The West has long had an ambivalent attitude toward the philosophical traditions of the East. Voltaire claimed that the East is the civilization "to which the West owes everything," yet C.S. Peirce was contemptuous of the "monstrous mysticism of the East." And despite the current trend toward globalizations, there is still a reluctance to take seriously the intellectual inheritance of South and East Asia.
"Oriental Enlightenment" challenges this Eurocentric prejudice."J. J. Clarke" examines the role played by the ideas of Confucianism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism in the intellectual life of the West and how these ideas, far more than exotic distractions, or even instruments of colonial domination, have been the means towards serious self-questioning and self-renewal, used to dispute and even to undermine Western orthodoxies.