Key Concepts in Eastern Philosophy

Key Concepts in Eastern Philosophy

Key Concepts in Eastern Philosophy

Key Concepts in Eastern Philosophy

Synopsis

Key Concepts in Eastern Philosophy provides an extensive glossary of the main terms and concepts used in Eastern philosophy. The book includes definitions of philosophical ideas linked to the national traditions of:* Persia* India* Islamic world* China* Japan* Tibetincluding concepts from:* Zoroastrianism* Hinduism* Sufism* Islam* Confucianism* Shintoism* Taoism* BuddhismEach entry includes a guide for further reading and critical analysis, and is cross-referenced with associated concepts and is in easy-to-use A-Z format.

Excerpt

There are many problems in knowing how to discuss the key concepts of Eastern philosophy. The first is in deciding what Eastern philosophy actually is, that is, what counts as the East. There are no problems in including East Asian thought, especially that of India, China and Japan, and the related civilizations in that part of the world. I have included Islamic and Zoroastrian philosophy since so much of it took place within Persia and then went further East, but it should be pointed out that some of its main thinkers were very much part of what is generally called the Western world, even living as far West as what is today Spain. On the other hand, many important East Asian thinkers have also spent at least some time in the West, and it seemed to me appropriate to include Islamic philosophy within the description of Eastern. I was influenced in this by the discussion within Islamic philosophy itself as to how Eastern or otherwise it was.

The second problem is in differentiating between philosophy and religion. It is often held that there are several basic distinctions between Eastern and Western philosophy. Eastern philosophy is sometimes taken to be more holistic, and has sought as its end some form of enlightenment, while Western philosophy is more concerned with truth, logic, reason and individualism. This is not the place to debate the differences, if any, between these two forms of thought, since such a debate would be far beyond the scope of this book, and certainly of this introduction.

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