Raining Trees, Faraway Isles

I don’t know quite how long ago it was that I ran into the writer and journalist Grace Tan-Johannes (Grace Susetyo) online. I think it was around seven years, although I can’t be sure. Grace got in touch with me as she had read my first novel Cargo Fever (perhaps the only person in Indonesia who has ever done so), and we shared an interest in the Eastern part of the archipelago. We’ve been sporadically in touch ever since – Grace sent …

The Hard Cross-Cultural Problem

Recently I’ve been thinking about the notion of cross-cultural philosophy. Despite Leibniz’s best efforts, philosophy as an academic discipline in Europe and America has only recently started to get to grips with non-Western traditions of thought. And whilst philosophers in the West are beginning to wake up to the existence of philosophical traditions from elsewhere, meanwhile—for the last century and a bit—East Asian scholars have been attempting to articulate the unique contributions of Chinese and Japanese traditions of thought to …