"Top Five" Philosophy Works

Burt Thorp bthorp at PLAINS.NODAK.EDU
Mon Nov 22 08:13:56 UTC 1999

Yeah, obviously I missed that somehow.  But I guess I was thinking that it
makes no sense to try to compare Indian philosophy in the 20th century with
western philosophy.  One should instead compare the most creative periods
of Indian philosophy with the creative periods in the west.  For the west,
those periods would be the Greeks, then a long gap until Descartes and up
to the early 20th century (the books on the list).  The second half of the
present century has been mostly dead and derivitive as far as philosophy
goes.  But for India, the creative period would be in the past, Nagarjuna
and others.  Or, who?

Aurobindo, though certainly worth reading, never struck me as a philosopher
at all.  Rather, he is a tantric mystic, who, because of his western
education, was able to create a veneer of western rationality in his books.
 Radhakrishnan was a good writer, but I never could tell what advances he
made on traditional Vedanta.  I do enjoy his Upanishad volume.

Lists of the best whatevers in the 20th century have proliferated--they're
fun but silly.

At 03:14 AM 11/20/1999 +0100, you wrote:
>Burt Thorp wrote:
>> Implicit in Panini (and sometimes explicit in his school) is a philosophy
>> and a logic that predates Wittgenstein and modern linguistic philosophy, or
>> so one could argue.  My former teacher, Hartmut Scharfe, used to teach
>> Panini as part of his undergraduate course on Indian Philosophy at UCLA.
>> At 07:47 PM 11/19/1999 -0000, you wrote:
>> >> Panini's Grammar.
>> >
>> >You mean the twentieth century reincarnation ?
>> >
>> >Best wishes,
>> >Stephen Hodge
>I believe Stephen Hodge's question targeted Panini's date, and not the
value of
>his contribution to philosophy - Panini is not a 20th century philosopher,
>the list that prompted this exchange referred specifically to philosophical
>works of the 20th century.
>Birgit Kellner
>Institut fuer Tibetologie und Buddhismuskunde / Universitaet Wien
>Institute for Tibetan and Buddhist Studies / Vienna University

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