Culture and Self: Philosophical and Religious Perspectives, East and West

Westview Press (1997)
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Abstract

Traditional scholars of philosophy and religion, both East and West, often place a major emphasis on analyzing the nature of “the self.” In recent decades, there has been a renewed interest in analyzing self, but most scholars have not claimed knowledge of an ahistorical, objective, essential self free from all cultural determinants. The contributors to this volume recognize the need to contextualize specific views of self and to analyze such views in terms of the dynamic, dialectical relations between self and culture.An unusual feature of this book is that all of the chapters not only focus on traditions and individuals, East and West, but include as primary emphases comparative philosophy, religion, and culture, reinforcing individual and cultural creativity. Each chapter brings specific Eastern and Western perspectives into a dynamic, comparative relation. This comparative orientation emphasizes our growing sense of interrelatedness and interdependency. Culture and Self includes many Asian and Western philosophical, religious, and cultural perspectives. Chapters focus on Vedanta, Samkhya-Yoga, and other Hindu approaches, as well as Buddhist, Confucian, Taoist and other Indian, Chinese, and Japanese perspectives. Studies present Cartesian and other dominant Western perspectives, as well as Marx, Nietzsche, Sartre, feminism, and other Western challenges to the dominant Western interpretations of culture and self.This volume will appeal to students and readers of philosophy, religious studies, Asian studies, and cultural studies.

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