(Philosophical) Pilgrimage to the East with a Visit to the West. Evgeniy A. Torchinov

Introduction. The article is devoted to the consideration of the conditions and possibilities of a positive study of the philosophy of the East. The world and domestic experience in interpreting the texts of Eastern thinkers was based on those cognitive methodological strategies that were formed in the mainstream of classical Oriental studies and have a pronounced philological, historical or regional character. This formed only a distorted view of the philosophical heritage of the peoples of the East. Such an approach gave grounds to classify the analyzed texts either as philosophical prehistory, or as non–philosophy in general. Therefore, the objectives of the article are, firstly, to clarify the reasons why an adequate perception of the essential and constitutive parameters of the philosophy of the East is difficult. Secondly, the clarification of those epistemological a priori, within which the philosophical East will manifest itself in the fullness of its revelations. Methodology and sources. The obtained research results were based on 1) works on the history of Russian Oriental studies; 2) classical Chinese (Taoist and Buddhist) texts; 3) the works of E.A. Torchinov, which served as a methodological guide for the article. The author also paid attention to clarifying those necessary "conditions of possibility" that can serve as a kind of methodological basic preset. Based on it, a specific toolset would be formed, used in the philosophical analysis of specific texts or text arrays. Results and discussion. E.A. Torchinov's legacy is taken as an example of the successful experience of philosophical interpretation of the texts of Eastern (in particular Chinese) thinkers. The works of the St. Petersburg researcher can be divided into several groups, the unification of which made it possible to create a conditional “layout” of system integralities. These are analysts: 1) text; 2) theory and practice; 3) integral constructions; 4) doctrine, historically manifested in a variety of forms; and 5) results, i.e. the presentation of their own texts, “stylistically” authentic autochthonous material. Conclusion. Today, for us, the philosophy of the East is an almost completely closed "continent". The disregard for the study of the East, characteristic of Russian science, largely reproduces the situation that has developed in humanitarian knowledge as such. One of the reasons is an epistemological preset, a certain mood of our cognitive apparatus. The works of E.A. Torchinov can serve as a successful example of a study adequate to the object of Eastern philosophy.

Authors: Evgeniy G. Sokolov

Direction: Philosophy

Keywords: oriental studies, religious studies, oriental philosophy, E.A. Torchinov, experiences of cognition and interpretation

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