23. The Voice of Another

Speech, Responsiveness, and Buddhist Philosophy1

  1. Steven M. Emmanuel
  1. Richard F. Nance

Published Online: 5 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118324004.ch23

A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy

A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy

How to Cite

Nance, R. F. (2013) The Voice of Another, in A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy (ed S. M. Emmanuel), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118324004.ch23

Author Information

  1. Indiana University, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 FEB 2013
  2. Published Print: 25 MAR 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470658772

Online ISBN: 9781118324004



  • Buddhist philosophy;
  • responsiveness;
  • speech


The language of Buddhist teaching is Janus-faced. One face looks towards the local and responds to shifting historical, institutional, cultural, and personal conditions. The other face looks towards the translocal: to that which is stable and persists across time. In this chapter, the author reconsiders the comparatively neglected former face of Buddhist teaching, by asking after the ways in which Buddhist intellectuals have historically thematized the contribution to philosophy of what the author calls responsiveness. Responsiveness to context ineluctably shapes the forms of speech that we study, as well as the forms of speech that we ourselves use. To deny this shaping role in either domain is to opt for a needlessly shuttered vision of what Buddhist philosophy has been and what it might yet be.