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Eastern versus Western Philosophy

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#1
Yeah, broad question, but I'm just interested in the general opinion. Which one do you like more and why?
 
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#2
East: Wholistic
West: Reductionism

East: Go - fill the board - most territory gained wins.
West: Chess - eliminate pieces - capture the king to win.
 

onesteptwostep

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#3
Eastern philosophy usually deals with relations, while western philosophy deals with identity. I think I'm into western philosophy more because of its historiography- you can trace the ideas back in time and see their impact on civilization. With eastern philosophies, you usually can't, or you see lots of stagnation. The scientific method for one, is a development of philosophy (empiricism).
 

Auburn

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#4
Briefly, it's my estimation that Eastern thought has truly mastered the skill of holistic relativity. That is, having a view of reality that is not disproportionate/lopsided; one that is temperate, wise and very accurate as a whole (though vague on the details).

The East, while presently glowing (not entirely without justification) in its centuries of limelight, has a lot to learn from the West, and is actually far behind the west in terms of scope. This is due to its tendency to hyper-rationalize itself into holes by creating deep blind spots, and belief architectures that are over-delineated. Reductionistic is a good word for it.


Just a few examples of where the East's holism has been ahead if Western empiricism:

* The Cartesian Mind-Body Divide...

Which was also influenced by Christianity's belief in a divide between flesh and the soul, gave rise to a large-scale disconnect in the West between the two things. From the way they were thought about intellectually, to the way people felt about themselves from day to day.

Very normal phrases like "It's all in my head", "It's all psychological" carry the inherent bias of the West against the legitimacy of the soul/spirit and psychology in general. In truth, the West first makes the divide between the body and soul/mind, and then it exalts the material while diminishing the immaterial. Or vice versa.

Modern medicine is just starting to notice that psychological factors are so very deeply important to things like our physical health, and than one can actually spark serious physical illnesses from things such as stress. But the Western attitude, which divorced the two, leads to a culture wide pathological detachment from the necessities of the body --- which is why people overwork themselves and generally forget about 'limits' or moderation. If the mind can conceive or envision it, it can be done, and one forgets to consider the bodily repercussions.


[bimgx=400]http://imgur.com/pJo1j2L.jpg[/bimgx]
The recent surge in "Wellness"; the whole TCM, yoga and tai-chi movement is an example of a backlash to that. The West is just starting to adopt holism as somewhat mainstream now that they've done the scientific testing and confirmed that meditation actually has beneficial and measurable effects on health. They had to make *sure* of this before they could condone stopping one's over-tired and overthinking mind, to take a break and reconnected with just being present, as a "good" idea. :facepalm: Before that, they weren't sure ...and it was all new age pseudo-science.

* Male/Female Divide Confusion

The same is happening currently with sex. The West is in a state of limbo when it comes to sexual orientations. In a way, it is trying to actualize away from a strictly dual view of gender, but because the West likes to think in terms of delineations, we have things like LGBTQIA gaining mass attention and political correctness pushing for equality in representation of individuals.

Again, failing to see the big picture (the big picture being that 90%+ of people still fit into the traditional male/female framework), and hyper-focusing on the exceptions to the rule, and trying to make those exceptions redefine the landscape of society at large --- i.e. by advocacy of the use of gender-neutral pronouns, in order not to step on someone's toes who may not identify with their biological gender (or so I've heard).



The East's taoist view (and elsewhere) generally makes note of masculine and feminine as being essential elements within all of us; all of us being both male and female to some degree. Each man having an inner woman and each woman an inner man.

First, it does well by separating the matter away from a necessary biological justification, and frames "maleness" and "femaleness" as universal qualities existing in everything. Sun and moon. Day and night. Hot and cold. This way of perceiving it is entirely correct; like positive and negative charges. Coming from a cultural framework with this philosophy embedded into it, questions of sex and identity are viewed very differently. And there's no need to carve out a niche for every sub-classification and variant in identity people have. It's a matter of degrees (a spectrum), and I think eventually "the research" will catch up to that. We may all even shift into more male and female energies over time.
 
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#5
Auburn,

What you said made me think about typology. Introversion is feminine and Extroversion is masculine. I is receptive and E is generative. Hunters expend energy running and tracking prey, Gatherers cultivate areas and plants.

From this functions are:

Te is externally constructive (Thinks about results)
Ti is internally constructive (Thinks about thinking)

Fe must act on what is ethical. (Feeling through action)
Fi focuses on the intentions behind ethics. (Feels the Feeling)

Si focuses in on details, it narrows in on part of a scene. (narrows in)
Se broadens its vision to everything, everything is in view. (sees everything)

Ni looks inward for everything that is on the inside. (everything is on the inside)
Ne realizes all sorts of possibilities of what could be. (realizes possibilities)

-----------

In pairs:

Ti (Thinks about thinking)
Fe (Feeling through action)

Fi (Feels the Feeling)
Te (Thinks about results)

Se (sees everything)
Ni (everything is on the inside)

Si (narrows in)
Ne (realizes possibilities)

-----------

Next comes the cycles, each type has a cycle.

