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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 EasternIntellectual Tradition(s)First SemesterFall 2012
  • 2. The Course
  • 3. DOÙ 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. NuancesPhilosophy Love of wisdomzhé 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 ChineseWhy 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 ChineseWhat is art and other questions in aesthetics ✔What are the basic standards of morality (ethics)? ✔ ✔ ✔What is the purpose of government? What is therelationship of the individual and the state? ✔ ✔ ✔
  • 9. Knowledge (epistemology) Western Indian ChineseWhat are the scope & limits of knowledge? ✔ ✔ ✔Can the truth be known at all? ✔ ✔ ✔
  • 10. MethodsWestern Indian Chinese Perception ✔ ✔ ✔ Inference ✔ ✔ ✔ Intuition ✔ ✔ Authority ✔ ✔
  • 11. Some General Differences West EastAnalysis SynthesisPlurality of things Unity of thingsDifferences HarmonyLogic Language – aphorismsIndividual Family, societySeeks the TRUTH Recognizes many views
  • 12. Language Differences Are they influential?!   Inflection or not!   Writing systems!   Categories
  • 13. Stages Hellenic India ChinaReligion to Hesiod Vedasphilosophy Pre-Socratics Founders Socrates Vedas Confucius Plato (Upanishads) Laozi AristotleReactions - Neoplatonists Jainism “HundredExpansions Stoics Buddhism schools”First stages 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