Why were Chinese and Indian ways of thinking excluded from European philosophy in early modern times? This is a study of what happened to the European understanding of China and India between the late 16th century and the first half of the 18th century. Investigating the description of these two Asian civilizations during a century and a half of histories of philosophy, this book accounts for the change of historiographical paradigms, from Neoplatonic philosophia perennis and Spinozistic atheism to German Eclecticism. Uncovering the reasons for inserting or excluding Chinese and Indian ways of thinking within the field of Philosophy in early modern times, it reveals the origin of the Eurocentric understanding of Philosophy as a Greek-European prerogative. By highlighting how this narrowing and exclusion of non-Western ways of thought was a result of conviction of superiority and religious prejudice, this book provides a new way of thinking about the place of Asian traditions among World philosophies.
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