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Great Minds of the Eastern Intellectual Tradition Introduction Fall 2012
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Great Minds of the Eastern Intellectual Tradition Introduction Fall 2012

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Osher Lifelong Learning Wilmington class on the Eastern Intellectual Traditions

Osher Lifelong Learning Wilmington class on the Eastern Intellectual Traditions

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  • 1. Great Minds of the Eastern Intellectual Tradition(s) First Semester Fall 2012
  • 2. The Course
  • 3. D'OÙ VENONS NOUS / QUE SOMMES NOUS / OÙ ALLONS NOUS Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?
  • 4. Religious and Philosophical Questions ‘Religious’ !   Who? !   Why? Philosophical !   What? !   How?
  • 5. Nuances Philosophy Love of wisdom zhé xué 哲学 Wise study (coined) Darśana दश#न Vision (of ultimate reality)
  • 6. Basic questions   What’s what? (Nature of reality.)   What’s good? (Value)   What do we know (or what’s true)?
  • 7. Reality Western Indian Chinese Why is there something rather than nothing? ✔ Is there anything that does not change? ✔ ✔ ✔ Which is more basic, Being or Non-Being? ✔ Does God exist? If so, why evil? ✔ ✔
  • 8. Value Western Indian Chinese What is art and other questions in aesthetics ✔ What are the basic standards of morality (ethics)? ✔ ✔ ✔ What is the purpose of government? What is the relationship of the individual and the state? ✔ ✔ ✔
  • 9. Knowledge (epistemology) Western Indian Chinese What are the scope & limits of knowledge? ✔ ✔ ✔ Can the truth be known at all? ✔ ✔ ✔
  • 10. Methods Western Indian Chinese Perception ✔ ✔ ✔ Inference ✔ ✔ ✔ Intuition ✔ ✔ Authority ✔ ✔
  • 11. Some General Differences West East Analysis Synthesis Plurality of things Unity of things Differences Harmony Logic Language – aphorisms Individual Family, society Seeks the TRUTH Recognizes many views
  • 12. Language Differences Are they influential? !   Inflection or not !   Writing systems !   Categories
  • 13. Stages Hellenic India China Religion to philosophy Hesiod Pre-Socratics Vedas Founders Socrates Plato Aristotle Vedas (Upanishads) Confucius Laozi Reactions - Expansions First stages Neoplatonists Stoics Jainism Buddhism “Hundred schools” Mencius Sunzi
  • 14. How do you think? !   Which two of these words are most closely related?   Panda, monkey, banana !   Cultural differences in student responses   Americans favored common categories – panda and monkey   Chinese favored relationships – monkey and banana

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