To contemplate writing a comparison of aspects of the philosophical works of Śaṅkara, a major philosophical figure in India of the eight or ninth centuries, and Jacques Derrida, a so-called postmodernist thinker, gives a writer reason to pause and to consider moving forward with caution. A writer must proceed cautiously because writing is a risky endeavor, according to Derrida, who also perceives it as a violent exercise because language is more primary than writing in the sense that it is not (...) possible to inquire about the origin of language because we already exist within it, and we cannot get outside of language to examine its origin.1 From another Derridean perspective within the context of interpreting Plato .. (shrink)
This work presents a dialogue between classical and contemporary Indian and postmodern thinkers. Juxtaposing the diverse perspectives of Indian philosophers and philosophies, including Buddhism, Sankara, and Radhakrishnan, and western postmodern thinkers such as Lacan and Derrida, Olson addresses topics such as desire, suffering, the self, and identity.
Following the lead of Nietzsche, several post-modern philosophers challenge the Western notion of rationality and its representational model of thought and embrace the Dionysian element in Nietzsche's philosophy, which can take the form of embracing madness (Foucault), desire (Deleuze and Guattari), or carnival (Kristeva). This paper will place Radhakrishnan into the context of a hermeneutical dialogue with these figures from post-modern philosophy, and it will attempt to address the issue of the post-modem attack on rationality by these post-modern philosophers by (...) comparing their concept of rationality with that espoused by Radhakrishnan. It will also be demonstrated that for Radhakrishnan reason supplies conceptual clarity, is subordinate to intuition, and justifies the validity of intuition which transcends reason. It will be argued that Radhakrishnan agrees with the post-modernist that reason is not universal, but he does not share their radical scepticism as his philosophy seeks wholeness, unity, order, and rationality in conjunction with intuition in contrast to the choice of these post-modernist for diversity, difference, and chaos, and madness. (shrink)