East and West Philosophy

Topics: Philosophy, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Western philosophy Pages: 2 (554 words) Published: August 9, 2010
Eastern and Western Philosophers Comparison Paper

Philosophy is the systematic study of the foundations of human knowledge with an emphasis on the conditions of its validity and finding answers to ultimate questions. While every other science aims at investigating a specific area of knowledge, such as physics or psychology, philosophy has been defined as “thinking about thinking.” The word "philosophy" comes from the Greek φιλοσοφία (philosophia), which literally means "love of wisdom". When one uses the term "philosophy" in an academic context, it typically refers to the philosophical tradition begun with the ancient Greeks. The "Eastern philosophies" are typically overlooked. The term Eastern philosophy refers very broadly to the various philosophies of Iran, India, China, and Japan. Western philosophy is a line of related philosophical thinking, beginning in Ancient Greece, and including the predominant philosophical thinking of Europe and its former colonies, and continues to this day. When we look at the history of Western Philosophy we see it represents a long march from wisdom tradition to secular intellectualism. Many philosophers whether they are Western or Eastern have had many similar and different views about religion, existence, politics, and many others. Some have studied under others and all have read the views and writings of all philosophers, but this has not kept others from trying to show disbelief in these views. Many have argued that the distinction between Eastern and Western schools of philosophy is arbitrary and purely geographic, that this artificial distinction does not take into account the tremendous amount of interaction between European and Asian schools of thought, and that the distinction is more misleading than enlightening. Furthermore, it has been argued that the term Eastern philosophy implies similarities between philosophical schools which may not exist and obscures the differences between Eastern schools of...
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