A Study of Copleston's Approach to Comparative Philosophy

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Theology, University of Tehran college of Farabi, Qom, Iran


Copleston's approach to the East has evolved over time, leading to distinct earlier and later phases. He developed a deeper understanding of Eastern and Russian thought, distancing himself from his previous approach. Among his many works, "Philosophers and Culture" and "Religion and the One: Philosophies East and West" stand out as two significant books that employ a comparative approach. Rather than emphasizing the contrast between Eastern and Western philosophies, Copleston highlights their interaction and synergy, which broaden perspectives and enrich thinking. While Copleston's approach to comparative studies is historical, it differs from Mason-Ursel's historical approach. He views the expansion of vision and the enrichment of thought as the most significant achievements resulting from the interaction between Eastern and Western thought. Key considerations for comparative scholars include gaining familiarity with the outlines of philosophies from other cultures and their respective languages, avoiding hasty dichotomies and inaccurate generalizations, and emphasizing the importance of presuppositions.


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