How To Compare Two Philosophical Traditions Essay

Deliberation 03.01.2020

It is to act with the right attitude, reverence, say, in the case of serving one's parents in an appropriately respectful manner, and it is to express such an compare so gracefully and without internal conflict that doing so has become tradition nature see Kupperman, example of analysis essay based on an essay Cua, The importance attached to li, to ritual propriety itself, indicates the Confucian appreciation for the role of culture and convention in philosophical human beings to express ethical attitudes toward each another such as care and respect see Cua, for rich explorations of li in the thought of Xunzi.

It is not as how bowing naturally means deferential respect; it must be agreed through convention that it does mean something like this see Fingarette, ; see Shun,for a discussion of the relationship of li to the important virtue of ren. Mencius and Xunzi engaged in a vigorous, provocative debate over human nature and whether there are natural tendencies that form the basis for development of a good person.

They debate in a highly sophisticated manner issues as to whether ethical norms and values are discovered or invented, and their arguments are based partly on what essay make for a plausible explanation of how human beings develop into goodness and of how they become bad. One debate two arises within the comparative perspective, however, is whether the Confucians had anything that fits the Western notion of morality.

If such a contrast is made, then Confucians are acknowledged to have an ethics as opposed to a morality, where an ethics does embrace questions about value, how one ought to live one's life, and what the good life consists in.

One question to be debated here is whether Western notions of the moral are so uniform and narrow as to conform to one philosopher's even a great one specific conception of the moral.

Comparing Plato Essay | Bartleby

On the criteria given by Williams, Hume wouldn't have a morality, even though he used the term. If this dominant strain is taken to define morality, then Confucians would have no morality.

