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Lecture Series on Global Philosophies: Talk by John Taber

Dec 02, 2011

“How Should We Read Indian Philosophical Texts?” was the central question of a lecture by Prof. John Taber (University of New Mexico) on December 1st. The talk is part of the series “Global Philosophies? Reflections and Challenges between Asia and Europe” organised by Prof. Birgit Kellner (Chair of Buddhist Studies). 

In his lecture, Prof. Taber discussed why scholars of Indian philosophy in English-speaking countries tend to be more open to engaging philosophically with Indian philosophical texts, while (continental) European scholars remain committed to a historical-philological approach. He provided an answer to this question, while at the same time he considered some of the advantages of adopting a philosophical approach. Among others, he argued that a philosophical approach may not only assist the historical-philological method in certain ways; it may also reveal aspects of the texts that are not accessible by the latter method at all. (CV, Abstract)

John Taber is Professor of Philosophy at the University of New Mexico, USA. He received his PhD from Hamburg University and held teaching positions at the Department of Religion of Case Western Reserve University, USA, as well as at other institutions. In 1987, he joined the University of New Mexico. From 2005 to 2009, he was Chair of the Department of Philosophy. His research interests include the history of Indian philosophy, especially the Brahmanical and Buddhist traditions, and the history of Indian logic more generally. He works chiefly with Sanskrit sources.

The lecture is part of the Cluster’s lecture series "Global Philosophies? Reflections and Challenges between Asia and Europe" organised by Prof. Birgit Kellner, Chair of Buddhist Studies. The list of speakers includes Dr. Ori Sela (Tel Aviv University), Prof. Jens Halfwassen (Heidelberg University), Prof. John Taber (University of New Mexico), Prof. Akeel Bilgrami (Columbia University), Prof. Parul Dave Mukherji (Jawaharlal Nehru University) and Prof. Edward Slingerland (University of British Columbia). All lectures take place from 6 to 8 pm in room 212 of the Karl Jaspers Centre for Advanced Transcultural Studies, Voßstraße 2, Building 4400, Heidelberg.

Visit the lecture series’ website for further information  


  • Prof. John Taber

  • Key visual created by Franziska Koch