Comparative Eastern Influences Response
Comparative Eastern Influences Response
The Western Philosophy has been named as the pioneers of philosophical systems - Comparative Eastern Influences Response introduction. Tracing back from the Three Great Thinkers, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, the Greeks have been blessed to have ancestors who instituted the study of philosophy. Their accounts not only prosper in the Western regions but also penetrated other parts of the world.
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Nevertheless, the Eastern region has also origins of its own philosophical ideas. Among these philosophical ancestries are the Chinese and the Indian philosophies. Chinese Philosophy has been one of the most renowned philosophical systems that exist alongside with the Western Philosophies. Confucius, Lao Tzu, and Mencius are among the Chinese philosophers who contributed to the evolution and development of Chinese philosophy (Chinese Cultural Studies: Philosophy and Religion in China, 1995). On the other hand, the Indian Philosophy is mostly comprised of accounts that have something to do with the most patronized religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism (Hebbar, 2002).
With this recognition, it can be said that even without the influence of the Western philosophical tradition, the Eastern region has already become successful in establishing its own foundations of Philosophy in the forms of Chinese and Indian Philosophies.
The Chinese Philosophy has been named as the direct opposite of the Western Philosophical Tradition. The Western tradition has been seen as more focus on the external concerns or subjects of philosophical thinking such as power, rationality, individualism, and liberty. On the other hand, the Chinese philosophy is more in tune of wisdom, harmony, family, and benevolence as well as relationships among individuals in the society. Thus, it is deemed that the two traditions can be evaluated by examining them against each other (Chinese Cultural Studies: Philosophy and Religion in China, 1995).
Chinese Philosophy includes the philosophical thoughts founded on distinguished school of thoughts such as Confucianism, Legalism, Taoism, Mohism, Neo-Confucianism and Zen Buddhism. The major concepts discussed and conversed in Chinese Philosophy are the following: concepts of matter and principle, the rise to truth, nature of man (these issues inflict great controversies in the history of Chinese philosophy), discovery of the unknown principles, man as being conjoined harmoniously with nature, and ethical and political discourses (Chinese Cultural Studies: Philosophy and Religion in China, 1995).
In contrast with the Chinese Philosophy, which advocates the preservation of the Chinese tradition and its attempt to close its boundaries to other philosophical influences, Indian philosophy goes against this way of advocating its own philosophical ideas. Its purpose is not solely to maintain its established philosophies in the whole philosophical systems but also to respect the other philosophical bodies (Hebbar, 2002). It recognizes the fact that philosophy varies from one region to another and that the only way to preserve their uniqueness and distinctiveness is by respecting other philosophical views (because it believes that there is multiplicity of philosophical views) (Janz, 2006). It is known for its consistent focus on the concept of righteousness and social order (though the Chinese philosophy also advocates the same kinds of themes). Its main school of thoughts includes Orthodox and Heterodox Schools. The latter includes Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism (Hebbar, 2002).
As mentioned above, the Indian Philosophy recognizes the fact that there is a multiplicity of philosophical undertakings that vary from region to region, from culture to culture, from society to society. It welcomes the idea that though there are differences in philosophical beliefs, it does not really weaken the very purpose of philosophizing and that is by speculating and arriving at understandings that are not confined with certain dogmas or the lies (Hebbar, 2002). On the contrary, though Chinese Philosophy does not really claim superiority over other philosophical traditions, its way of philosophy is obviously directed towards Chinese tradition which makes it difficult for the Chinese people to adopt other philosophical influences (Janz, 2006). In short, the distinguishing point between the Chinese and the Indian Philosophy is not the objects of their philosophy but on the different attitude they have with other philosophical traditions.
Nevertheless, the Chinese Philosophy is more persuasive for the reason that its scope of philosophy is broader than that of the Indian philosophy. And having the idea of having a strong hold to its own tradition, it is able to provide rational applications of the theories and doctrines established by Chinese philosophers (Chinese Cultural Studies: Philosophy and Religion in China, 1995). And such approach is recognized and honored even by the Western tradition. The severity of being so much open for various philosophical thoughts makes the Indian Philosophy a bit loose and inconsistent throughout its philosophical tradition which the Chinese Philosophy has become very successful in maintaining consistency in its philosophical approach (Janz, 2006).
Chinese Cultural Studies: Philosophy and Religion in China. (1995, August). Retrieved October 31, 2007, from America Online: http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/core9/phalsall/texts/chinrelg.html
Hebbar, N. H. (2002, March 3). Spirit of Indian Philosophy . Retrieved October 31, 2007, from Boloji.com: http://www.boloji.com/hinduism/018.htm
Janz, B. (2006, September 20). Culture and Ethnicity in Philosophy. Retrieved October 31, 2007, from http://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~janzb/philcult/