So then, is it right to say that Chinese philosophy is invitational while Western philosophy is argumentative? One answer is that there is a difference but that it is more a matter of degree than an absolute contrast. It was Aristotle, after all, who said that discussions about the good in human life cannot be properly assimilated by the young because they do not have enough experience of life Nichomachean Ethics I. And Plato despite his insistence on the centrality of argumentation to philosophy, dispatches the short analytical arguments presented in Book I of the Republic in favor of lengthy expository portraits of the ideal city-state and the harmonious soul for the rest of that work. Those portraits sometimes present only the thinnest of arguments for crucial premises, and at other times no argument at all. Some of his claims, about the divisive effects of family loyalties and the ill-effects of democracy, obviously appeal to experience, even if not all testimony will agree. In fact, it is hard work to find an acknowledged great in the Western tradition to whom such characterizations do not apply, at least to some degree. Sometimes, as in Spinoza The Ethics , the contrast is glaring between the aspiration to prove points by way of deductive argument from self-evident axioms and the obvious source of those points from experience of life. It is true that much Western philosophy, especially of the late modern variety, and most especially emanating from the United Kingdom and North America, attempts to establish its claims through argumentation that is more rigorous than appeals to experience and explanatory power in the broad sense. But it must also be noted that there is argument in Chinese philosophy. Chad Hansen has pointed out the pivotal role of the philosopher Mozi, who criticized the Confucians for an uncritical acceptance of tradition and who explicitly introduced standards for the evaluations of belief. This introduction of argumentation required response in kind. Mencius gives a Confucian response to to the Mohists and argues on behalf of his theory of human nature as containing the germs or sprouts of the ethical virtues, in the form of natural dispositions to have certain kinds of feeling and judging reactions to situations, such as compassion for a child about to fall into a well 2A6, and see Shun, for an extensive analysis of argumentation in the Mencius text. He defends himself against the arguments of rival theorists who hold that human nature has no innate ethical predispositions but is neutral 6A. Xunzi, a later Confucian thinker, attempts to give a refutation of Mencius's theory in favor of his own theory that human nature has dispositions that get us into trouble and that ethical norms are an invention designed to avoid that trouble Xunzi, chapter Methods of argumentation reach their most sophisticated state of development in Xunzi See Cua, Differences in the way philosophy is conceived may reflect differences in the interests philosophy is meant to satisfy. Chad Hansen points to another possible difference in interests — this time in interests that language is meant to satisfy, arguing that the classical Chinese thinkers did not conceive of the primary function of language to be descriptive and as attempting to match propositions with states of affairs, but rather as a pragmatic instrument for guiding behavior. In fact, Hansen sees the Chinese tradition as centrally concerned with the conflict of daos, which he defines as sets of behavior-guiding practices, including discourses. Western interpreters have been unable to see this, argues Hansen, because they have imposed their own concerns with correspondence truth and metaphysics on the Chinese tradition. They have as a result imposed upon Daoism an irrational mysticism focused on a metaphysically absolute Dao. Michael LaFargue also argues that the Daodejing is not to be interpreted as as concerning some metaphysical entity called the Dao, but is rather concerned with self cultivation that allows one to have a transforming experience of deep and peaceful stillness within one's personal center. Wuwei is the style of action that is rooted in such an experience. David Hall and Roger Ames give a related interpretation of Confucius, in part reacting against Herbert Fingarette's influential interpretation of Confucius' Dao as an ideal normative order transcending the contingencies of time, place, history, and culture. Hall and Ames argue Confucius's Dao was not conceived as a tradition and language-independent reality against which linguistically formulated beliefs were to be measured as reliable or unreliable, but in fact a cumulative creation of individuals working from within a context provided by a society's tradition, consisting of customs, conventions, conceptions of proper behavior and good manners, conceptions of right conduct and of what is of ultimate value and of what lives are worth living. These interpretations perform valuable functions in questioning what is sometimes an unreflective imposition of Western philosophical agendas on Chinese thinkers. The debate will go on, however. Concerning Confucius, it is true that the Analects often displays an attitude of tolerance and flexibility in judging where the Dao lies. On the other side, it can be pointed out that in sayings such as 1. One way to understand it is to take it as saying that human beings have to learn to respond to a kind of authority that is not based on force and coercion, but respect and care. Or consider the consistent Confucian theme that rulers cannot hold power simply on the basis of law and punishment. There is no sign such judgments are meant to be limited in scope to one's own time and place. Concerning the Daodejing, it is clear that there are very strong practical concerns underlying the text. A way of life is being recommended as in Hansen , and perhaps that way of life is rooted in a certain kind of transforming experience as in LaFargue. On the other side, it could be argued that such practical and experiential concerns do not exclude metaphysical concerns. Consider chapter four of that text where Dao is described as being empty, as seeming something like the ancestor of the myriad of things, as appearing to precede the Lord di. For something that at least looks metaphysical in the Mencius, consider aforementioned 2A2, concerning the unperturbed heart that can be achieved by cultivating one's floodlike qi. Such qi is vast and unyielding, and if cultivated with uprightness will fill up the space between tian Heaven and earth. Perhaps the lesson to draw is not that Chinese thinkers lacked metaphysical concerns but that they did not separate practical from metaphysical concerns in the way that contemporary Western thinkers might. This embrace of an indeterminate ground of the determinate may reflect the decision to give the phenomenon of change a fundamental place in ontology, rather than an absolutely stable being as in Parmenidean ontology and as later reflected in Aristotelian and Cartesian notions of substance Cheng, , The revival of interest in Chinese metaphysics has partly been fueled by the perception that twentieth century physics has in fact undermined the strategy of giving determinate being ontological primacy Zukov, The Neo-Confucian Chu Hsi Zhuzi yulei reinterpreted ethical themes inherited from the classical thinkers and grounded them in a cosmology and metaphysics. On his conception of ren as an all inclusive virtue, it constitutes the Dao and consists of the fact that the mind of Heaven and Earth to produce things is present in everything, including the mind of human beings. Another great Neo-Confucian, Wang Yang-Ming Quan xilu does seem more pragmatic than metaphysical, He taught of the sage who formed one body with Heaven and Earth and the myriad things, but he showed little of Chu's interest in the li or principle of existent things. The investigation of things prescribed in the Great Learning Da Xue was not the empirical inquiry Chu envisioned but a rectification of the mind with evil thoughts. Perhaps Chu and Wang represent development of tendencies that were present from the beginning, and between which there was never conceived to be a mutually exclusive choice. When we get to Chinese Buddhism, there is more evidence for metaphysical concerns that at the same time are urgently practical. It is difficult to view as anything but a metaphysical doctrine the Buddha's view of the self as a floating collection of various psychophysical reactions and responses with no fixed center or unchanging ego entity. He did not deny that we think of the self as a fixed and unchanging center, but considered such a self a delusion. But there is only the interacting and interconnected series. This metaphysical concern, of course, had deep practical implications for the Buddha. It points toward the answer to human suffering, which ultimately stems from a concern for the existence and pleasures and pains of the kind of self that never existed in the first place. In a comparative perspective, one cannot help but be struck by the similarity between the Buddhist view of the self and David Hume's doubts about the existence of a unitary and stable self Treatise of Human Nature, 1. However one might regard the argument for impersonal concern from such a view of the self, the view itself may seem to have a claim to a our renewed attention. It certainly fits better with a naturalized conception of human beings as part of this world and not as Cartesian thinking substances that somehow operate apart from the rest of nature. Siderits Flanagan have brought Buddhism into dialogue with naturalistic analytic philosophy in sophisticated and productive ways that benefit both sides. Ethical Commensurability Confucianism is a perfectionist virtue ethic if such an ethic is distinguished by its central focus on three subjects: character traits identified as the virtues; the good and worthwhile life; and particularist modes of ethical reasoning. These three subjects are interrelated. The virtues are traits of character necessary for living a good life. The virtues typically involve acting on particularist modes of ethical reasoning that do not rely on deducing specific action-guiding conclusions about how to act from general principles but rather on judging in the context at hand what needs to be done see Van Norden, , , Hutton, , Wong, , and Ivanhoe, for discussions of judgment and its relation to reasoning and emotion in Mencius. Consider some of the virtues that belong to the junzi the noble person : ren humanity, benevolence , xiao filial piety , yi righteousness , and li acting according to ceremonial ritual or more generally propriety. The very concept of yi connotes the ability to identify and perform the action that is appropriate to the particular context Analects says that the junzi is not predisposed to be for or against anything, but rather goes with what is yi. While traditional rules of ritual provide one with a sense of what is courteous and respectful action given standard contexts, the virtue of yi allows one to identify when those rules need to be set aside in exigent circumstances see Cua, The previously discussed example in the Mencius of Shun and his father shows how a ruler's more general concern for his subjects and his filial duties to his fathers must be balanced in ways that cannot be given by principle but only by reflection on what the particular circumstances suggest and allow. Finally, consider that another example from the Mencius about the time when Shun wanted to marry. He knew that his parents, not the wisest nor the best of parents, would not permit him to marry if told of Shun's intention. Shun went ahead and got married without telling his parents, an act that normally would be a grave offense against filial piety. Two reasons are given for the justifiability of this act. One is that the worst way of being a bad son is to provide no heir 4A26 ; the other is that letting his parents thwart his desire to realize the greatest of human relationships which in turn would cause bitterness toward his parents 5A2. Hence an act that normally would be a grave offense against filial piety constitutes filial piety in the particular circumstances. Particularist modes of reasoning are needed, then, to judge when the usual rules apply, to balance conflicting values, and to specify the concrete meaning of single values in application to context. The parallels to ancient Greek virtue ethics, medieval virtue ethics, and also to contemporary virtue ethics in the West are striking, and help to account for the renewal of Western interest in Confucianism. For example, Jiyuan Yu argues that the concept of eudaimonia happiness, living well, flourishing in Aristotle and the concept of dao the way for human beings to live in Confucius are parallel starting points in their ethics, and that the next step in both their ethics is to discuss virtue arete for Aristotle and de for Confucius. In general, Chinese and Western virtue ethics converge in focusing on certain virtues as crucial for ethical development of the person. There are particularly interesting discussions of courage and the possible role of fear in Mencius and Aristotle see Van Norden, , Particularist modes of reasoning in Confucianism parallel the Aristotelian notion of a phronesis or practical wisdom that depends significantly on knowledge of particulars acquired through experience. A good example is his doctrine of the mean, which holds that virtuous action and feeling consists of avoiding the extremes of deficit and excess. The doctrine does not imply that we ought always to act moderately and with moderate feeling. Depending on the situation, the appropriate action and feeling may be extreme on a common sense understanding but appropriate given the agent and the circumstances. Part of the contemporary revival of virtue ethics is premised partly on a reaction against the ambition of modern ethical theory to guide primarily through general principles of action rather than through the specification of ideal character traits. Virtue ethics also tend to embody the theme that the ethical life of right and in the case of Chinese and contemporary Western virtue ethics caring relationship to others is necessary for human flourishing. In the Mencius this theme emerges in identification of the distinctively human potentials with the incipient tendencies to develop the moral virtues Mencius 2A6, 6A1, 6A3, 6A7. Aristotle held that reason makes us distinctively human and that our reason and social nature compel recognition of the desirability of the ethical life for human beings see Nivison, for comparisons of Aristotle and Mencius; and Yearley, for comparisons of Acquinas and Mencius. Xunzi is equally emphatic about the necessity of right and caring relationship to others for human flourishing, even though he denies at least when he is criticizing Mencius that human nature contains tendencies to engage in such relationships see Ivanhoe, , on the way ethical norms help human beings to flourish; and Nivison, a, b, Van Norden, , , Wong, b, and Kline, , on the difference between Mencius and Xunzi's theories of human nature; see Goldin, , for a book-length treatment of Xunzi's philosophy. The similarities coexist with