An event in the Asian Cosmopolitanisms Lecture Series
A.K. Ramanujan’s classic essay, “Is there an Indian way of thinking?” contrasts what he says are the West’s universalist and classical India’s contextualist/particularist ways of thinking. Using this as a point of departure, I query the assumptions that inform this contrast: the universal and the particular can be read in alternative and dialectical ways such as in Pali Buddhist practices of treating textual contextualization as itself an expression of universalism. I do this by looking at the relationship between two conceptions, the Buddha’s omniscience and textual infinity.