Philosophical question-answering has its roots in ancient times. Before we discuss Greek philosophy, Chinese philosophy, and Ancient Indian philosophy, let us look at how these branches influenced each other. Philosophical questions are grouped into several branches, including the nature of good, evil, and knowledge. The branches are sometimes divided by the type of question that they answer, as in the case of utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is a philosophy in which all actions are judged by their net happiness or lack of suffering.
Ancient Greek philosophy
Greek philosophy is a subject that traces its roots to the presocratic period, before the Hellenistic period. This course covers Greek views on the cosmos, the soul, and the virtuous life. It is divided into short units and long units, and there are take-home essay exams for each unit. Short unit exams consist of a single essay question, while long unit exams contain two questions ranging from three to five pages. Short summary papers and in-class discussions will also be part of the course, and exams make up the majority of your grade.
Philosophers of this period were called physikoi, or “sophists.” Their practice included teaching other people, and sometimes charging for their services. Pericles’ opponents, however, took advantage of this reaction and made it illegal to study things beyond the earth and heavens. Socrates, Anaxagoras, and Protagoras were among the first sophists, although their reputations and respect declined with time.
Ancient Greek philosophers also introduced the concept of a “good” political system and urged people to step into reality and be honest in their observation of the world. Plato’s dialogues are a classic example of Greek philosophical culture. Aristotle was his student, and also wrote books on drama and biology. Greek society valued literature, and the theatre was developed in the sixth century BCE in Athens. Greek comedy plays developed from tragedy plays staged at religious festivals.
Ancient Chinese philosophy
The five phases of Chinese philosophy relate to specific things, colors, sounds, organs, fundamental elements, and mythological creatures. The term qing means “true nature” and is equivalent to the term “essence” in Western psychology. However, qing does not always refer to a person’s inner state. There are many other meanings of qing, such as “spirit,” “mind,” and even “body.”
The ming school is sometimes known as “sophists” or “logicalians.” Its members were known for leading debates into paradoxical problems and purposefully denying what others affirmed. This school of thought had little impact on Chinese history, and the opinions of its members were diverse. However, it is important to note that there were two main schools of philosophy in Ancient China. One was the Jingxue school, which advocated a realistic approach to the Classics, while the other emphasized practical knowledge of many fields.
The tenets of ancient Chinese philosophy are largely similar to those of the ancient West. However, they focus on a few unique aspects that set them apart from other schools of philosophy. Yangism, for example, teaches that people should be free to express their innermost thoughts, without regard to social norms. Teng Shih, on the other hand, is a sophist who taught that everything is relative. The laws of nature are subject to individual interpretation.
In the Middle Kingdom, the concept of philosophy was based on a variety of philosophies, and the task of the time was to save the nation from subjugation and ensure its survival. Chinese philosophers studied a wide range of different philosophies, and sought to improve their own form of Chinese philosophy. Chinese philosophy has always been closely related to society, and the ideas and concepts of the time were reflected in the philosophical works produced by Chinese philosophers.
Confucianism is one of the most popular forms of Chinese philosophy, encompassing the teachings of historical Confucius and his intellectual descendants. The philosophy was popularized during the Ming dynasty, and later incorporated elements of Taoism, Buddhism, and Legalism. During the Industrial Age, Chinese philosophers began to incorporate Western concepts into their work, including democracy and republicanism. Mao Tse-Tung also influenced Chinese philosophy, adding concepts of Marxism and communism to the mix.
Confucianism is only a partial history of the Chinese philosophy-science relationship. Early Mohists engaged in early scientific studies and produced treatises on optics, mechanics, and logic. Mohism, however, did not survive past the Han dynasty, although some of their works are preserved in the Daoist Canon. While Mohism is essential to the history of Chinese philosophy and science, it should not be a central focus of research on Chinese philosophy.
Ancient Indian philosophy
Unlike the Western philosophical tradition, which emphasizes the transcendence of spirit and ego, Indian philosophy is based on a materialistic conception of reality. According to this philosophy, matter, or physical matter, is a source of meaning and is not to be ignored. The word “lokayata” (pervasive among people) reflects this materialist approach. This view is often associated with hedonism and heresy, but it is not universal in Indian philosophy.