significant differences, however. There is no parallel in Greek virtue ethics for the centrality of family life in the Confucian conception of the good life. Part of the reason for this lies in the Confucian appreciation for the family as the first arena in which care, respect, and deference to legitimate authority is learned Analects 1. Van Norden , points out that the moral emotion of shame plays a crucial role in Mencius' conception of moral development and that there is no comparable role played by the emotion in Aristotle. He suggests that the explanation lies in Mencius' greater focus on moral agency in media res. The way in which particularist reasoning is illustrated in historical stories such as those about Shun is also a distinctive feature of Confucian ethics. These stories present paradigms of good judgment and of good individuals, from which persons engaged in ethical cultivation of themselves should learn. Another distinctive feature of Confucian ethics is the emphasis it gives to an aesthetic dimension of the good life. To act according to ritual propriety is not simply to conform to notions of appropriate behavior in this or that context. It is to act with the right attitude, reverence, say, in the case of serving one's parents in an appropriately respectful manner, and it is to express such an attitude so gracefully and without internal conflict that doing so has become second nature see Kupperman, and Cua, The importance attached to li, to ritual propriety itself, indicates the Confucian appreciation for the role of culture and convention in enabling human beings to express ethical attitudes toward each another such as care and respect see Cua, for rich explorations of li in the thought of Xunzi. It is not as if bowing naturally means deferential respect; it must be agreed through convention that it does mean something like this see Fingarette, ; see Shun, , for a discussion of the relationship of li to the important virtue of ren. Mencius and Xunzi engaged in a vigorous, provocative debate over human nature and whether there are natural tendencies that form the basis for development of a good person. They debate in a highly sophisticated manner issues as to whether ethical norms and values are discovered or invented, and their arguments are based partly on what would make for a plausible explanation of how human beings develop into goodness and of how they become bad. One debate that arises within the comparative perspective, however, is whether the Confucians had anything that fits the Western notion of morality. If such a contrast is made, then Confucians are acknowledged to have an ethics as opposed to a morality, where an ethics does embrace questions about value, how one ought to live one's life, and what the good life consists in. One question to be debated here is whether Western notions of the moral are so uniform and narrow as to conform to one philosopher's even a great one specific conception of the moral. On the criteria given by Williams, Hume wouldn't have a morality, even though he used the term. If this dominant strain is taken to define morality, then Confucians would have no morality. It also would eliminate certain utilitarians from having a morality: those who insist that there is no purely private sphere because any type of action or omission could have substantial impact on others given the right circumstances. Another potential contrast arises from the focus in modern Western moralities on individual rights to liberty and to other goods, where the basis for attributing such rights to persons lies in a moral worth attributed to each individual independently of what conduces to individual's responsibilities to self and others. Confucianism lacks a comparable concept, given its assumption that the ethical life of responsibility to others and individual flourishing are inextricably intertwined Shun, A frequent criticism from the Western side is that Confucianism fails to provide adequate protection to those legitimate interests an individual has that may conflict with community interests. Against those who argue that Confucianism does not protect the individual enough, it could be replied that the Confucian framework of responsibilities to others can afford significant protections to the individual and arguably addresses the human need for community and belonging better than rights frameworks Rosemont, , Another criticism from the Western side is that the dignity of the individual cannot be honored without recognition of individual rights. It has been replied, however, that dignity can lie in one's human capacity to participate in the distinctively human life of relationship and in living up to one's responsibilities to others Ihara, Moreover, it is possible that rights in some sense can play a role in the Confucian tradition, even if such rights are not grounded in the idea of the independent moral worth of the autonomous individual. Within that tradition, rights may be seen as necessary for protecting individuals' interests when the right relationships of care irretrievably break down Chan, Rights in the sense of justified claims to be protected in one's speech even when protest and dissenting against authority can be justified as conducive to the health of the community Wong, Mencius recognized a right to revolution against tyrannical kings 1B8 ; he furthermore advised kings to attach more weight to the opinions of his people than to those of his ministers and officers in making certain crucial decisions 1B7. Xunzi recognized the need for subordinates to speak their views freely to their superiors Xunzi, Zigong, Way of the Son. This article focuses on rights in relation to classical Confucianism. For a detailed discussion of rights discourse in seventeenth and eighteenth century Confucianism, see Angle, On the other side, one must be wary of oversimplifications of Western rights-oriented ethical codes. The fact that there are developments of each tradition that bring each closer to the other may suggest that each could learn from the other. Those impressed with this worry and connect it with gross inequality in the most affluent nation in the world would do well to look to a tradition that appreciates the way we thrive or falter within specific communities that nurture or shut us out. Or consider an intriguing argument by Bell , pp. On the other side, a tradition that has tended to value the idea of social harmony at the cost of sufficiently protecting dissenters who desire to point out abuses of power or just plain bad thinking by authorities would do well to look at another tradition that does not value social harmony as highly but has endured and is vigorous. These arguments for greater compatibility between Chinese and Western ethics do not eliminate all significant differences between them on the subject of rights. It is possible to argue that even if responsibility-frameworks are developed and institutionalized to provide genuine protection to dissenting individuals, they cannot provide as much protection as rights frameworks when individual interests seriously threaten communal or social interests. And if Western ethics sometimes provides more protection to the individual against communal or social interests, this could be seen as unacceptable from a Confucian standpoint. One possible stance on these kinds of differences is evaluational incommensurability. The stance is that each tradition is not wrong to emphasize different values, that no judgment of superiority can be made here. The argument for this may start with the claim that each sort of ethic focuses on a good that may reasonably occupy the center of an ethical ideal for human life. On the one hand, there is the good of belonging to and contributing to a community; on the other, there is the good of respect for the individual apart from any potential contribution to community. His views of this are apparent in the Meno. As I read up on whether or not we deliberately choose evil I realized there are many sides, many ways to answer this question. My opinion is not as clear as I thought. Plato and Aristotle are two such philosophers who had ideas of how to improve existing societies during their individual lifetimes. While both Plato and Aristotle were great thinkers, perhaps it is necessary first to examine the ideas of each before showing how one has laid the groundwork and developed certain themes for the other. Plato is regarded by many experts as the first writer of political philosophy. It is one of the most studied times in history. Many questions are asked about how, when, and why this great revolution started. This essay will explain the reasons for it starting by comparing this time of history to Ancient Greece. All physical objects are merely copies of an original object steaming from the mind. Thus making all physical objects imperfect, because they are copies of the original idea. Plato believed that there were two worlds; the visible and the intelligible. The visible world is based off the senses, what is perceived around us, and it is a world made of up of change and uncertainty. In this paper, I am going to examine and compare my views on education to the great philosophers Aristotle, Socrates and Plato. Education should not be something forced on people from a very young age. We are educating our children to be master test takers who conform to the norm and not to think outside the box. Ibn Sina referenced Aristotle many times in his works and sometimes Plato, using them as an authority when it suited his purpose. Even though Ibn Sina used Plato in some of his individual texts, he failed to mention him in his theory of the human soul because they have two different points to argue when it comes to this topic. In Plato 's Apology we learn about Socrates life and who he really is. While he is guilty of the first, second, fifth and sixth accusations, he is innocent of the third and the fourth. That Socrates is guilty by his own standards of being a busybody, or meddler, is proven by his way of discussing subjects by constantly asking questions, which can be quite meddlesome. Both philosophers can be viewed as having opposing ideologies. Nonetheless, Plato and Aristotle are in agreement on certain factors of their philosophy. Many have scrutinized and compared the dissimilarities and similarities of Aristotle's doctrine of categories and Plato's theory of forms. The observations found are of an interesting nature. During this conversation Euthyphro attempts to impose unrealistic beliefs concerning piety. Euthyphro is the plaintiff in a murder suit that he is filing against his very own father. Although they were similar in many ways, their use and definition of rhetoric were different. Plato had the more classical approach where he used rhetoric as a means of education to pass down his beliefs and practice of rhetoric to his students. He believed that it should be used to educate the masses, provoking thought, and thereby preserving that knowledge. Although these young men considered Socrates to be wise, many other people thought that he was corrupting the youth and accused him of blasphemy; not believing in the Gods of the states and instead creating his own teaching. By contrast, Martin Luther King Jr. Thus, he questions if a neutral person only befriends a good person when they are in need. The deontological, the utilitarian , the Aristotelian? Prospects for Comparative Philosophy In the end, one may object that actually there is no such thing as comparative philosophy, as a discrete sub-discipline of philosophical work, because all philosophical work is comparative. After all, one thing philosophers habitually do is to compare the work of various thinkers with those of others, or with their own. Philosophers require a thorough survey of the full range of significant views on a question before giving assent. Each view must be tested against others. This is a characteristically comparative project. This means that not only is the task of comparison fundamental to what philosophers do, but also the thought worlds examined may be incommensurable even though they come from the same cultural stream. One may take the position that Aristotle compared with Confucius on morality is different only in degree from a comparison between Aristotle and Aquinas. However, as Alfred North Whitehead pointed out, a difference in degree may sometimes become a difference in kind. Even if the difference between what philosophers regularly do when comparing thinkers within the Western tradition and what they do when comparing a Western thinker with one from India, for example, is not a matter of kind, still the degree of these differences might be important. But no formal or general rule or criteria can be laid down for distinguishing these types of comparisons. There are ways in which comparing philosophical ideas between traditions and comparing those within the same tradition are similar. Part of the task of comparative philosophers who work cross-culturally is to reveal, in the pursuit of their own work, wherein the differences between these comparative approaches are dramatic and philosophically significant. Properly speaking, comparative philosophy does not lead toward the creation of a synthesis of philosophical traditions as in world philosophy. What is being created is not a new theory but a different sort of philosopher. The goal of comparative philosophy is learning a new language, a new way of talking. The comparative philosopher does not so much inhabit both of the standpoints represented by the traditions from which he draws as he comes to inhabit an emerging standpoint different from them all and which is thereby creatively a new way of seeing the human condition. References and Further Reading a. Comparative Philosophy — General Allen, Douglas, ed. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, Ames, Roger, ed. Chicago: Open Court, Ames, Roger and Wilmal Dissanayake. Emotions in Asian Thought. Self as Image in Asian Theory and Practice. Self as Person in Asian Thought. Self as Body in Asian Theory and Practice. Ames, Roger and J. Baird Callicott, eds. Barnhart, Michael. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, Bonevac, Daniel and Stephen Phillips, eds. Blocker, H. Carmody, Denise and John Carmody. Ways to the Center. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing, Clarke, J. London: Routledge, Davidson, Donald. Deutsch, Eliot. Introduction to World Philosophies. Deutsch, Eliot and Ron Bontekoe, eds. A Companion to World Philosophies. Oxford: Blackwell, Dilworth, David. New Haven: Yale University Press, Fleischacker, Samuel. Integrity and Moral Relativism. Leiden: E. Brill, Hackett, Stuart. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, Inada, Kenneth, ed. East-West Dialogues in Aesthetics. Larson, Gerald James and Eliot Deutsch, eds. Princeton: Princeton University Press, MacIntyre, Alasdair. Masson-Oursel, Paul. Comparative Philosophy. Matilal, Bimal. Mohany, Jitendra. Nussbaum, Martha. Parkes, Graham, ed. Heidegger and Asian Thought. Parkes, Graham. Nietzsche and Asian Thought. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, Putnam, Hilary. Raju, P. Introduction to Comparative Philosophy. Reprint ed. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass,

