Hegel's Projected Nihilism: A Study of Orientalized Buddhism

Stance 14:90-102 (2021)
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Abstract
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s historical analysis of Buddhist philosophy not only fails as a sound interpretation of that tradition, it also well-exemplifies the Western practice of Orientalism as elucidated by Edward Said. I attempt to demonstrate this in three major parts: the nature of Orientalism as a concept and practice, the Orientalist analytical process that Hegel employs in judging Buddhism as well as religions in general, and how Hegel’s understanding does not work against a more charitably interpreted Buddhist defense. Moreover, I argue that the Orientalist erroneousness of Hegel’s reading deeply complicates his hierarchical philosophy of world history.
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Archival date: 2021-08-31
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