Owen Flanagan

 

On his book The Bodhisattva’s Brain: Buddhism Naturalized

Cover Interview of December 05, 2011

A close-up

The “Introduction” is a paean, a song in praise of comparative philosophy.

Some think that studying ancient wisdom traditions involves anachronism and ethnocentrism. One talks across too much time and one talks and thinks in a biased way from one’s own perspective for the inquiry, for the reflection to be profitable.  Plus these are old dead people.

I say, accept that such inquiry is anachronistic and ethnocentric, and get over it.  We live in the most exciting multicultural and cosmopolitan times, where people come from numerous different traditions.  It is by paying respectful attention to where others are coming from that we can see more clearly how others see and do things, as well as the multifarious ways we might see and do things differently, possibly better.