INTP

Ti (Thinks about thinking)
Ne (realizes possibilities)
Si (narrows in)
Fe (Feeling through action)

INFP

Fi (Feels the Feeling)
Ne (realizes possibilities)
Si (narrows in)
Te (Thinks about results)

The reverse cycles are present in the reverse type:

ESFJ

Fe (Feeling through action)
Si (narrows in)
Ne (realizes possibilities)
Ti (Thinks about thinking)

ESTJ

Te (Thinks about results)
Si (narrows in)
Ne (realizes possibilities)
Fi (Feels the Feeling)

-----------

Because of the cycles:

ESFJ is masculine INTP is feminine
ESTJ is masculine INFP is feminine.

Feminine types begin with an introverted function and Masculine types begin with an extroverted function. This determines the masculine-feminine cycles of each types four functions.

Example

ISFP

Fi (Feels the Feeling)
Se (sees everything)
Ni (everything is on the inside)
Te (Thinks about results)

ESFP

Se (sees everything)
Fi (Feels the Feeling)
Te (Thinks about results)
Ni (everything is on the inside)

ESFP is masculine because of the tertiary acting in the cycle.
ISFP is feminine because of the tertiary acting in its cycle.

Tertiary reinforces the Dominant as feminine or masculine.
 

sushi

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#6
east focus on harmony and transcendence from suffering, psuedo religion.

west focus on finding objective truth through experimentation and empricisim
 

sushi

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#7
western philosophy is superior to eastern philsophy because it lead to metaphysics and the pecursor of scientific thought.

eastern philosophy focus too much on soul, mind, spirituality and moral character/ conduct and society, human nature. these things lack a concise answer and can be synonymous to social science and psychology,
 

Cognisant

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#8
Lets not confuse philosophy and spirituality, the East doesn't have a more spiritual philosophy they're just more spiritual period.

In my opinion the difference between western/eastern philosophy is that the West focuses on what things are (what is life, what is knowledge, what is identity) whereas eastern philosophy asks how (how to live, how to die, how to learn, how to grow).

Whereas western naturalists and scientists treated religion as an enemy to be defeated eastern philosophers sought to change religion from within, it's important to note that religion wasn't so monotheistic and domineering in the east, they didn't have centuries of holy wars like the west did (they had millennia of political conflicts). In Japan Buddhism and Shinto exists and the people don't choose between them, they go to Shinto shrines for weddings and annual rituals and hold funerals in Buddhist temples, this willingness to coexist is incomprehensible to the western mind.
 
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Serac

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#9
In the west we had things like the Enlightenment, the French revolution etc, which largely define what we think of as western philosophy nowadays. It's based on natural science, etc. The east never had that, so they never had that abrupt break with archaic, mystical traditions like we had in the west.

So I think that eastern philosophy is antiquated. They believe in a lot of cooky stuff like Qi and whatnot.
 

Cognisant

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#10
You don't understand the importance of Qi until you lose your Qi's.
 

onesteptwostep

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#11
To add on to what Serac said, historically I think the East never "killed their Kings" so to speak, like how the Parliament usurped power from the English Crown and how the French guillotined theirs. The Russians practically did the same too, later on. In the East, the "West" did that for them. Once the Qing Dynasty fell after the British came and then there was that upheaval by the Japanese. But the main difference here is that it wasn't their own that did the task of taking out their rulers, it was an external, foreign force. If China had developed more it's possible that they could have produced scholars and social critics like Nietzsche and Marx that placed the seeds of doubt into their worldview (center of the world, "Middle Earth", the Emperor's right to rule, Mandate of Heaven) whereby creating a different East as we know it as today.
 
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#12
Let me quote a paragraph from A Critical History of Classical Chinese Philosophy by He Zhaowu & Peng Gang, pg101 (ISBN 978-7-5104-0537-2):

"What traditionally interested the Chinese was not any kind of pure contemplation or speculation, but the realization of their ethical worth in the world of our daily lives. Nearly all philosophical schools in China, the Confucians and the Mohists included, turned to an ethico-political end as their final spiritual resort.......All sciences were employed for the sake of ethico-political expediency. Science itself is something secondary, used to serve some ethical purpose of a higher level. Knowledge was considered to have no value of its own. The search for truth is only for its utility in serving an ethical end. This is even so in modern times."

I think this accurately described the difference btw the Philosophy schools of East and West, and explains why Enlightenment did not occur in China despite their general technological superiority before the 16th century.
 
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