Occidental Philosophy versus Oriental Philosophy.

There are great differences between the occidental philosophy and the oriental philosophy.

What do you think about this two kinds of philosophy, their differences and their similarities?

Not much difference. Both Confucius and Aristotle had been influenced by the same historical figure, Sardanapullas/King Zhou of Zhang… both reacted on developing social theories of virtuous living and virtuous states.

Both China and the west have been touched by Buddhism. Both China and Europe have the early Mesopotamian heritage of snakegods and floods, a Orphic creation myth is (yes, the Chinese do too, largely the same).

We both developed empires based on feudal and federal concepts, both developed fascist strands of thinking, we both had groups that rejected the filthy aspects of society for nature, the Cynics and the Taoists. Our military writers often parallel.

India and the west likewise share many similarities. We both share strong Mesopotamian roots, in direct contact with them. We have both been in periodic contact philosophically, and have colonized one another periodically, especially early on and late. A lot of Greek concepts merged with Buddhism and Vedanta, and vice versa with the pythagoreans and neo-platonists, and skeptics like Sextus Empericus. India directly imported it’s Astrology fro the west, we have their numerals.

Buddhism has influenced some of the mysticism of Greek Orthodox Monastics, Christianity and Islam certainly spurred the growth of monotheistic cults in India, and our western emphasis of empire building lead India to do the same.

It boils down to a much more casual sense of the individual self in the Oriental.

A sort of western versus eastern philosophical spectrum?

East = the effort to harmonize life.
West = the effort to control life.

…not that either have been particularly good at it.

Doesnt seem like it to me. China and Russia are even more controlling than western nations. And there is a certain harmony to the sloppiness and chaos of the west.

Currently they both suffer backlash from their own history causing a reversal of focus (force harmony through absolute control and gain control by a pretense of harmony). And both still making all of the same mistakes to cause another reversal. The only thing they are each learning is how to screw it up faster and more certainly.

I think this relates to my radical overgeneralizing in my first post here.
In the East background and foreground are given a more balanced weight - this actually shows up in what people will notice in an image.
Relationships are also ‘seen’ more in the East in images. And in the West objects.
I see these patterns related to what is stressed. The individual, the thing, self. Or, the dynamics, relations (family) harmony, perception. The former one could argue at best create a healthy ego and an actualized individual. The latter best creates an expeience of the dissolution of subject/object split and harmony in relations.
Each approach having advantages and disadvantages depending on context.

I can agree with that sentiment.

Please rephrase that.

One can call it so as well, yes.

There has been a trend in occidental philosophy to the autonmous individual, with understanding considered having a good representation of reality inside the head. Emphasis on freedom of the monad self. Free from outside control, independently evaluating in a detached way the objective world that is outside it. This goes down from politics and up from ontology in the West. In the Orient the self it not considered separate. It is part of the family, it is merged or should merge with the object. The goal is not separateness, freedom from, but being well enmeshed…in the family, in the environment, joining the flow. The self as meeting place, nexus. One must take into account the other in a dialogue. In the West expression of the unique individual in the moment. In the East engaged in harmonius dance in a long chain of history. Understanding is not contained in the East, but a doing, a relation.

Holistic vs individualistic.

Agreed. The difference between the extreme individuality and the extreme community is one of the main differences between Occident and Orient.

Yes, one can also call it holism versus individualism.

Yes, one can also call it holism versus individualism.
I was just thinking ecological reason vs. instrumental reason (which harks back to James’s dichotomy)

Actually that is a good wording. The East usually involves a consideration of the whole picture, all inclusive, entire ecology whereas the West is generally concerned with how to accomplish a specific endeavor without regard to the whole. The East involves the entire simultaneous equation matrix whereas the West attempts to resolve each equation separately.

In general gender terms, the East is more feminine (wide visioned, “broad minded”, “ecological”) and the West more masculine (long visioned, “goal oriented”, “instrumental”).

West = Will to Power, masculine, focus on autonomy, linear, goal oriented,
East = Will to Emptiness, feminine, focus on relational, cyclical, awareness oriented

I think the middle way is probably the best way, although over the years I’ve gravitated more towards the east because I was too caught up in western philosophy for so long.


There is clear gender differentiation between the two. I realized this within some days when i got access to internet for the first time about 15 years ago. And, that is precisely the reason why most of the east was invaded by the west and lagged behind in innovation in technologies too.

East is happy in status quo, be there patiently at where it is. There is not much desire to change and progress. The emphasis is more on mere calm and easygoing survival. It would not change unless forced to do so. West is not satisfied with what it already has. It wants more and change too, whether it serves any purpose or not, true male character. Both thinking have their shares of pros and cons.

Though it is matter of debate which ideology is better, i still think that eastern approach is slightly better. Being hugely feminine in nature, it can withstand the onslaughts more effectively and easily. But, it could never become dominant.

with love,

It seems that you think it would be very easy to change between western and eastern philosophy. I do not think so. One can learn much about a philosophy of a foreign culture but not live it as if it were the philosophy of one’s own culture (the culture in which one has grown up). The change between different national philosophies can already be a problem, so the change between greater different units like the western culture(s) and the eastern culture(s) is not as easy as one may think.