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Jan Bor

philoso­pher and writer

Thinkers in the West and dream­ers in the East?

Con­tem­po­rary thought does not allow one coher­ent and appro­pri­ate vision of the world any­more. As well as in all other fields it is imag­i­na­tion that is at work in phi­los­o­phy. There is not one truth: the truth has many faces.’ This is a quote from The imag­i­na­tion of the mindan illus­trated his­tory of West­ern and East­ern phi­los­o­phy.’ But Bor doesn’t actu­ally believe that phi­los­o­phy has become mar­ginal in today’s world. On the con­trary: ‘To me phi­los­o­phy is always about think­ing, about beau­ti­ful, com­plex rea­son­ing.’

Jan Bor and Michel Maas wrote the book that imme­di­ately became the stan­dard text book for stu­dents. They agree with each other : there sim­ply isn’t a bet­ter book on this subject.

Thanks to Bor we gained very read­able books on the his­tory of phi­los­o­phy and along with them we lost a lot of prej­u­dices, bar­ri­ers and dog­mas. Because he included a phi­los­o­phy of the East with excel­lent Ara­bian and Japan­ese and Afghani thinkers. He made Ori­en­tal phi­los­o­phy socially accept­able as it had never been before. Pre­vi­ously the aca­d­e­mic estab­lish­ment suc­cess­fully advo­cated that thinkers were to be found in the West and dream­ers in the East. Now our his­tory of thought has expanded con­sid­er­ably thanks to the work of Jan Bor.

Jan Bor stud­ied social sci­ences and phi­los­o­phy in Ams­ter­dam (UvA) and earned his PhD in Lei­den (UL) with his dis­ser­ta­tion on Henri Berg­son. He con­ceived, ini­ti­ated and edited a diver­sity of books in Dutch on phi­los­o­phy. Jan Bor teaches at the Acad­e­mia Vitae in Deven­ter. He prac­ticed Zen for many years in Japan and Eng­land. With Alexan­der Oey he made a num­ber of films for the Boed­dhis­tis­che Omroep (Bud­dhist Broadcasting).