Meena Krishnamurthy, the editor of Philosopher, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy and in the Program in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the University of Michigan. She works in political philosophy on a variety of issues. The underlying theme that runs through her work is a concern with equality (political, economic, and social). She is currently writing a series of related papers on the work of Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi.
Adamson, Greek-Responding Philosophy, and the Indian Subcontinent 
I have a provocative proposal of my own: intellectually speaking, the more valid distinction is not between ‘European’ and ‘non-European’ philosophy, but between philosophical cultures that respond to Greek thought (however indirectly), and those that do not. Philosophers of the Islamic world—Jews, Muslims, and Christians writing in Arabic or Syriac—belong to the former category, as do Latin American thinkers. Philosophers of pre-modern Asia—India, China Korea, Japan, etc—as well as thinkers of the pre-colonial Americas and Africa, belong to the latter. Of course some believe that there may have been an exchange of ideas between the Greeks and India, but if so the influence was not determinative as it was in the case of the Islamic world, and in any case the influence is more usually thought to have traveled from India to the Mediterranean rather than the other way around.
Adamson writes this in response to a piece by Jay Garfield and Bryan Van Norden. Garfield and Van Norden proposed renaming philosophy departments that fail to cover “non-Western” philosophical work and traditions as “Departments of European and American Philosophy.” As Justin Weinberg says, “this led Adamson to wonder just what ‘European Philosophy’ is.”
I applaud Adamson for his attempt not only to clarify the debate about how to delineate philosophy but also for his attempt to recategorize philosophy in a way that is more inclusive and true to the history of philosophy. That said, it is, in part, the history of philosophy that suggests that Adamson’s own comment leads to some improper characterizations.
Adamson’s general point is that philosophy can be divided into two categories: Greek-responding and non-Greek responding. He then suggests that pre-modern Asian thought was not Greek-responding.
This move is too quick when we consider the Indian subcontinent. It is one thing to say, for example, that there was a school of pre-modern philosophical thought in India that pre-dated the Greeks. This is accurate. It is, however, another thing to say that there wasn’t a tradition of philosophical thought in India that was written in response to the Greeks. This is not accurate.
Adamson wrongly subscribes to a one-way direction of influence. On his view, Indian philosophical thought influenced the Greeks, not the other way around. It would seem, however, that the Greeks did influence Indian thought through their influence on Islamic thought. There was a strong tradition of pre-modern Islamic thought in the Indian subcontinent. For example, as Andrew March pointed out to me on Facebook, Persian scholar, Nasir al-Din al-Tusi wrote a work of ethics called the “Nasirean Ethics” (Akhlaq-i Nasiri). This work can be understood as a culmination of the Islamic reception and transformation of Aristotle. As March noted, the tradition of reproducing manuscripts of the Nasirean Ethics, and commentaries on it, as well as much else from the Persian literary tradition, was very vibrant in Moghul lands in the subcontinent. It would seem then that there was a school of pre-modern Indian philosophical thought that was written in response to the Greeks.
I discuss this matter not only for philosophical reasons, but for political ones too. In the face of Hindu Nationalism, there is a growing tendency to identify Indian philosophical thought solely with Hindu philosophical thought. In ignoring the presence of Greek-responding Islamic philosophical thought in the Indian subcontinent, Adamson inadvertently gives support to the Hindu Nationalist project. It would be a mistake to feed into this project and thereby support Hindu Nationalism with inappropriate characterizations of the history of philosophy on the Indian subcontinent.
In any case, I thank Adamson for proposing a different way of categorizing philosophy. With some small changes – namely, having a more accurate view of the direction of influence – the notion of Greek-responding and non-Greek responding philosophy may prove to be a useful, even if not definitive, addition to the philosophical lexicon.
 Many thanks to Eric Schliesser, Andrew March, and Chike Jeffers for the insightful conversations that led to my writing this post.
 For a discussion of further examples of the influence of Islamic thought on philosophical thought in the Indian subcontinent, see S. Frederick Starr’s Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013).
 While I do find the distinction useful, I would also prefer to have a notion of philosophy that is less centered around a particular group of people such as the Greeks.