The Vedic Period, which dates from 1500 B.C.E., was the golden age of the Indian civilization. The Aryan culture was expanding during this time, and the Vedic literature was not recorded until several centuries later. The Vedas are composed of four books – the Brahmanas, the Aranyakas, and the Upanishads. The Vedas are considered expressions of eternal truth. As such, all schools of Indian philosophy accept the authority of the great philosophers.
Most Indian schools of philosophy shared some common ideas. For example, most of these schools held that there is a permanent soul. Ultimately, the goal of life is moksha, or liberation from suffering. Several of these schools emphasized the importance of ethical values. The Purva-Mimamsa school was devoted to exegesis of the Vedas and Vedic ritual. Although some of its ideas were controversial, these beliefs remain the foundation of Ancient Indian philosophy.
In Mesopotamian philosophy, gods were considered co-workers with human beings and the land was infused with spirit or demon presence. Unlike our modern conception of demons, they were not feared by humans, but rather admired and revered. According to Mesopotamian philosophy, humans were responsible for maintaining the balance of the universe and should behave accordingly. This belief in a supernatural force drove Mesopotamian people to perform daily rituals, pay respect to elders, and even do their civic duty.
The crudeness of Mesopotamian philosophy is reflected in the culture and literature. The Epic of Gilgamesh and the Sinuhe are examples of these works. While these works are difficult to interpret, they have cultural and philosophical value to the people who wrote them. Regardless of their crudeness, Mesopotamian philosophy reflects the beliefs and ideals of ancient Mesopotamia. They were also influenced by Greek philosophy, as their texts have similarities to the Heraclitean doctrine of contrasts.
Ancient Mesopotamia was a collection of various cultures with many differences. Their common thread was their belief in gods and their attitude toward women. Despite the differences, they were connected in many ways. It is possible that some of these cultures evolved independently. Some of the most interesting aspects of Mesopotamian culture can be found in the writings of these civilizations. There are many theories on how these civilizations managed to sustain themselves.
There are many ways to trace the history of philosophy, but the most obvious and popular is to look to Greece. The philosopher Thales of Miletus, born in the seventh century BC, is considered to be the father of Greek philosophy. During the golden age of Athens, he served as a legal counselor and adviser to Pericles. During this time, he developed the cosmogenic theory, a belief that all matter was made of four basic elements: fire, air, and water. He was also the first person to give an account of how species developed from their basic elements.
The political aspect of Greek philosophy puts the question of government at the core of its thought. The philosophers called these governments “constitutions.” Herodotus, Plato, and Aristotle differentiated among the three kinds of constitutions. There are “good” regimes, “bad” regimes, and “perversions of good” regimes. Aristotle, for example, views the polis as an “earth-like” concept.
Socrates’ engagement with political philosophy was intensified when he was tried for corruption of the youth of Athens. Plato portrays him in prison with his friend Crito, who urges him to escape. The Athenians tolerated the escapees into exile as they were not guilty. But this hardly demonstrates the roots of philosophical thought. The most famous example of this is Plato’s dialogues, where Socrates defends his arguments against the corrupting influence of his political opponents.
Confucianism is a branch of Chinese philosophy that emphasizes virtue in a morally organized society. Confucian thought focuses on developing the virtues of ren, compassion, and yi (righteousness). Ren is the virtue-form of Heaven. Yi is a moral disposition to act in the best interest of others. The two concepts intertwine to create an ethical code that guides personal conduct and society.
The ren, or love, at the heart of Confucian philosophy is a central concept of the philosophy. The founder of Confucianism explained that REN means “humanity.” It was not enough to love your family; you must also love the masses. The “masses” do not necessarily mean the same people as you. In fact, Confucius taught that humanity consists of the dead, the living, and everything in between.
In his book Understanding Confucian Philosophy, Robert J. Weisberg states that “the tradition of Confucianism did not begin with Confucius.” It drew from ancient civilisational resources to create an orthodoxy that reveres antiquity. Confucianism also narrated the history of China’s Five Emperors, resulting in a reified culture.