Eastern philosophy for a Western audience



I have been listening to and reading a lot of Alan Watts material on Eastern philosophy which I find to be greatly edifying literature. I am having difficulty finding information on who is currently philosophising these ideas today.

My Question: Who are the prominent individuals engaged in this type of work today?


Posted 2014-01-07T16:30:04.833

Reputation: 153

The internet has changed a lot about the way people communicate these days. People don't need to write books to get their ideas out there now. I'm sure Alan Watts would have a blog now, or participate on newsgroups. – Chris Degnen – 2014-01-19T00:54:00.727

@ChrisDegnen Could you please point me to these blogs and/or news groups as I have scoured the internet and have not found any satisfactory content. – AM_Hawk – 2014-01-19T01:02:05.503


You will probably get good answers to your questions around here or here. You can get a good lesson there too.

– Chris Degnen – 2014-01-19T01:26:05.543

A lot will depend on what you mean by the construction "Eastern Philosophy". All the answers seem to be referencing Buddhism, but that most definitely does not encompass all of eastern philosophy -- nor even all of what one can find popularizers of in the west. – virmaior – 2014-04-15T09:22:17.713



The beauty of someone like Alan Watts (and anyone else who I will mention here) is that they bring an original and creative voice to something known. I will mention a few people here who bring Eastern Philosophy to a western audience, but they each speak about it in very different ways, and their 'thesis' (for lack of a better word) will differ from Alan Watts. The criteria for someone being included in this list is that they are above a certain level of intellectual stature (not just some garbage 'new age' teacher); they draw from Eastern ideas, and deliver them to a Western audience; they don't suck.

  • James Carse
  • Anthony D'Mello
  • J. Krishnamurti
  • Chögyam Trungpa
  • Karlfried Graf Dürckheim (can be a bit heavy)

    Also, if you enjoy stretching the fabric of your comprehension skills, Martin Heidegger has some extraordinary works that are almost impossible to comprehend, and yet - quite satisfying when you are able to extract the insight from what he is saying. Another author worth checking out - although only similar to Watts in that he teases the intellect with paradox and unpredictable inquiry - is Milan Kundera. He's definitely not for everyone, but I always find my view of the universe has been altered after reading his works.

This is a subjective question - met with a subjective answer - one that I wouldn't be surprised to see engender some disagreement, but all of the above authors have excited my intellect in a way similar to Alan Watts.


Posted 2014-01-07T16:30:04.833

Reputation: 612


There is a site called http://ctext.org/, where you can read ancient chinese philosophy, and there is space for discussion too.

I've read an english philosopher from our time, John Gray, and his book Straw Dogs is about daoism implications for today's politics. Great book!

Alan Watts is great, too!

There is also Fritjof Capra, who wrote The Tao of Physics. But his view of daoism as "eastern mysticism" made he lose some points with me.


Posted 2014-01-07T16:30:04.833

Reputation: 1 364

I didn't, but it happens when someone does not find the answer useful. So that's the explanation, they didn't find it useful. – Java Riser – 2014-05-09T08:45:12.713


jiddu krishnamurti is the top one. all others including alan watts got many ideas from him. Ray Menezes is interesting.


Posted 2014-01-07T16:30:04.833

Reputation: 355

There were people alive before Krishnamurti – dgo – 2014-05-15T03:19:53.090

and? what is your doubt? – felino – 2014-05-15T21:14:57.313

The wording of your post dismisses others for getting ideas from him as if he is the source of all ideas. If others got ideas from him and that lessens what they have to say, then what makes you think only his ideas originated entirely from their own source. My point - if what is important in speaking is only originality, then we should go way back before Krishnamurti. He came way late in the game. – dgo – 2014-05-16T02:18:00.513

not geting ideas from him. or from anyone else, understand yourself. – felino – 2014-05-17T22:43:09.370

um,...ok. very clear – dgo – 2014-05-18T15:30:42.990