EASTERN AND WESTERN THINKING, GIVING IT A THOUGHT OR TWO
Philosophy is one of the primary tools that mankind utilizes in an attempt to make sense of life's great puzzles. Much like science and religion (the other ways in which man addresses these questions), philosophy has multiple, often contradictory theories, and can be practiced in a multitude of ways.
Standard classical training in the Greek philosophers has had a profound influence upon the west, where we have developed a method of thinking that relies heavily upon the use of reason and logic. Great weight is given to concrete, tangible evidence and formulaic methodology. But the world is a vast place, and just as the Greeks and Europeans were pondering life, so too were those on the other side of the world, in places such as India and China. But their view of the world was vastly different to that of their western counterparts.
Western philosophy will generally refer to the schools of thought wrought out by the ancient Greeks, and then subsequently by the European and American philosophers. Western philosophy as a whole can be broken down into five main sub-sets:
1.) Metaphysics: the study of existence
2.) Epistemology: the study of knowledge
3.) Ethics: the study of action
4.) Politics: the study of force
5.) Aesthetics: the study of art
The reliance upon logic and reason is the hallmark of western philosophy. Once presented, reasons for belief in the idea are proffered, and then conclusions are drawn. There is a tendency in this school of thought to dissect an idea into as many parts as possible, and then to concentrate on these smaller individual parts, rather than upon the Whole.
While usually associated with the philosophical traditions of ancient China and India, Eastern philosophy...