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Global Philosophy Group Talk (Sonam Kachru, Virginia)
Friday March 26, 2021, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
The Global Philosophy Research Interest Group is delighted to welcome Sonam Kachru as a guest speaker. Dr. Kachru is an assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia.He is especially drawn to the philosophy of mind (consciousness, attention, imagination), metaphysics, and philosophical anthropology. Professor Kachru’s first monograph (forthcoming with Columbia University Press) is titled Other Lives: Mind, and World in Indian Buddhism. It offers a new interpretation of the Buddhist philosopher Vasubandhu and the role of Buddhist cosmology in the Buddhist philosophy of mind.
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Engaging Meta-cognitive Practices: On the Uses (and Possible Abuse) of Meditation in Philosophy
It is sometimes suggested that meditation must either provide epistemic access to deeper levels of reality (pertaining either to oneself or other parts of the world) or risk not having any direct relevance to philosophy. In the absence of any such epistemic payoff, meditation might even be antithetical to philosophy. Here’s an argument: Philosophy is in the business of using thought to get at truth; meditation, absent some unique epistemic payoff, involves, at best, the mere manipulation of thought with alethically idle mechanisms aimed at non-philosophical ends. Call that the problem of irrelevance. At worst, it may even be thought to involve the generation of carefully contrived illusions for therapeutic ends. Call that the problem of the epistemic costliness of meditation. But are there deeper or unique realities to be discovered by meditative experience? If not, the problems of irrelevance or costliness might suggest that meditation does or not or even should not hold any relevance to philosophy, except perhaps as a case study of possible and possibly misleading experiences.
About the Global Philosophy Group
The Global Philosophy Research Interest Group explores the benefits of drawing on diverse traditions of thought in approaching philosophical questions. These include novel insights into familiar problems, new questions and research directions, and fresh methodologies. We work to deprovincialize and decolonize all aspects of philosophy in the academy. The group currently has strengths in Sanskrit philosophy, and Chinese philosophy, Indian philosophy in English, and classical Islamic philosophy.SHARE