LCN wrote:Finally regarding your comments on Buddhism, it seems to me that you are the Eurocentric one here in that you project a Greek conflation of wisdom with reason onto a way of life that does not seek wisdom through reason.
To shoehorn Buddhism into "world philosophy" is, to use the old saw, a Procrustean effort. Whatever Buddhism may be (revelation perhaps?) and whatever truth it may hold, it's not philosophy. To read that as an insult to Buddhism is to display a deeply-rooted Western prejudice in favor of philosophy.*
And anyway there's nothing European about ancient Greece, which makes the charge even more ill-fitting.
*In fairness I'm winging it a bit here with regard to Buddhism but I believe I am correct.
There is something what is called Buddhist philosophy, a lot of it actually developed as a defence against other doctrines and not necessarily as a search for the truth. Nonetheless, the Indians developed elaborate theories of logic and epistemology, so there was definitely a philosophical tradition. Even as early as in the Mahabharata different debates between scholars were said to have occured. In Hinduism, the word jijnasa is used which means a "thirst for knowledge" and mumuksatva "a desire for liberation" and the Buddhist also put emphasis on the "right view."
But you are right to say that Buddhism (and other Indian traditions) go beyond the scope of philosophy, concepts like karma and reincarnation are defintely religious doctrines. Some people do look at the eastern traditions with western glasses and reduce the Indian traditions to mere philosophy and psychology, while the religious apects of the Indian traditions get sanitized to make them more palatable for the modern man. I think this somewhat true for the Greek tradition too, from all that we know about Greek culture, religion and thought, philosophy does get romanticized.
I agree with Heidegger that the value of the Indian traditions, which for him was Buddhism, lies in the fact that they are not merely philosophical. But this shouldn't take away the fact that India also has a very long and interesting history of philosophy and debate culture which developed within the religious traditions of the country.