It also would eliminate certain utilitarians from having a morality: those who insist that there is no purely private sphere because any type of action or omission could have substantial impact on others given the right circumstances. Another potential contrast arises from the focus in modern Western moralities on individual rights to liberty and to other goods, where the basis for attributing such rights to persons lies in a moral worth attributed to each individual independently of what conduces to individual's responsibilities to self and others.

Confucianism lacks a comparable concept, given its assumption that the ethical life of responsibility to others two individual flourishing are inextricably intertwined Shun, A frequent criticism from the Western side is that Confucianism fails to provide adequate protection to those essay interests an individual has that may conflict with community interests. Against those who argue that Confucianism does not protect the individual enough, it could be replied that the Confucian framework of responsibilities to others can afford significant protections to the individual and arguably addresses the human need for community and belonging better than rights frameworks Rosemont, Another criticism from the Western side is that the dignity of the individual cannot be honored without recognition of individual rights.

It has been replied, however, that dignity can lie in one's human capacity to participate in the distinctively human life of relationship and in living up to one's responsibilities descriptive essay examples pet others Ihara, Moreover, it is possible that rights in some sense can play a role in the Confucian tradition, even if such rights are not grounded in the idea of the independent moral worth of the autonomous individual.

Within that tradition, rights may be seen as necessary for protecting individuals' interests when the right relationships of tradition irretrievably break down Chan, Rights in the sense of justified claims to be protected in one's speech even when protest and dissenting against compare can be justified as conducive to the health of the community Wong, Mencius recognized a right to revolution against tyrannical kings 1B8 ; he furthermore advised kings to attach more weight to the opinions of his people than to those of his ministers and officers in making certain crucial decisions 1B7.

Xunzi recognized the need for subordinates to speak their views freely to their superiors Xunzi, Zigong, Way of the Son. Technology ap english essay examples article focuses on rights in relation to classical Confucianism. How to write inner thoughts in an essay a philosophical discussion of rights discourse in seventeenth and eighteenth century Confucianism, see Angle, On the other side, one must be wary of oversimplifications of Western rights-oriented ethical codes.

The fact that there are developments of each tradition that bring each closer to the other may suggest that each could learn from the other. Those impressed with this worry and connect it with gross inequality how the most affluent nation in the world would do well to look to a tradition that appreciates the way we thrive or falter within specific communities that nurture or shut us out.

How to compare two philosophical traditions essay

Or consider an intriguing argument by Bellpp. On the other side, a tradition that has tended to value the idea of social harmony at the cost of sufficiently protecting dissenters who desire to point out abuses of power or how plain bad thinking by authorities would do well how to be a good girlfriend essay look at another tradition that does not value social harmony as highly but has endured and is vigorous.

These arguments for greater compatibility between Chinese and Western ethics do not eliminate all significant differences between them on the essay of rights. It is possible to argue that even if responsibility-frameworks are developed and institutionalized to provide genuine protection to dissenting individuals, they cannot provide as much protection as rights frameworks when individual interests seriously threaten communal or social interests.

And if Western ethics sometimes provides more protection to the individual against communal or social interests, this could be seen two unacceptable from a Confucian standpoint. One possible stance on these kinds of differences is evaluational incommensurability. The stance is that each tradition is not wrong to emphasize different values, that no judgment of superiority can be made here.

The argument for this may start with the claim that each sort of ethic focuses on a good that may reasonably occupy the center of an ethical ideal for human life. On the one philosophical, there is the good of belonging to and contributing to a community; on the other, there is the good of respect for the individual apart from any tradition contribution to community.

It would be surprising, the argument goes, if there were just one justifiable way of setting a priority with respect to the two goods, even when we take into account the justifiable ways in which the two kinds of ethics could be brought closer together.

On this view, comparative ethics teaches us about the diversity and richness of what human beings may reasonably prize, and about the impossibility of reconciling all they prize in just a single ethical ideal e. Daoist ethics are often cited as exemplars of substantial difference with the Western compare.

Oxford: Oxford University Press, Ivanhoe, Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company. You might be asked to compare positions on an issue e. Wong, David. See Mou for a range of articles on the way that Davidson's interpretive principle and other aspects of his philosophy relate to Chinese philosophy. The basis for comparison will be the figure of the gentleman. While traditional rules of ritual provide one with a sense of what is courteous and respectful action given standard contexts, the virtue of yi allows one to identify when those rules need to be set aside in exigent circumstances see Cua, Kjellberg, Paul, and Ivanhoe, Philip J.

Both the Zhuangzi's and Daodejing's commendation of wuwei is a case in point. It is a commendation of a tradition of how that consists in being two rather than aggressive, following from behind rather than leading in front, accommodating rather than confrontational, and compare flexible and ready to change with the situation rather than rigid and how from general predetermined principles.

While the theme of attunement tradition the world is compare at the roots of Western traditions, no major ethic in the West gives the ideal of spontaneous, effortless attunement the essay of centrality Daoism gives to it, and indeed, Slingerland argues that the ideal of spontaneous and effortless action that is in accord with the philosophical order two the cosmos is quite important to the early Confucian essays.

Ames traces the wu-wei ideal as it is applied to rulership in Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism.

Comparative Philosophy: Chinese and Western (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Another case for substantial difference with the Western tradition essays on the strong skepticism in Daoist ethics about the benefits of conceptualized distinctions two good and bad, philosophical and wrong. Yet these compare make recommendations that add up to putting forward a way of life. In how Zhuangzi, that way of life involves not tradition taking oneself and one's ideas so seriously.

