HALBFASS, Wilhelm

HALBFASS, Wilhelm. Northeim/Niedersachsen 11.5.1940 — Bryn Mawr PA 25.5.2000. German Indologist and Philosopher in the U.S.A. After 20 years in the U.S.A. still German citizen. Son of Willi and Ilse-Marie H. Studies of philosophy, Indology (Waldschmidt) and classical philology 1959-61 & 1962-66 at Göttingen, 1961-62 at Vienna. Ph.D. 1966 Göttingen (in Western Philosophy), in 19?? habilitation at Hamburg in Indology. In 1966-70 wissenschaftlicher Assistent at Indologisches Seminar, Göttingen. From 1970 Assistant Professor at Brock Univer­sity in St. Catharines, Canada, from 1972 Associate Professor of Philosophy there. In 1973-74 visiting Lecturer at University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, from 1974 Associate Professor of Indian Philosophy there and from 1982 full Professor. In 1978-79 visiting Professor at Münster, 1981-82 at Hamburg, and 1988 at Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo/Yokohama. Married.

WH is a specialist of Indian nature philosophy and epistemology, especially Vaiśeṣika, of comparative philosophy, and of Western philosophy of 17th and 18th centuries.

Publications: diss. Descartes’ Frage nach der Existenz der Welt. Untersuchung über die cartesianische Denkpraxis unf Metaphysik. 258 p. Monogr. zur philos. Forsch. 51. Meisenheim a.G. 1968

Zur Theorie der Kastenordnung in der indischen Philosophie. 44 p. N.G.A.W. 1975:9. Göttingen 1976.

Indien und Europa: Perspektiven ihrer geistlichen Begegnung. 550 p. Basel 1981; much rev. English version: India and Europe: an Essay in Understanding. 16+604 p. Albany, N.Y. 1988, rev. Indian ed. Delhi 1990.

Studien in Kumārila und Śaṅkara. 6+140 p. StII Monogr. 9. Reinbeck 1982.

Tradition and reflection: exploration in Indian thought. 8+425 p. Albany, N.Y. 1991

On being and what there is: classical Vaiśeṣika and the history of Indian Ontology. 8+303 p. Albany, N.Y. 1992.

A number of articles (45 in 1967-92) on Indian (esp. Vaiśeṣika) and Western philosophy.

Sources: D.G.K. 1980; Dir. Am. Sch. 8th ed. 4, 1982; Curriculum vitae and bibliography c. 1992/93; personal knowledge 1984/96; *J. Taber, JIPh 28, 2000, 425-427; briefly Wikipedia; photo in McGetchin et al. 2004.

Bibliography and evaluations in E. Franco & K. Preisendanz (eds.), Beyond Orientalism. The Work of Wilhelm Halbfass and its Impact on Indian and Cross-Cultural Studies. Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Science and the Humanities 59, Amsterdam 1997, and Expanding and Merging Horizons. Contributions to South Asian and Cross-Cultural Studies in Commemoration of Wilhelm Halbfass. Öster­reichi­sche Akademie der Wissenschaften, Philosophisch-historische Klasse, Denkschriften 351. Vienna 2007.

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