This week's Africana episode

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Just a quick note that we are still working on the episode on Glissant for the Africana series, should be up in the next few days!

Andrew on 12 October 2023

Is this delay going to…

Is this delay going to affect the western philosophy upload? It seems like at this rate you will have to upload both of them right after the other!

In reply to by Andrew

Peter Adamson on 12 October 2023


No, the Reformation thread will continue unaffected; you're right they may well go up on the same day, but they are two different RSS feeds so that shouldn't cause any problems.

dukeofethereal on 14 October 2023

Africana episodes not written in advance?

Are the Africana scripts not written in advance like India/Western Philosophy (Adamson mentioned he likes to be 4-5 episodes ahead minimum regarding episode script)? 

Obviously they could be other reasons as to why there are delays. 

How many scripted episodes are left regarding Africana by the way? 

In reply to by dukeofethereal

Peter Adamson on 14 October 2023

Looking behind the curtain

Ah ha, well the idea is that the preparation all happens behind the scenes and as far as the audience can tell there is an effortless delivery of episodes every week. In fact there is more or less panicked last minute work depending on lots of factors, like what else Chike and I are dealing with or in this case, Canadian Thanksgiving (yes, it's a thing). More generally the "non-western" series are just a bit more complicated since they involve coordination between two authors. But the aim is always to deliver on schedule and hopefully we will be able to stick to that from now on with Africana. Ironically at the moment I'm pretty far ahead on the Reformation series, but at other times I have had less buffer there and more on Africana; it varies.

There are about 10 episodes of Africana to go, of which two or three will be interviews. I think the last episode will air on February 11, with China starting two weeks later...

In reply to by Peter Adamson

Silver2195 on 17 October 2023

China series length

How many episodes and how many books will the China series be? I feel like it's too big a topic for one book; of course one could make similar arguments regarding India, but I get the impression that your India series managed to cover most of the figures that there's a substantial modern secondary literature on, while I suspect that would be harder to do for China.

In reply to by Silver2195

Peter Adamson on 18 October 2023

Classical China series

It will be long enough (and short enough) to fit into a book, so about 65-70 episodes not counting interviews. This is to a large extent for the practical purpose that it can indeed appear in book form; bear in mind we are only going to go up to the end of the Han period so about 2nd c AD, which means it will not feel sketchy or rushed, I hope. Thus, as with India, we manage it only by leaving a lot of the story untold. I cherish hopes of returning to do further episodes on later Chinese and Indian philosophy.

In reply to by Peter Adamson

dukeofethereal on 19 October 2023

Has Ganeri approached you or asked to continue Later India?

Ever since you've finished Classical India 5 years ago (6 years in March 2024) , has Ganeri thought about continuing with a Later India post Dignaga series, has he approached the idea to you since then or vice versa? Reason being as Classical China might take 3 and a half years/4 years so by then we'll be looking around 2027/early 2028. 


If you were to continue with Post Dignaga India, Ganeri has experience in that field. You could focus on Tibetan Philosophy in this tradition and Buddhism migrated to these regions. 

If you were to continue from Post Han China into the Neo-Daosim/Buddhism in Classical China up to the Medieval China series (Neo-Confucianism in the Song/Ming dynasty ) until we reach Qing/Modern China then your current partner Karyn Lai does not have experience in this field, so you'll need to find another expert to partner up with. 

Also Japanese and Korean Philosophy has huge connections with Confucianism/Neo Confucianism so it's makes more sense to cover Post-Classical Han Dynasty Chinese Philosophy before tackling the two aforementioned series. 





In reply to by dukeofethereal

Peter Adamson on 19 October 2023

More India

To be honest we haven't talked about it in a while but once we get halfway through the classical China series I will have to make a decision between Philosophy in the Americas, or Later Indian, or Later Chinese (& Korean and Japanese) Philosophy. All three of these seem like important projects to me but I sort of lean towards the Americas because it would be such a novel contribution - though they all would be I guess. Anyway stay tuned, I guess I'll make an announcement in 2025 or so! 

In reply to by Peter Adamson

mehmet on 22 October 2023

Well, if the audience has a…

Well, if the audience has a vote in this, I use my vote towards later india/china..  Especially later india is very little known. 

By americas, do you mean aztec-inca-maya and other indian mythology? Or do you mean philosophy in the colonial period?

