• Jay
    4
    European and American analytic philosophers argue that the values and aspirations of the analytic tradition, such as clarity and rigor, are meant to be universal. Some writers even say that analytic philosophy has already taken roots in Asian and African academic societies. But when we study analytic philosophy, we almost never hear about the involvement of any non-western thinker in the development of the tradition. In fact, in most philosophy books or online sources, the term "analytic philosopher" refers almost exclusively to British, American, and other European thinkers.

    There is no doubt that analytic philosophy is a western invention. But I find it hard to sustain that up until now, not a single Asian thinker has produced any serious work enough to qualify him or her as an analytic philosopher. The under-representation, or probably non-inclusion, of Asian thinkers in the 21st century analytic philosophy is a direct blow against the aspiration to make this tradition truly universal.

    This brings me to my two questions -
    (1) Who are the contemporary Asian thinkers regarded as analytic philosophers? And
    (2) Is there any movement in contemporary philosophy aimed at making analytic philosophy, or any other western philosophical tradition, truly inclusive and universal?


    (Just to make things clear, by "Asian thinker", I refer to those who grew up and has spent most of their lives in Asia. I hope you could also provide some relevant readings. Thank you!)
  • StreetlightX
    3.2k
    Jaegwon Kim is an analytic philosopher of Korean decent and who is something of a giant among analytic philosophy, having written some field defining work on supervenience and philosophy of mind. That said, I am neither very familiar with the state of contemporary analytic philosophy nor can I really name anyone else. But there you go.

    One thing to note is that in Asia, there's not exactly a premium placed on philosophical education, which is pretty low down on the list of aspirations. Speaking purely anecdotally - as a 'halfie' who has lived in South East Asia most of my life - most families would most likely seriously disprove of their kid becoming a professional philosopher. But that's just a bit of doxa for you.
  • Terrapin Station
    5.4k
    There's a ton of them. Universities around the world focus on a combo of analytic and contintental philosophy.

    Some Asian analytic philosophers:

    Byung Seok Son
    Genki Uemura
    Jinfen Yan
    Kang Ouyang
    Li Li
    Luong Dinh Hai
    Tran Van Doan
    Xia Chen
    Yaegashi Toru
    Yang Guorong
    Young Bae-Song

    . . . I'm just giving you an arbitrary sampling. You could have a list of hundreds of names, and these are just philosophers who are currently active.
  • Jay
    4
    Thanks for the reply! Just one more question, are these Asian analytic thinkers well recognized in western academic circles?
  • Terrapin Station
    5.4k
    Well-recognized, I don't know. I don't know what exactly would be the criteria for that. They're contemporary philosophers who teach and regularly publish in peer-reviewed journals and present papers and conferences and so on.

    There are really only a couple handfuls of contemporary philosophers where most folks who regularly read philosophy are going to know them well enough to tell you something about their views from memory, and at least half of those folks are going to be well-known to people who read any sort of academic stuff in general, even if those readers aren't concentrating on philosophy. Those personalities are people like Dennett and Chalmers.

    Aside from that, most people only know well the folks who are working in the same areas that they are, and who are in the same social circles, especially with some geographical proximity.
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