With the support of grants by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Department sponsored Summer Institutes for Comparative Philosophy in 1984 (directed by Eliot Deutsch and David J. Kalupahana) and 1986 (directed by David J. Kalupahana). The purpose of the institutes was to bring together 40 college and university teachers trained in Western philosophy, to introduce them to the project of comparative philosophy using philosophical frames of reference familiar to them, to explore diverse methodologies that could expand philosophical horizons, and to enrich the teaching of standard undergraduate and graduate courses in philosophy through the incorporation of Asian philosophical materials.
During the Summer of 1989, the Department of Philosophy conducted a third Summer Institute sponsored by the NEH focusing on Nagarjuna and Buddhist Thought. David J. Kalupahana served as the Project Director. summer seminar sponsored by the NEH on the theme Naturalistic Epistemology."
In Summer 1993, in cooperation with the East-West Center, Roger T. Ames directed a residential Institute on "Chinese Culture and Civilization" and in Summer 1994, Eliot Deutsch directed one on "South Asian Culture and Civilization," both of which were funded by NEH. Arindam Chakrabarti and Vrinda Dalmiya also directed a three-week institute on South Asia in the summer of 1999, and a five-week institute in the summer of 2000.