mindedness and widening philosophical

6. Pedagogy – how to teach comparative philosophy.

7. Prospects for comparative philosophy – its role, trends and

8. Comparative and non-western philosophy – issues concerning higher
education policy, funding and their place within philosophy

The main body of the book follows the Introduction. The brief
introductory sections preceding each paper will consist of a synopsis
with some background to, and sketch of, key relevant themes.

The papers may fall within two broad categories:
1. Perspectives/reflections on, or analysis of, comparative
  philosophy in general (grouped in ‘Part One’).
2. Approaches to the problematics via specific comparative cases
  (grouped in ‘Part Two’).


Additional chapters are now sought. If you are interested in
contributing please contact for further
information, or send suggested topics/short abstracts.

If you have already contributed to this project please email for
updates as soon as possible,


Martin Ovens
Wolfson College
University of Oxford