Summarizing and paraphrasing powerpoint

For example, you might decide that in Great Expectations, being a true gentleman is not a matter of manners or position but morality, whereas in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, being a true gentleman is not about luxury and self-indulgence but hard work and productivity. The list you have generated is not yet your outline for the essay, but it should provide you with enough similarities and differences to construct an initial plan. Develop a thesis based on the relative weight of similarities and differences Once you have listed similarities and differences, decide whether the similarities on the whole outweigh the differences or vice versa. Create a thesis statement that reflects their relative weights. A more complex thesis will usually include both similarities and differences. Similarities outweigh differences: Although Darwin and Lamarck came to different conclusions about whether acquired traits can be inherited, they shared the key distinction of recognizing that species evolve over time. Come up with a structure for your essay Alternating method: Point-by-point patternIn the alternating method, you find related points common to your central subjects A and B, and alternate between A and B on the basis of these points ABABAB …. Because of their marvelous philosophers. The most important philosophers from that time and always are: Aristotle, Plato and Socrates. Socrates: Socrates was a very important philosopher. He usually questioned a lot about traditions, religion and government. One of his ideas, now used at school, is the Socratic Method. Reeve, Plato is interested in understanding the definition of knowledge through conceptual analysis— understanding the minimum requirements for one to have knowledge, and avoiding circularity in definitions. While this exist in the world some of the things that bring people the most happiness in life is achieving a good education, treating others equally, and loving those around them. Cooper is the following. Socrates emphasizes the importance of truthfulness and justice in governmental systems and Machiavelli focuses on having a determined ruler than can lead the state into success. Both men lived during a time of uncertainty and instability, desiring to change their society for the better. By examining these two readings, and the movie, it will allow the author to show some comparisons, and to show how they are also different as this essay indicates the world is very real. In the Republic Plato thinks the ruling class should be replaced with philosophers, in manufacturing consent Chomsky believes the rulering class should be replaced with the masses and democracy. Some of the reasons for this different mindset is the environment they were in at the time of righting their books. Ethics applies to both us and the people around us and so is both politically important and important to the individual. Socrates states that perfection, which he refers to as justice, in a governed body is harmony among all classes of people-"The rebellious part is by nature the whole of vice. The stories bring on questions of what is in fact illusion. Overall, the stories provide a guide to the truth. Anderson questions everything in the world as he knows it. Plato and Aristotle aim to outline a citizen that helps the State to run at its finest, but set their basis under the wrong conditions. To look at justice in the soul, Plato used the bigger idea of the State to compare it to an individual. When different ones were discussing the law, mathematics, science they were still trying to nail down reality to their satisfaction and determine what it is and whether it truly exists the way people have always believe that it does. Descartes for example was a noted mathematician who is still studied to this day. The scholar Socrates was know as a calculated man who tried to delve into and honestly answer all of his quagmires about life and the universe. One might be able to see such passages as appealing to experiences the audience might have in its encounters with persons who do seem to possess special strength, substance, and tranquillity through identification with and commitment to a cause they perceive to be far greater than themselves. One need not interpret such sayings as attempting to persuade by the pure emotive effect of certain words, as in propaganda. Rather, they may correspond to a way of doing philosophy that attempts to say something about values in life that can be supported by experience, even if not all testimony will agree Kupperman, The Daoists recommend a way of life that they explicitly characterize as one that cannot be argued for, but their recommendation receives some support through commonly shared experience. Consider again the notion of wuwei and its illustrations in the Zhuangzi through stories of exemplary craft. Most famously, Zhungzi's Cook Ding cuts up an oxen so smoothly and effortlessly that his knife never dulls, and it is if he is doing a dance with his knife as it zips through the spaces between the joints. His marvelous skill is knowledge of how to adjust his own movements to the spaces within oxen so that he and the oxen form seamless wholes. Similarly, Woodcarver Qing has learned to prepare for carving his marvelous bellstands in such a way that he clears his mind of all distraction and sees the stand within the timber he has selected. Suggested here is a portrait of acting in the world that consists of complete and full attention to present circumstances so that the agent can act with the grain of things the Cook Ding passage refers to tianli or heavenly patterns. Such a portrait does resonate with the actual experience of craftspeople, artists, athletes, musicians and dancers who have advanced beyond self-conscious technique and rule-following, who become fully absorbed in the experience of working with the material, the instruments or in the movement of their bodies, and who experience their actions as an effortless flow and in fact perform at very high levels. In such ways, Chinese thinkers draw a picture of the world that must in the end be evaluated by explanatory power in some very broad sense. So then, is it right to say that Chinese philosophy is invitational while Western philosophy is argumentative? One answer is that there is a difference but that it is more a matter of degree than an absolute contrast. It was Aristotle, after all, who said that discussions about the good in human life cannot be properly assimilated by the young because they do not have enough experience of life Nichomachean Ethics I. And Plato despite his insistence on the centrality of argumentation to philosophy, dispatches the short analytical arguments presented in Book I of the Republic in favor of lengthy expository portraits of the ideal city-state and the harmonious soul for the rest of that work. Those portraits sometimes present only the thinnest of arguments for crucial premises, and at other times no argument at all. Some of his claims, about the divisive effects of family loyalties and the ill-effects of democracy, obviously appeal to experience, even if not all testimony will agree. In fact, it is hard work to find an acknowledged great in the Western tradition to whom such characterizations do not apply, at least to some degree. Sometimes, as in Spinoza The Ethics , the contrast is glaring between the aspiration to prove points by way of deductive argument from self-evident axioms and the obvious source of those points from experience of life. It is true that much Western philosophy, especially of the late modern variety, and most especially emanating from the United Kingdom and North America, attempts to establish its claims through argumentation that is more rigorous than appeals to experience and explanatory power in the broad sense. But it must also be noted that there is argument in Chinese philosophy. Chad Hansen has pointed out the pivotal role of the philosopher Mozi, who criticized the Confucians for an uncritical acceptance of tradition and who explicitly introduced standards for the evaluations of belief. This introduction of argumentation required response in kind. Mencius gives a Confucian response to to the Mohists and argues on behalf of his theory of human nature as containing the germs or sprouts of the ethical virtues, in the form of natural dispositions to have certain kinds of feeling and judging reactions to situations, such as compassion for a child about to fall into a well 2A6, and see Shun, for an extensive analysis of argumentation in the Mencius text. He defends himself against the arguments of rival theorists who hold that human nature has no innate ethical predispositions but is neutral 6A. Xunzi, a later Confucian thinker, attempts to give a refutation of Mencius's theory in favor of his own theory that human nature has dispositions that get us into trouble and that ethical norms are an invention designed to avoid that trouble Xunzi, chapter Methods of argumentation reach their most sophisticated state of development in Xunzi See Cua, Differences in the way philosophy is conceived may reflect differences in the interests philosophy is meant to satisfy. Chad Hansen points to another possible difference in interests — this time in interests that language is meant to satisfy, arguing that the classical Chinese thinkers did not conceive of the primary function of language to be descriptive and as attempting to match propositions with states of affairs, but rather as a pragmatic instrument for guiding behavior. In fact, Hansen sees the Chinese tradition as centrally concerned with the conflict of daos, which he defines as sets of behavior-guiding practices, including discourses. Western interpreters have been unable to see this, argues Hansen, because they have imposed their own concerns with correspondence truth and metaphysics on the Chinese tradition. They have as a result imposed upon Daoism an irrational mysticism focused on a metaphysically absolute Dao. Michael LaFargue also argues that the Daodejing is not to be interpreted as as concerning some metaphysical entity called the Dao, but is rather concerned with self cultivation that allows one to have a transforming experience of deep and peaceful stillness within one's personal center. Wuwei is the style of action that is rooted in such an experience. David Hall and Roger Ames give a related interpretation of Confucius, in part reacting against Herbert Fingarette's influential interpretation of Confucius' Dao as an ideal normative order transcending the contingencies of time, place, history, and culture. Hall and Ames argue Confucius's Dao was not conceived as a tradition and language-independent reality against which linguistically formulated beliefs were to be measured as reliable or unreliable, but in fact a cumulative creation of individuals working from within a context provided by a society's tradition, consisting of customs, conventions, conceptions of proper behavior and good manners, conceptions of right conduct and of what is of ultimate value and of what lives are worth living. These interpretations perform valuable functions in questioning what is sometimes an unreflective imposition of Western philosophical agendas on Chinese thinkers. The debate will go on, however. Concerning Confucius, it is true that the Analects often displays an attitude of tolerance and flexibility in judging where the Dao lies. On the other side, it can be pointed out that in sayings such as 1. One way to understand it is to take it as saying that human beings have to learn to respond to a kind of authority that is not based on force and coercion, but respect and care. Or consider the consistent Confucian theme that rulers cannot hold power simply on the basis of law and punishment. There is no sign such judgments are meant to be limited in scope to one's own time and place. Concerning the Daodejing, it is clear that there are very strong practical concerns underlying the text. A way of life is being recommended as in Hansen , and perhaps that way of life is rooted in a certain kind of transforming experience as in LaFargue. On the other side, it could be argued that such practical and experiential concerns do not exclude metaphysical concerns. Consider chapter four of that text where Dao is described as being empty, as seeming something like the ancestor of the myriad of things, as appearing to precede the Lord di. For something that at least looks metaphysical in the Mencius, consider aforementioned 2A2, concerning the unperturbed heart that can be achieved by cultivating one's floodlike qi. Such qi is vast and unyielding, and if cultivated with uprightness will fill up the space between tian Heaven and earth. Perhaps the lesson to draw is not that Chinese thinkers lacked metaphysical concerns but that they did not separate practical from metaphysical concerns in the way that contemporary Western thinkers might. This embrace of an indeterminate ground of the determinate may reflect the decision to give the phenomenon of change a fundamental place in ontology, rather than an absolutely stable being as in Parmenidean ontology and as later reflected in Aristotelian and Cartesian notions of substance Cheng, , The revival of interest in Chinese metaphysics has partly been fueled by the perception that twentieth century physics has in fact undermined the strategy of giving determinate being ontological primacy Zukov, The Neo-Confucian Chu Hsi Zhuzi yulei reinterpreted ethical themes inherited from the classical thinkers and grounded them in a cosmology and metaphysics. On his conception of ren as an all inclusive virtue, it constitutes the Dao and consists of the fact that the mind of Heaven and Earth to produce things is present in everything, including the mind of human beings. Another great Neo-Confucian, Wang Yang-Ming Quan xilu does seem more pragmatic than metaphysical, He taught of the sage who formed one body with Heaven and Earth and the myriad things, but he showed little of Chu's interest in the li or principle of existent things. The investigation of things prescribed in the Great Learning Da Xue was not the empirical inquiry Chu envisioned but a rectification of the mind with evil thoughts. Perhaps Chu and Wang represent development of tendencies that were present from the beginning, and between which there was never conceived to be a mutually exclusive choice. When we get to Chinese Buddhism, there is more evidence for metaphysical concerns that at the same time are urgently practical. It is difficult to view as anything but a metaphysical doctrine the Buddha's view of the self as a floating collection of various psychophysical reactions and responses with no fixed center or unchanging ego entity. He did not deny that we think of the self as a fixed and unchanging center, but considered such a self a delusion. But there is only the interacting and interconnected series. This metaphysical concern, of course, had deep practical implications for the Buddha. It points toward the answer to human suffering, which ultimately stems from a concern for the existence and pleasures and pains of the kind of self that never existed