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Archie J. Bahm
Comparative Philosophy. Western, Indian and Chinese Philosophy Compared

Albuquerque 1995


Albuquerque: World Books,
103 pages
ISBN 0911714227

  Archie Bahm's book was first published in 1977. The revised edition includes a comprehensible summary of his central thesis. Bahm dealt with the essence, possibility and the methodology of intercultural philosophy. Moreover, is work is an informative introduction into basic questions and problems of Comparative Philosophy. In the first part of the book, the author argues for an independent standing of the relatively new discipline. The author states that the future-determination of philosophy is intercultural and that according to his opinion there are no alternatives. The second part provides the criteria for an intercultural 'way of thought'. However, Bahm resists to provide an abstract definition of this thought. He emphasises that the theories to be, shall derive from various traditions of scholarship. Hence, the objective criteria of an intercultural philosophy will appear during its process of logical progression and realisation.
  In the third part Bahm develops his central claim: humanity has so far produced three important and self-reliant philosophical traditions, the Western, the Indian, and the Chinese. He himself outrightly favours the Chinese tradition which he sees as a higher synthesis of occidental rationalism and Indian mystical-intuitive thought. In the three following brief chapters he exemplifies his general claim in comparative studies of central concepts: cheng as synthesis of truth and satya, chung as synthesis of ananda and the good, and finally 'nothingness' or 'emptiness' when comparing the three traditions.

Jörg Salaquarda, Vienna

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