HomeΦιλοσοφια: International Journal of Philosophyvol. 18 no. 2 (2017)

Alfredo P. Co. Across the ancient philosophical world: Essays in comparative philosophy

Joseph Martin M. Jose



Comparative philosophy as a method of philosophizing still remains controversial and debated in contemporary philosophy. On the one hand, there are those who claim that comparative philosophy yields little or no insights at all in comparing and contrasting ideas of two or more philosophers. Critics would always ask the scholar, who compares, for the very purpose and sense of comparison. What is the point of comparing two ideas that may have different motivations and contexts? Are we not judging a particular idea using the standards of another idea which, in the first place, might not capture the full essence and totality of the other idea being scrutinized? On the other hand, advocates argue that the merit of the claim of anticomparative philosophers seems to apply only on the assumption that comparative philosophy seems to be always the last resort of both students and professional philosophers when no other method appears viable for their interest or whose knowledge in research itself is still raw. However, that is not always the case. Contrary to the pessimism of yielding little or
no insights from the said method, comparative philosophy, in fact, expands the terrain or landscape of philosophy. It is a dialogue and conversation between two or more ideas. It bridges certain gaps and limitations brought about by a compartmentalized way of historicizing and theorizing philosophical ideas. In fact, new and fresh insights are always waiting to be unraveled between ideas that may seem irreconcilable and totally separate, even contradictory.