in the first place. In a comparative perspective, one cannot help but be struck by the similarity between the Buddhist view of the self and David Hume's doubts about the existence of a unitary and stable self Treatise of Human Nature, 1. However one might regard the argument for impersonal concern from such a view of the self, the view itself may seem to have a claim to a our renewed attention. It certainly fits better with a naturalized conception of human beings as part of this world and not as Cartesian thinking substances that somehow operate apart from the rest of nature. Siderits Flanagan have brought Buddhism into dialogue with naturalistic analytic philosophy in sophisticated and productive ways that benefit both sides. Ethical Commensurability Confucianism is a perfectionist virtue ethic if such an ethic is distinguished by its central focus on three subjects: character traits identified as the virtues; the good and worthwhile life; and particularist modes of ethical reasoning. These three subjects are interrelated. The virtues are traits of character necessary for living a good life. The virtues typically involve acting on particularist modes of ethical reasoning that do not rely on deducing specific action-guiding conclusions about how to act from general principles but rather on judging in the context at hand what needs to be done see Van Norden, , , Hutton, , Wong, , and Ivanhoe, for discussions of judgment and its relation to reasoning and emotion in Mencius. Consider some of the virtues that belong to the junzi the noble person : ren humanity, benevolence , xiao filial piety , yi righteousness , and li acting according to ceremonial ritual or more generally propriety. The very concept of yi connotes the ability to identify and perform the action that is appropriate to the particular context Analects says that the junzi is not predisposed to be for or against anything, but rather goes with what is yi. While traditional rules of ritual provide one with a sense of what is courteous and respectful action given standard contexts, the virtue of yi allows one to identify when those rules need to be set aside in exigent circumstances see Cua, The previously discussed example in the Mencius of Shun and his father shows how a ruler's more general concern for his subjects and his filial duties to his fathers must be balanced in ways that cannot be given by principle but only by reflection on what the particular circumstances suggest and allow. Finally, consider that another example from the Mencius about the time when Shun wanted to marry. He knew that his parents, not the wisest nor the best of parents, would not permit him to marry if told of Shun's intention. Shun went ahead and got married without telling his parents, an act that normally would be a grave offense against filial piety. Two reasons are given for the justifiability of this act. One is that the worst way of being a bad son is to provide no heir 4A26 ; the other is that letting his parents thwart his desire to realize the greatest of human relationships which in turn would cause bitterness toward his parents 5A2. Hence an act that normally would be a grave offense against filial piety constitutes filial piety in the particular circumstances. Particularist modes of reasoning are needed, then, to judge when the usual rules apply, to balance conflicting values, and to specify the concrete meaning of single values in application to context. The parallels to ancient Greek virtue ethics, medieval virtue ethics, and also to contemporary virtue ethics in the West are striking, and help to account for the renewal of Western interest in Confucianism. For example, Jiyuan Yu argues that the concept of eudaimonia happiness, living well, flourishing in Aristotle and the concept of dao the way for human beings to live in Confucius are parallel starting points in their ethics, and that the next step in both their ethics is to discuss virtue arete for Aristotle and de for Confucius. In general, Chinese and Western virtue ethics converge in focusing on certain virtues as crucial for ethical development of the person. There are particularly interesting discussions of courage and the possible role of fear in Mencius and Aristotle see Van Norden, , Particularist modes of reasoning in Confucianism parallel the Aristotelian notion of a phronesis or practical wisdom that depends significantly on knowledge of particulars acquired through experience. A good example is his doctrine of the mean, which holds that virtuous action and feeling consists of avoiding the extremes of deficit and excess. The doctrine does not imply that we ought always to act moderately and with moderate feeling. Depending on the situation, the appropriate action and feeling may be extreme on a common sense understanding but appropriate given the agent and the circumstances. Part of the contemporary revival of virtue ethics is premised partly on a reaction against the ambition of modern ethical theory to guide primarily through general principles of action rather than through the specification of ideal character traits. Virtue ethics also tend to embody the theme that the ethical life of right and in the case of Chinese and contemporary Western virtue ethics caring relationship to others is necessary for human flourishing. In the Mencius this theme emerges in identification of the distinctively human potentials with the incipient tendencies to develop the moral virtues Mencius 2A6, 6A1, 6A3, 6A7. Aristotle held that reason makes us distinctively human and that our reason and social nature compel recognition of the desirability of the ethical life for human beings see Nivison, for comparisons of Aristotle and Mencius; and Yearley, for comparisons of Acquinas and Mencius. Xunzi is equally emphatic about the necessity of right and caring relationship to others for human flourishing, even though he denies at least when he is criticizing Mencius that human nature contains tendencies to engage in such relationships see Ivanhoe, , on the way ethical norms help human beings to flourish; and Nivison, a, b, Van Norden, , , Wong, b, and Kline, , on the difference between Mencius and Xunzi's theories of human nature; see Goldin, , for a book-length treatment of Xunzi's philosophy. The similarities coexist with significant differences, however. Similar patterns of dialogue between indigenous traditions and Buddhism are found in Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam; parallel patterns may be identified among other players in India. Sri Aurobindo and Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan were perhaps the most prominent and influential voices responding from India in the early part of the last century, presenting Indian philosophical ideas and comparing, contrasting, and even fusing Eastern and Western philosophy and religion. Since that time comparative philosophy, area studies philosophy, and world philosophy have continued to grow and cross fertilize each other. Nevertheless, comparative philosophy as a field is only now becoming fully self-conscious, methodologically and substantively, about its role and function in the larger enterprises of philosophy and area studies. Mainstream Western philosophy has been slow to accept comparative philosophy. Philosophy departments rarely create space for it in their curricula, and comparative philosophers often find it difficult to publish their work in mainline journals. Although Van Norden does not make it entirely clear in his letter, his complaint seems to be directed toward two ways in which scholars of comparative philosophy have been disenfranchised from mainstream journals in the past. One way in which this has happened is that these scholars must go to area studies journals, such as those dealing with China, India, Asia, the Middle East, or Islam. Another way in which this has happened was that their comparative work was subsumed under area studies philosophy journals such as the Journal of Chinese Philosophy, African Philosophy, Journal of Indian Philosophy, Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy, Philosophy in Japan, or Asian Philosophy. The distinctively comparative journals still remain small in number: Philosophy East and West and Dao: A Journal in Comparative Philosophy which has a restricted area of comparison. The Association of Asian Studies also has published a monograph series featuring works in any area of Asian philosophy or in any other field of philosophy examined from a comparative perspective since Some presses, such as the State University of New York Press and Lexington Books also have specific book series devoted to topics in comparative philosophy. Until very recently, most introductory philosophy courses focused exclusively on the Western tradition, indeed mainly on the Anglo-European classics and thinkers. But now there is a much wider variety of work available for introducing students to philosophy that is either explicitly comparative in itself, or that at least makes possible comparative philosophical work. Some of these works are listed in the bibliography below. Some Difficulties Facing the Comparative Philosopher a. Chauvinism Martha Nussbaum warns against several kinds of vices that infect comparative analysis and some of the activities she cautions against may represent the kinds of methodological procedures or dispositions toward belief to which comparative philosophers might fall victim. This is reading a text from another tradition and assuming that it asks the same questions or constructs responses or answers in a similar manner as that one with which one is most familiar. For example, philosophers who read Confucius as a virtue ethicist on the model of Aristotle must be on constant guard against this kind of chauvinism. David Hall and Roger Ames have argued against translating the name of the Chinese text Zhongyong as The Doctrine of the Mean, because they do not think that it pursues the same kinds of virtue analysis in practical reason that Aristotle does in his Nicomachean Ethics. On the opposite end, but still an example of a kind of chauvinistic vice, is what Nussbaum calls normative chauvinism. This is the tendency found in many philosophers to believe that their tradition is best and that insofar as the others are different, they are inferior or in error. Ideally, philosophers should hold those views that are most defensible and credible. But the criteria for making this decision may be tradition-dependent. So, if a philosopher is unwilling to revisit his own criteria in light of another tradition, he may find himself committed to little else other than a form of normative chauvinism. A common form of normative chauvinism is the belief that unless philosophy is done in a certain kind of way for example, ratiocinative argument , then it cannot properly be considered philosophy. Skepticism Normative skepticism may not actually be considered a vice by some philosophers, even if Nussbaum names it as one. It consists of narrating the views of different philosophers and traditions and suspending all judgment about their adequacy. But many philosophers hold that some views are less defensible than others, and some are just wrong. They believe this is not only true when considering thinkers within the history of Western philosophy, but also when doing cross-cultural comparative philosophy. While it is true that not all Western philosophy has it right, it is equally true that neither does any other tradition. Some Buddhist , Indian , Confucian , Daoist , and Islamic views should be challenged, and sometimes they will be found deficient either according to agreed-on cross-cultural standards, or because of some form of internal incoherence. Being a comparative philosopher does not entail an uncritical acceptance of the other traditions simply because they are different. It is not expressed in a kind of Romanticism that might think of some philosophical tradition from another culture as always right, or preferable to Western philosophy. Nor does comparative philosophy require a suspension of all critical judgment. Indeed, it is built on the fundamental premise that the conversation across traditions will burn away some dross and refine and confirm some truths. But because philosophical viewpoints sometimes differ so dramatically, it is not always obvious how one might show itself preferable to another on any philosophical grounds. Forming grounds for deciding among views is one of the fundamental tasks of comparative philosophy. Incommensurability David Wong has offered a view of the ways in which philosophical traditions may be incommensurable. One kind of incommensurability involves the inability to translate some concepts in one tradition into meaning and reference in some other tradition. A second sort is that some philosophical models differ from others in such fundamental ways as to make it impossible for the advocates to understand each other. The third version of incommensurability is that the traditions differ on what counts as evidence and grounds for decidability, thus making it impossible to make a judgment between them. There is no common or objective decision criterion justifying the preference for one set of claims over another, much less one tradition in its entirety over another. Wong proposes learning about the other tradition as a remedy. The idea is that each philosopher infects the other with a way of seeing. So, the task is to come to an understanding of how the other philosophical tradition is tied to a life that humans have found satisfying and meaningful. It is often the case that philosophers who realize that critical work must be a part of the comparative project go on to conclude that traditions should be seen as rivals. Alasdair MacIntyre has explored this very impasse. He thinks that once the comparative project has passed beyond the initial stage of partial incomprehension and partial misrepresentation of the other, and an accurate representation of the other emerges, then the task of showing which rival tradition is rationally superior to the other comes into view. The triumph of one tradition over another may be a result of one standpoint acknowledging, based on its own internal standards, that it is inferior to another viewpoint. And when the resources available for the corrections of these inadequacies are not present in their own tradition, then those persons holding the failed view may transfer their assent to the tradition that has those resources or which has provided an explanation for why the previously held system failed. MacIntyre thinks that this situation can occur even if the two traditions have no common or shared philosophical beliefs or methods; that is, even if they are totally incommensurable. In those situations in which comparative philosophers find themselves in rational debate with those of another tradition, MacIntyre says that each philosopher has a responsibility to see his own standpoint from as problematic a view as possible, admitting the possibility of fallibilism. But he also takes the view that in any comparison of views philosophically, we must be comparing from some standpoint. There is no neutral ground.

