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Eastern Philosophy

Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad

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Prose: non-fiction, Philosophy, Non-Western philosophy

A magisterial overview of the philosophies of the East.

'The time has come for global philosophy to move beyond the model where the West is at the centre of radiating spokes of comparison.' Challenging the notion that Western philosophy is the best or only yardstick against which to judge the so-called 'non-Western' philosophies, Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad sets up a lively debate in which the great thought systems of the East are engaged very much in their own terms. The author's impressive sweep takes him through South Asia east to China and Japan, encompassing 3000 years of philosophy and including the ancient philosophies of India, Jainism, Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism.

At the same time, Ram-Prasad dispels the romantic illusion that there is some common mystical 'wisdom tradition' that binds together the cultures of the East. His aim is to give a sense of the diversity and depth of these philosophical cultures, as well as their sophistication and originality; and to make comparisons between them to illuminate their varied yet potentially universal appeal.

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Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad

Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad studied Politics, Sociology and History in India, and took a doctorate in Philosophy at Oxford. He has taught at the National University of Singapore and held Research Fellowships at Trinity College Oxford and Clare Hall, Cambridge. He has also been Visiting Fellow at Benares Hindu University, Ecole Francaise d' Extreme Orient, Pondicherry and De Nobili College, Pune. He has a range of interests in global and comparative philosophies, and is on the academic advisory council of the Global Religion and Ethics Forum, the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and the Templeton Foundation's Global Perspective on Science and Spirituality Programme. He lectures regularly at universities in the USA, Europe and India, and will be a plenary speaker at the 9th East-West Philosophers' Conference in Hawaii in 2005. Ram-Prasad is currently based in the Department of Religious Studies, Lancaster University.

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