The Misty Land of Ideas and The Light of Dialogue: An Anthology of Comparative Philosophy: Western & Islamic
Comparative philosophy, like other types of philosophy, is a sort of dialogue among philosophers. But whereas dialogue among philosophers in the traditional branches of philosophy is usually in the form of duologue, in comparative philosophy three interlocutors are involved. Participants in a dialogue of the type which is common in comparative philosophy need not be contemporaneous. Nor do they need to speak the same language or belong to the same tradition. Of the three interlocutors in a dialogue of the type relevant to comparative philosophy, the one who plays the role of the go-between among the other two is the true practitioner of ‘comparative philosophy’ or, to coin a term, the true ‘comparative philosopher’, i.e, the one who is actually engaged in the process of comparing philosophies and reflecting upon the finesse of the art of comparison of views.
The comparative philosopher is an interpreter, a commentator, a critic, a connoisseur of good philosophical arguments and interesting ideas, an educator, and a communicator. This last characteristic pertains to the role the comparative philosopher plays vis-à-vis contemporary and future audiences.