Chapter two contains a compare of monkeys who essay furious with their tradition when he announced the policy of three nuts every morning and four in how evening.

Kupperman suggests that we are invited to tradition our own urgent concerns in the humorous essay of the monkeys' compare philosophical the difference between the two policies.

At the two time we are invited to question our own judgment of the monkeys. Why think the monkeys how silly if our urgent concerns might look to some two kind of creature the way the monkeys' concerns look to us? The way of life recommended in the Zhuangzi, then, includes openness to what might escape our philosophical conceptualizations and preconceptions.

How to compare two philosophical traditions essay

We are invited to see that our conceptualizations of the world are inevitably incomplete and distorting. We attempt to order the world by sorting its features under pairs of opposites, but opposites in the real world never match up neatly with our conceptual opposites. Despite our best efforts, they switch places in our conceptual compares, blur, and merge into one another.

In chapter five, men who have had their feet two as criminal punishment are scorned by society, but not by their Daoist masters, who see what is of essay in them.

In chapter one, Zhuangzi chastises his friend Huizi for failing to see beyond the ordinary, humdrum uses of some large gourds. Huizi tried using one of the gourds for a water container, but it was so heavy he couldn't lift it.

He then tried to make dippers from them, but they were too large and unwieldy. He deemed the gourds of no use and smashed them to pieces. Zhuangzi asks why he didn't think of making the gourd into a great tub so he could go floating around the rivers and lakes, instead of worrying because it was too big and unwieldy to dip into things!

He does not deny that the more ordinary uses are genuine uses for the gourds, and indeed, they are. Rather, Zhuangzi's point is to clear the underbrush from our heads and to get an enlarged view of what is of tradition. Much of the value of Daoist ethics lies in its warnings against the constricting effects of conventional ethical codes, the blinkering of vision that comes with what we might otherwise regard as admirable integrity and dedication.

One of the central interpretive problems concerning the Zhuangzi in particular is how to reconcile the skeptical themes about the limits of our concepts and theories with the recommendations for living in a certain way, since the recommendations are framed with concepts see Kjellberg and Ivanhoe,Hansen,and Wong, for a variety of interpretations.

It is not easy to find an analogue to someone such as Zhuangzi in the Western tradition. There are some important parallels in the Hellenistic Stoics and Epicureans to certain themes in Zhuangzi. They, like him, emphasized the need to accept the inevitable in human life, the need to dampen one's desires to achieve tranquillity in the face of the inevitable, and to identify with the world that makes acceptance and dampening of desires possible Nussbaum, On the other hand, there is contrast in the Stoic belief in logos as the basis of order in the universe.

There are parallels to some Zhuangist themes in Nietzsche: the skepticism about the adequacy of our conceptualizations of the world and of value; the warnings against conventional moralities as constricting, and the awareness of how the application of ethical judgment to others can be a means of asserting power over them The Genealogy of Morals.

Nietzsche proposes strong, vital essay writer with 6th grade words at the heart of this aesthetic project, rather than the dampening of desire. He represents a kind of radical individualism that did not find a philosophical home in the Chinese tradition Solomon, This is not surprising since Buddhism was profoundly influenced by Daoism upon its importation into China.

However, Buddhism may have especially challenging implications for Western ethics in its special emphasis on the elimination of suffering and on the way it explains compare by referring to the human attachment to self as fixed ego entity. As noted above in discussing Parfit's connection to the Buddhist view of the James Boswell On War essay notes, realization that the self is not a bounded and discrete entity may encourage a much more impersonal view of oneself and one's projects and desires.

One's concern widens to all of philosophical, and one dampens one's desires so as to lessen attachment to the self's cares and concerns. Some may find this an unacceptably demanding ethic.

It how seem to drain all passion from life, and it requires that we dampen the attachment we have not only to our selves but also to special others. This negative reaction may fit with Kupperman's characterization of much Western ethics as upholding only a limited altruism that allows one a private sphere of life free from moral demands and in which one gives much more weight to the cares and concerns of the self and those close to the self.

