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May 1, 2017 | by  | in Books | [ssba]

The Collected Writings of Jaysankar Lal Shaw: Indian Analytic and Anglophone Philosophy — Dr Jaysankar Lal Shaw

I am unqualified to take on a formal review of this book. Three years of philosophy papers, three years ago, is the sharpest tool I have on me as I approach this work. My memory has grown dim through the years. I no longer see as clearly as I once did the intricately woven cords of logic and language played with sweet tenderness by those who chose this as their life, their livelihood, and their greatest pursuit.

And as I continue to stall, because in all honesty I haven’t read the thing personally, take it upon yourself, perhaps, to consider picking up a copy of something that might provoke you to think, despite its painful resemblance to those textbooks sitting there in a pile on your floor, uncracked and buried in dust.

The Collected Writings of Jaysankar Lal Shaw is a study of Indian classical thought as it can be used to approach Western philosophy. It is a work of analytical philosophy focusing in particular on philosophical logic and the philosophy of language. In English, this means that it talks about how Indian traditions of thinking can throw light on Western traditions of thinking. It actually sounds pretty fascinating to me. I’ve always had the suspicion that the divide between East and West is not as easily drawn as it is sometimes made out to be.

Shaw’s book launched in late March of this year, at a prestigious event held by VUW and sponsored in part by the Society for Philosophy and Culture. Shaw is widely respected and was dutifully honoured by those in attendance. It is an exciting thing to see complex philosophical scholarship be so well-received in this day and age of populist thought.

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