Great Minds of the Eastern Intellectual Tradition Introduction Fall 2012

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Osher Lifelong Learning Wilmington class on the Eastern Intellectual Traditions

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Great Minds of the Eastern Intellectual Tradition Introduction Fall 2012

  1. 1. Great Minds of the Eastern Intellectual Tradition(s) First Semester Fall 2012
  2. 2. The Course
  3. 3. D'OÙ VENONS NOUS / QUE SOMMES NOUS / OÙ ALLONS NOUS Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?
  4. 4. Religious and Philosophical Questions ‘Religious’ !   Who? !   Why? Philosophical !   What? !   How?
  5. 5. Nuances Philosophy Love of wisdom zhé xué 哲学 Wise study (coined) Darśana दश#न Vision (of ultimate reality)
  6. 6. Basic questions   What’s what? (Nature of reality.)   What’s good? (Value)   What do we know (or what’s true)?
  7. 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. 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. 9. Knowledge (epistemology) Western Indian Chinese What are the scope & limits of knowledge? ✔ ✔ ✔ Can the truth be known at all? ✔ ✔ ✔
  10. 10. Methods Western Indian Chinese Perception ✔ ✔ ✔ Inference ✔ ✔ ✔ Intuition ✔ ✔ Authority ✔ ✔
  11. 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. 12. Language Differences Are they influential? !   Inflection or not !   Writing systems !   Categories
  13. 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. 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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