A new, to me quite interesting journal recently appeared: the Journal of Comparative and Continental Philosophy published under the sponsorship of the Comparative and Continental Philosophy Circle. I don’t know much about these people, so I cannot yet give any judgment on the quality and editorial spirit of the journal, but I do like the final bit from the description:
In general, the editorial board of Comparative and Continental Philosophy takes seriously a broad array of contemporary engagements with texts that open discussions and welcomes innovative submissions from authors.
Of course, my interest in comparative projects is always accompanied by a certain skepticism towards the reasons behind any such project. ‘Innovative’ can stand for ‘that gives a genuinely new outlook on the issue of comparing the western philosophical tradition with non-western ones’ (which would be great) but also for ‘we accept far-fetched, new-agey ramblings on the necessity of a fusion of spiritualities’. To be fair, judging by the titles of the papers in the first issue, I think this second option has been avoided.
In fact, this is quite timely for me, because a few days ago I had an idea for a paper regarding comparative philosophy: employing Latour’s arguments in We Have Never Been Modern–specifically regarding how the Great Divide between West and non-West is but a product of the Divide between humans and nonhumans that characterizes the modern Constitution–to propose an explanation for the historical lack of engagement of western thinkers with non-western philosophy. Such a lack would be explainable by the perceived ‘premodern’ nature of these systems, all too often seen as excessively ‘religious’ to be philosophy at all. If the nonmodern constitution must allow for the free and in-the-open proliferation of hybrids, should it also not produce a new proliferation of hybrid philosophies? (It is also evident that this use of Latour would actually fit quite well in my larger interest in ‘science and religion’…).
For the time being, I have only some sketchy notes, but I like the idea, and I’ll develop it as soon as I got time.