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date: 30 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The nineteenth century witnessed an extraordinary engagement of Western Indologists and philosophers with ancient South and East Asian philosophical and religious thought. This engagement, however, was complicated by the motivations that many of these linguists and thinkers had with re-envisioning Western cultural identity, and what they variously perceived as its own unique problems and promise. In the nineteenth century, rigorous linguistic, historical and philosophical reflection on Asian thought was combined with self-searching, and often quite culturally self-assertive, reactions by Westerners. The chapter explores the receptions that classical Indian and Chinese thought received in early nineteenth-century German Indology as well as in the works of the philosophers Hegel, Schopenhauer, Emerson, and Nietzsche, which still carry profound intellectual resonances and difficulties today.

Keywords: German Orientalism, Romanticism, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Emerson, Nietzsche, Indian philosophy, Chinese philosophy

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