Covers of books about non-western philosophy

Non-Western Philosophy of Mind

I have been considering changes to my Philosophy of Mind syllabus. One kind of change would be to include non-Western philosophies and philosophers. So I did what every scholar of our era does when it’s time to venture in to new territory: I asked #PhilosophyTwitter. In this post, I’ll share the results.

1. The Twitter Thread

Just in case people add to the thread after I post this, you can find the latest by clicking on the original Tweet below. And you’re welcome to add to it, obviously.

2. Non-Western Philosophers of Mind and/or Philosophers of Non-Western Philosophy of Mind

Monima Chadha has been prolifically publishing on Buddhist and Classic Indian philosophy of mind (and other areas of philosophy) for years. They are also the author of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry entitled, “Perceptual Experience and Concepts in Classical Indian Philosophy“. @SomeStingray more or less recommended their entire corpus!

Kisor Kumar Chakrabarti has been the President of the Society for Indian Philosophy & Religion, translated various texts, and published in multiple philosophy journals. @SomeStingray recommended their book Classical Indian Philosophy of Mind.

Helen De Cruz. Helen has put together a Biology and Mind syllabus—thanks to David Colaço (@Sadness_Party) for the pointer—that includes various non-Western sources, both historical and contemporary. You will see that I have included philosophers and texts from the syllabus in this post.

George Dreyfus. Their faculty webpage lists “Indian Buddhist philosophy (philosophy of mind, epistemology, metaphysics)”, “[t]he role of religion in the rise of contemporary forms of nationalism, particularly in Buddhist countries”, and “Asian Studies”.

Bronwyn Finnigan. Bronwyn works on ethics, moral psychology and philosophy of mind in Western and Asian philosophical traditions with additional research interests in epistemology, philosophy of action and ancient Greek philosophy.

Jonardon Ganeri. Their PhilPeople profile mentions “the history of ideas in early modern South Asia”, “intellectual affinities between India, Greece and China, and early Buddhist philosophy of mind”, and other signs of relevant specialization. @SomeStingray recommended Ganeri’s The Self: Naturalism, Consciousness, and the First-Person Stance and Cory Travers Lewis (@corytlewis) recommended his “Emergentisms, Ancient and Modern“.

Kwame Gyekye (1939-2019). Gyekye is the author of the “African Ethics” entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and African political philosophy. “He was the author of Tradition and Modernity: Philosophical Reflections on the African Experience and An Essay on African Philosophical Thought: The Akan Conceptual Scheme, among many other works” (DailyNous).

Bryce Huebner (@NeuroYogacara). I’ve long benefitted from reading and discussing cognitive science and philosophy of mind with Bryce—even though I don’t think that we’ve met in person yet. In addition to their work on implicit bias and dual process theories, Bryce has also “explor[ed] ways to integrate insights from Yogācāra Buddhism with models from computational and cognitive neuroscience.”

Yohan John (@DrYohanJohn), featuring a Ph.D. in Cognitive & Neural Systems from Boston University, various academic publications on Google Scholar and multiple contributions to 3QuarksDaily.

Songyoa Ren. Sonya has published about Zhuangist notions of flow, wonder, and emotion.

Mog Stapleton. Recommended by Jonathan McKinney (@mc_kupo).

Evan Thompson. Multiple colleagues recommended Thompson. They specialize in “cognitive science, philosophy of mind, phenomenology, and cross-cultural philosophy, especially Asian philosophical traditions” according to his website.

Ajume Wingo. Among many publications, Ajume is—among other things—the author of “Akan Philosophy of the Person” entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy—also featured in Helen de Cruz’s aforementioned syllabus.

Wenqing Zhoa. Wenqing has publications and specializations in Chinese Philosophy, Bioethics, Moral Psychology, and Political Philosophy.

3. Non-Western Philosophy of Mind

Al-Ghazali, A., & Yusuf, H. (2010). The Marvels of the Heart: Science of the Spirit. Ihya Ulum Al-Din—The Revival of the Religious Sciences (T. J. Winter, Ed.; W. J. Skellie, Trans.). Fons Vitae.

Asanga. (2019). A Compendium of the Mahayana: Asanga’s Mahayanasamgraha and Its Indian and Tibetan Commentaries (K. Brunnholzl, Trans.). Snow Lion.

The Cowherds. (2010). Moonshadows: Conventional Truth in Buddhist Philosophy. Oxford University Press.

Ganeri, J. (2017). Attention, Not Self. Oxford University Press.

Ganeri, J. (Ed.). (2020). The Oxford Handbook of Indian Philosophy. Oxford University Press.

Ganeri, J. (2011). The Lost Age of Reason: Philosophy in Early Modern India 1450-1700. Oxford University Press.

McGinnis, J., & Reisman, D. C. (Eds.). (2007). Classical Arabic Philosophy: An Anthology of Sources. Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.

Mengzi. (2008). Mengzi: With Selections from Traditional Commentaries (B. W. V. Norden, Trans.; UK ed. edition). Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.

Nickels, S., Kelley, K., Grable, C., Lougheed, M., & Kuptana, J. (Eds.). (n.d.). Nilliajut: Inuit perspectives on security, patriotism and sovereignty (K. Kablutsiak, S. Hill, R. A. Qitsualik, & Z. Nungak, Trans.). Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.

Pesala, B. (2000). The Debate of King Milinda. Penang: Inner Path.

Tiwald, J., & Norden, B. W. V. (Eds.). (2014). Readings in Later Chinese Philosophy: Han to the 20th Century. Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.

Xunzi. (2014). Xunzi: The Complete Text. Princeton University Press.

Zhuangzi. (2013). The Complete Works of Zhuangzi (B. Watson, Trans.; Illustrated edition). Columbia University Press.

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Nick Byrd

Nick is a cognitive scientist at Florida State University studying reasoning, wellbeing, and willpower. Check out his blog at