Your arguments against positivism are fine, however, it came after Enlightenment, as a possible consequence, but definitely not the only one. The majority of the Enlightenment thinkers were at least believers in God and some devout Christians. And just as you wrote about finding a unity in religions, some of them, like Leibniz and Voltaire, imagined a unified and universal religion. So, just to be clear, Enlightenment ideas are generally not materialists.
Agreed. Actually it was Liebniz who coined the 'perennial philosophy'. But the question of scientific materialism is the axis around which many of the most vexed questions revolve.
I think it was Thurman who made the argument that without Kant, westerners would not be able to 'get' Madhyamika - and I agree.
That's the main reason I liked T R V Murti's Central Philosophy of Buddhism
(even though Ven. Huifeng says it is out-dated, but it was published in 1955, so that is to be expected.) But I think Murti does a good comparitive analysis of aspects of Madhymaka and Kant. In fact I think I only been able to 'get' Kant (and Schopenhauer) through Buddhist philosophy and meditative perspectives (contra
The hard questions are for instance the reality of celestial beings. They are also depicted in all the cultures (compare, for instance, traditional iconography of Sophia and the goddess Prajñāpāramitā.) I think in the Enlightenment context, belief in all such beings was generally suspended, if not outright rejected, insofar as they had become identified with the iconography of Catholicism. So they were rejected both by the Protestantism and by secularism. I think that is one of the reasons for the unease around aspects of Tibetan deity and guru worship which can't help but see such practices as a throwback to medieval thinking. I personally have come to accept the reality of celestial beings, so I guess that makes me a believer, but it is not, I hope, a matter of blind faith. As I said in my mentioined in my earlier post, if the 'hierarchy of being' is restored, at least there is a framework within which ideas of this kind can be situated.