Derrida and Indian Philosophy

SUNY Press
1
Free sample

This book establishes a constructive and mutually stimulating dialogue between Jacques Derrida and Eastern thought. Surprising parallels are found with some traditional Indian philosophies of language, especially with the Hindu philosopher Bhartrhari, and with the Chinese Taoists. Conversely, the views of SAankara and Nagarjuna on language definitely differ from those of Derrida.

Derrida and Indian Philosophy builds a bridge by which traditional Eastern views on language can engage the latest in modern Western thought. It also shows that our understanding of Derrida can be enhanced when his thought is approached from an Eastern perspective on language.
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About the author

Harold Coward is Director of the Calgary Institute for the Humanities and Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Calgary. He is the author of Jung and Eastern Thought and Modern Indian Responses to Religious Pluralism, both published by SUNY Press.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Jan 1, 1990
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Pages
200
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ISBN
9780791499900
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The pun built into its title, Derrida on the Mend, suggests the thesis of this book. Derrida is indeed astride the "mend" whereby logocentrists (theorists who believe in "organic unity") think to repair the "rents" in organicism. Derrida is indeed devouring the mend, but his quandary is that he must use logic (a logocentric operation) to do so. For Derrida to be "on the mend" in the other sense activating the pun, a means must be found to heal the quandary while preserving deconstruction. This book argues for such a means: the author finds in Nagarjuna, a Buddhist rationalist of the first century A.D, the same three deconstructive techniques used by Derrida. Nagarjuna, however, is able to reinstate logic and organicism while continuing the deconstructive process. He does so through his specialized versions of the Buddhist "two truths," a solution which our author adopts, adapts, and universalizes.

The book has four parts. The first provides a lengthy explication and critique of Derrida, a service still much needed by today's philosophers and literary theorists. The second part locates a recension of Heideggerian thought at a site the author calls centric mysticism. Throughout this section, there are original applications to literature. The third part presents the full-scale analysis of Nagarjunist technique, and then goes on to develop a differential Zen contrasting very much with the centric Zen of Suzuki. Replete with treatments of Buddhist poetry, it is bound to be of great interest to Buddhologists. The fourth part applies differentialism to monotheism and Christian theology and develops a nonentitative trinitarianism, which will revise, it is hoped, contemporary theology significantly. Two appendices, in a concrete way, apply to literary theory and criticism what the author has worked out in the body of the book.

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