The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 7, 2007

Philosophy of Culture(s)

Scott Morrison
Pages 131-135

Comparative Political Philosophy
The Problems of Translation and Power

Has comparative political philosophy progressed beyond crude generalizations and scattershot explorations of traditions perceived as exotic and other? In commenting on the current condition of comparative political philosophy, I will treat two of the main methodological questions which arise in the encounter with texts from traditions unfamiliar to philosophers in the West. First, I survey the difficulties of translation, between both languages and cultures. Second, I examine the problem of comparison, the associated dangers of distortion and the effects of power asymmetries.