Innovation and Tradition in the Philosophy of the East and the West

Christian Soffel, I-Kai Jeng, Tim Dressler


The current issue continues the exploration of patterns of narrative strategies that negotiate between tradition and innovation. The motivation for practitioners in a given sphere of practice to self-reflect and consciously define, advocate, and adopt a project can be a response to some dynamics within that sphere (for example, the style of neo-classicism in the sphere of painting or music can be understood to be against what is perceived as excessive experimentation); but no less often it can be a reaction to powers external to that field, such as geo-political pressure causing a crisis in cultural confidence, or economic factors leading to an adjustment of international policy. Needless to say, such processes are rarely, if ever, clearly classifiable as only tradition or only innovation; most of the time they are both. Agents who thought they were preserving tradition can turn out to be unwitting innovators; conversely agents rejecting tradition might only be evoking another part or aspect of tradition...

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