published on June 17, 2017
What Is Philosophy?
A Cross-cultural Conversation in the Crossroads Court of Chosroes
Three rival conceptions of philosophy overlap, we may imagine, in the Sassinid court of Chosroes (r. 531–579). One is due to Priscian, a refugee from Athens after Justinian’s closing of the philosophical schools. A second and third are from India: the Buddhist conception of Vasubandhu and the Nyāya view of Vātsyāyana. I will argue that the rivalry between these three understandings of philosophy ultimately rests in three different conceptions of what makes an inner life one’s own.