https://doi.org/10.31979/2151-6014(2015).060206">
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Abstract

In this paper I propose a future direction for comparative philosophy on which it enters the space of public philosophy by capitalizing on the fact that it is already cross-cultural, and adding multi-disciplinary research to its proper foundation. This is not a new thesis. Rather, it is an ideological articulation of thought that is already underway in what is sometimes called fusion philosophy, as found in the work of Evan Thompson, Jay Garfield, or Christian Coseru. My articulation begins with a non-exhaustive delineation of distinct types of public-philosophy that are already well known in the public space. One core distinction I draw concerns how the very notion of ‘public philosophy’ can be understood. I distinguish between the philosophy-to-public direction of fit, on which philosophers enter the public space for some public benefit, and the public-to-philosophy direction of fit, on which the public plays a constructive role in guiding philosophers in some important epistemic manner. Because my position engages the issue of whether “philosophy” can truly be found outside of the west, I offer an account of the relation between science, religion, and philosophy with respect to inquiry into the human condition. In doing so I offer an argument against the view that philosophy can only be found in the west based on the difference between a term in a language and what the term picks out. I close with a discussion of how analytic philosophy, comparative philosophy, and experimental philosophy can come together to form one kind of bidirectional public philosophy.

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