Study group Comparative and Global Philosophy

To register for this group, please contact the study group coordinator through the e-mail below.


Dr. Stephen Harris (
Dr. Andrea Sangiacomo (

Upcoming activities of this group

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Past activities of this group

Topic & aim

The parameters of the discipline of Philosophy have been established through its development in European (and then Western) history. And yet it is not the case that cultures outside this historical narrative lack sophisticated philosophical traditions. One of the most pressing questions for the discipline today is whether (and to what extent) it should be more inclusive of these excluded traditions? What would this mean for the enterprise and practice of Philosophy? If principles of exclusion and inclusion are to be applied to the field, on what basis should these be formulated and how can they avoid being offensive? The field engages the politics of knowledge very seriously.

One of the questions that troubles the comparative philosophy agenda is the problem of whether its subject is really philosophy at all, or is it really a branch of cultural studies? When we talk about ‘comparison’ what are our referents and to what extent do we fabricate them as we go along? To sidestep this, there is also talk of ‘global philosophy,’ which seeks synthesis and inclusion rather than differentiation and comparison. The field engages comparative and transnational methodologies.

To what extent is it helpful and progressive to view Philosophy as having a central core of European ideas that are then exported and ‘compared’ with other traditions? Is part of the power of comparative philosophy the potential for disrupting European conventions by re-reading the European canon in the light of extra-European concepts? To what extent might comparative philosophy exclude Europe altogether, focusing instead on comparisons of other regional, cultural traditions. The field engages post-colonialism.

Does the enterprise of comparative philosophy ultimately require the rebuilding of the discipline from the ground up, or can it be accommodated as a subfield?

This working group seeks to consider all of these questions through critical analyses of ‘non-European’ philosophers, texts, and traditions.

Set-up & practicalities

In the first instance, the CGP group aims to meet four times a year for research seminars and special lectures. In addition, the group will hold a reading-group that will aim to meet once per month to consider core texts in this emerging tradition as well as recent publications. We anticipate that other activities will emerge from the interaction and dialogue that should characterise a group of this kind.

OZSW members who belong to this group

Member Affiliation
Vintges, KarenUniversity of Amsterdam
McAllister, JamesLeiden University
De Haas, FransLeiden University
Leezenberg, MichielUniversity of Amsterdam
Sangiacomo, AndreaUniversity of Groningen
Van Eyghen, HansTilburg University
Jansen, YolandeUniversity of Amsterdam
Robbiano, ChiaraUtrecht University
van der Zweerde, EvertRadboud University Nijmegen
Harris, StephenLeiden University
Arora, ChiragTwente University
den Boer, LucasUniversity of Groningen
Eilenberger, Hans-GeorgTilburg University
Martin, Diana AdelaEindhoven University of Technology
Doeland, LisaRadboud University Nijmegen
Kirloskar-Steinbach, MonikaVU University Amsterdam
Richie, CristinaDelft University of Technology

Other people who belong to this group

Floris Velema, Andre van der Braak, Adam Buben, Agnieszka Rostalska, Sina Talachian, Martin Kovan, Giuseppe Menditto, Renate Schepen, Ady van den Stock, Alice Simionato, Emad Thabet, Martine Berenpas, Sanne Hupkes, Jing Yu, Shenghao Yue, Friso Timmenga, Alicia Marta Klein, Michel Dijkstra, Louise Müller, Lelia Lebon

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