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Published on September 17, 2018

Professor Ana Funes at the 50th anniversary of the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy in Poland

The Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy held its 50th anniversary in Poland on early June when more than one hundred philosophers from all around the world came together to discuss topics related to Asian and Non-Western traditions from a cross-cultural philosophical perspective.

One of our professors at Eastern, Assistant Professor Ana Funes, participated in one of the panels with a talk on the role of prāṇa (vital breath) in Indian Philosophy and its use by French feminist philosopher Luce Irigaray.

Dr. Funes’ current research focuses on the feminist readings of notions related to bodily self-awareness in the Indian tradition. Prāṇa is a notion related to the act of breathing. Each action, each thought is accompanied by one’s own breathing. To breathe is always thought as an individual act. It is one’s own breath that keeps us alive and it is one’s own breathing that leaves at the moment of death. However, it is uncommon to talk about breathing as a shared act, as a relational moment that is created with someone else. Yet, Luce Irigaray’s work calls for the cultivation of breathing to enable our ethical coexistence with the other and the 8th c. commentary on the Sāṃkhyakārikā, the Yuktidīpikā, relates the vital breath of samāna to the function of sharing. In her paper, Ana Funes explores this relational aspect of breathing as capable of creating community and elucidates the meaning given to the term samāna within the classical Sāṃkhya tradition, unique in the Indian theory of the bodily winds.

Dr. Funes is specialist in Indian Philosophy and French Feminist Phenomenology and teaches the courses on Ethics, Philosophical Perspectives, Asian Philosophies, and Feminist Philosophies in the Philosophy program at Eastern. She will be offering a new course on Buddhist Philosophies during Fall 2018.