In this book, Shlomo Biderman examines the views, outlooks, and
attitudes of two distinct cultures: the West and classical India.
He turns to a rich and varied collection of primary sources: the
Rg Veda, the Upanishads, and texts by the Buddhist
philosophers Någårjuna and Vasubandhu, among others. In studying
the West, Biderman considers the Bible and its commentaries, the
writings of such philosophers as Plato, Descartes, Berkeley, Kant,
and Derrida, and the literature of Kafka, Melville, and Orwell.
Additional sources are Mozart's Don Giovanni and seminal
films like Ingmar Bergman's Persona.
Biderman uses concrete examples from religion and literature to
illustrate the formal aspects of the philosophical problems of
transcendence, language, selfhood, and the external world and then
demonstrates their plausibility in actual situations. Though his
method of analysis is comparative, Biderman does not adopt the
disinterested stance of an "ideal" spectator. Rather, Biderman
approaches ancient Indian thought and culture from a Western
philosophical standpoint to uncover cultural presuppositions that
can be difficult to expose from within the culture in question.
The result is a fascinating landmark in the study of Indian and
Western thought. Through his comparative prism, Biderman explores
the most basic ideas underlying human culture, and his
investigation not only sheds light on India's philosophical
traditions but also facilitates a deeper understanding of our
Table of Contents
You are viewing the table of contents
You do not have access to this
on JSTOR. Try logging in through your institution for access.