In reply to by mehmet

Peter Adamson on 22 October 2023


By that I mean pretty much everything: Mesoamerican, Native American, and colonial/post-colonial Latin American philosophy. So that would also be a very "new" contribution, even moreso than later India though you are right that it is little known. All of these seem worthwhile to me and I would like to do them all so it is perhaps more just a pragmatic question of which order would work best in terms of co-authors, my own capacities, etc. Thanks!

In reply to by Peter Adamson

Andrew on 22 October 2023

I would vote for the…

I would vote for the Americas myself, for what that is worth. 

Two things I have been wondering though.

1. How would the Philosophy in the Americas and/or Later India/China be covered? I can imagine Philosophy in the Americas being modelled similar to Africana (1. pre colonial, 2. (post)colonal, 3. 20th century), but neither Classical India nor Africana seem like a good model for the "Later" series (is it a good idea to put everything together as a "later" series for either India or China, or would it be better to split it further? It is not like you have just "antiquity" and "later western" for the western track).

2. Has anyone approached you about Philosophy in the Americas and Later China yet?

3. I am specifically curious how far you are you plan to go with later china. I can imagine things would start getting more difficult once you get to the Communist era. I can imagine it would be difficult to find people who are knowledgeable about both internal communist debates (like there was this debate about dialectics apparently about "One Divides into Two" or "Two Unites into One", as an example) and non communists debates (Sun Yat-sen and other nationalists), or the debates after Deng takes control, and I can't imagine how you would deal with Taiwan (even the choice on whether to include it or not in a series about chinese philosophy is a politically changed choice no matter which you choose).

In reply to by Andrew

Peter Adamson on 23 October 2023

Future series

Thanks for the encouragement and (difficult!) questions. I had actually been thinking I might do "Americas" without a co-author since it would involve several different sub-fields. I always reach out to experts for guidance anyway and would just do that more in this case. As for later China (and India) I think the idea would just be to pick up where we left off and keep going chronologically, but I don't know enough to say how that could be further subdivided. I think we'd definitely want to include 20th century thought to some extent but maybe somewhat sketchily, if only for space reasons - so more like I did with Islamic and less like what we've been doing with Africana.

In reply to by mehmet

Alexander Johnson on 25 October 2023


If i had a vote, it'd be for later Indian, partly just because i want to hear more about navya nyaya.  But also because I think the American philosophy section might benefit more from having some of the HOPWAG1 progressed further so it is more of a mixed bag for the topic to come up later.  (20th century Africana series often covers responses to ideas outside of the Africana sphere, and often I often find i don't really know enough about what they are responding to for me to be able to carefully reflect on those ideas).

If you do America, were you intending precolonial and then Latin American?  or were you going to cover the pragmatists, John Rawls, Quine, et cetera (seems weird to me to leave these out of HOPWAG1)

In reply to by Alexander Johnson

Peter Adamson on 26 October 2023

Philosophy in the Americas

Ok, your vote has been noted! Yes I'd definitely do Precolonian and then Latin America, I don't think this would include, like, 19th-20th century philosophy in the US, the rationale would be similar to Africana in that the texts and figures covered should be distinctively tied to the Americas as a place by being indigenous or in the context of the colonial and post-colonial experience. I was actually reflecting earlier today that research on this may advance quite a lot even in the next ten years, which could be an argument for waiting to tackle it; on the other hand assuming it is feasible at all, I'm attracted by the thought of doing the series ASAP in order to raise the issue more widely and perhaps help encourage other people to explore it. Of course that applies to later India and China too, though.

In reply to by Peter Adamson

dukeofethereal on 27 October 2023

Later India once you finished Classical China

I would recommend highly that you move on to Later India once you've completed Classical China in order to complete that mini series on India like you have done with Africana (you are only a couple of chapters away).  Also Post Dignaga India is unchartered territories, you won't find much focus on it, especially Mughal period. So you and Ganeri tackling that period when Buddhism leaves Indian Subcontinent is very important when you cover Post-Classical China as Buddhism as you know migrates to those territories and flourishes over there. 


I collect the books and the Indian series is at the moment incomplete so do think about your audience who collects the books. 


So, my vote is Classical China --> Later India  --> Later China/Tibetan --> Americas (Pre-Colonial/Colonial ) ---> Japanese/Korean philosophy. 

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