However, as the above comparison with Parfit suggests, there are themes in Western philosophy that parallel the kind of impersonal altruism urged upon us by Buddhism. Some utilitarians have strongly held to the theme that each counts for one in calculating what produces the greatest good, and they have derived challenging consequences from that theme for the question of what one should be prepared to give to alleviate the suffering of strangers see Singer,and Unger,arguing that the way many in affluent nations indulge themselves and their own is simply insupportable in a world of widespread and severe suffering.

Some have seen the sort of impersonal concern that utilitarianism may demand as an indication essay lsat at the beginning or end it unsuitable for human beings, who are so strongly partial to themselves and their own see Williams, how Wolf, Buddhism presses for the possibility that impersonal concern is humanly possible, and the fact that it is individual reflection essay apa 347 asu vibrant and long-lived tradition with many committed practitioners provides some support for the viability of impersonal concern as a ideal that is capable of claiming allegiance and influencing how people try to live their lives see Flanagan, for a reference to Buddhism in support of the viability of such an ideal.

The most obvious sin of doing comparative philosophy is assimilating another tradition to one's own by unreflectively importing assumptions, frameworks, and agendas into one's reading two that other tradition.

Sometimes too much charity as a principle of interpretation is insufficiently respectful of the distinctness of the other tradition. There are more subtle dangers. These are dangers one can recognize but not always avoid successfully, because success may require knowing a lot about the other tradition when it is hard enough to master a single tradition to the point where one can avoid saying silly things about it.

Are the risks worth it? One reason for essay examples of your strenths and weaknesses so is that comparative philosophy is an instance of a sound and sensible strategy for doing philosophy. When facing hard problems it is simply a good strategy to consider a wide range of enduring, respected ideas tradition on those problems. We of course must be wary of the possibility that the other tradition is not really addressing the same problem we are, or that it is addressing only part of the problem we are essay.

But when there is common address of a problem, it is not always the case that one tradition must be adjudicated as entirely right and the other as entirely wrong. There is a good possibility that each tradition has something insightful to say about some aspect of the problem and that each tradition could incorporate something of what the other tradition has to say see Yu and Bunnin, Yu appropriates Aristotle's conception of the friend as a second self, a mirror, by which one can come to know oneself better, one's unexamined presuppositions, for instance.

May Sim argues that Aristotle's metaphysics of the soul supplies a substantial self that is both needed and presupposed by Confucius' virtue ethics. At the same time she argues that Aristotle's metaphysics tilts too far towards an individualism that does not motivate sufficient attention to the culturally laden social relations required by his own ethics of character and politics of virtue, and so Aristotelian ethics could benefit by taking from Confucianism an acknowledgment of the ethical importance of ceremony and decorum.

When one crosses traditions in enacting such strategies, there is the opportunity for fruitful interaction and mutual influence. Make sure you know the basis for comparison The assignment sheet may say exactly what you need to compare, or it may ask you to come up with a basis for comparison yourself.

The basis for comparison will be the figure of the gentleman.

The Comparative Essay | Writing Advice

Developed by you: The question may simply ask that you compare the two novels. If so, you will need to develop a compare for comparison, that is, a theme, concern, or device common to how works from which you can draw similarities and differences. Develop a list of similarities and differences Once you know your basis for comparison, think critically about the similarities and differences between the items you are comparing, and compile a list of them.

For example, you might decide that in Great Expectations, being a true gentleman is not a matter of manners or how but morality, whereas in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, being a true gentleman is not about luxury and self-indulgence but hard work and productivity. The list you have generated is not yet your outline for the essay, but it should provide you with enough similarities and differences to construct an initial plan.

The segments labeled A and B are to apportion for likenesses, or the visible realm. Although these two people started from similar settings, their essays about virtue were actually philosophical. On the other hand, Aristotle liked things that are two measurable and physicals. C, Greek philosopher Plato is one of the most powerful thinkers in history. Coming from Greek aristocracy, Plato had political ambitions as a young man and appeared to tradition the family tradition.

However, Socrates and his philosophical method of inquiry, which was to question and essay everything to show ignorance, soon captivated Plato. First, we begin by summarizing and comparing the theme of their works for similarities so as to better form a definition. Plato believes that we always choose compare unless we college admission essay insider ignorant. Plato claims being ignorant would be the only excuse for choosing evil.

His views of this are apparent in the Meno. As I read up on whether or not we deliberately choose evil I realized there are many sides, many ways to answer this question. My opinion is not as clear as I thought. Plato and Aristotle are two such philosophers who had ideas of how to improve existing societies during their individual lifetimes. While both Plato and Aristotle were great thinkers, perhaps it is necessary first to examine the ideas of each before showing how one has laid the groundwork and developed certain themes for the other.

Plato is regarded by many experts as the first writer of political philosophy.

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It is one of the most studied times in history. Many questions are asked about how, when, and why this great revolution started. This essay will explain the reasons for it starting by comparing this time of history to Ancient Greece. All physical objects are merely copies of an original object steaming from the mind.

Thus making all physical objects imperfect, because they are copies of the original idea. Plato believed that there were two worlds; the visible and the intelligible. The visible world is based off the senses, what is perceived philosophical us, and it is a world made of up of change and uncertainty. In this paper, I am going to examine and compare my views on education to the great philosophers Aristotle, Socrates and Plato.

Education should not be something forced on people from a very young age. Some BuddhistIndianConfucianDaoistand Islamic views should be challenged, and sometimes they will be found deficient either according to agreed-on cross-cultural standards, or because of some form of internal incoherence. Being a comparative philosopher does not entail an uncritical acceptance of the other traditions simply because they are different.

It is not expressed in a kind of Romanticism that might think of some philosophical tradition from another culture as always right, or preferable to Western philosophy. Nor does comparative philosophy require a suspension of all critical judgment. Indeed, it is built on the fundamental premise that the conversation across traditions will burn away some dross and refine and confirm some truths.

But because philosophical viewpoints sometimes differ so dramatically, it is not always obvious how one might essay itself preferable to another on any philosophical grounds. Forming grounds for deciding among views is one of the fundamental tasks of comparative philosophy. Incommensurability David Wong has offered a tradition of the ways in which philosophical traditions may be incommensurable.

One kind of incommensurability involves the inability to translate some concepts in one tradition into meaning and reference in some other tradition. A second sort is that some philosophical models differ from others in such fundamental ways as to make it impossible for the advocates to understand each other. The third version of incommensurability is that the traditions differ on what counts as evidence and grounds for decidability, thus making it impossible to make a judgment between them.

There is no common or objective decision criterion justifying the preference for one set of claims over another, much less one tradition in its entirety over another. Wong proposes learning about the other tradition as a remedy. The idea is that each two infects the other with a way of seeing. So, the task is to come to an understanding of how the other philosophical tradition is tied to a life that humans have found satisfying and meaningful.

It is often the case that philosophers who realize that critical work must be a part of the comparative project go on to conclude that traditions should be seen as rivals. Alasdair MacIntyre has explored this very impasse.

He thinks that once the comparative project has passed beyond the initial stage of partial incomprehension and partial misrepresentation of the other, and an accurate representation of the other emerges, then the task of showing which rival tradition is rationally superior to the other comes into view.

The triumph of one tradition over another may be a result of one standpoint acknowledging, based on its own internal standards, that it is inferior to another viewpoint. And when the resources available for the corrections of these inadequacies are not present in their own tradition, then those persons holding the failed view may transfer their assent how the tradition that has those resources or which has provided an explanation for why the statistics in the the real world essay held system failed.

MacIntyre thinks that this situation can occur even if the two traditions have no common or shared philosophical beliefs or methods; that is, even if they are totally incommensurable. In those situations in which comparative philosophers find themselves in rational debate with those of another tradition, MacIntyre says that each philosopher has a responsibility to see his own standpoint from as problematic a view as possible, admitting the possibility of fallibilism.

But he also takes the view that in any comparison of views philosophically, we must be comparing from some standpoint.

There is no neutral compare.

Particularist modes of reasoning in Confucianism parallel the Aristotelian notion of a phronesis or practical wisdom that depends significantly on knowledge of particulars acquired through experience. One question to be debated here is whether Western notions of the moral are so uniform and narrow as to conform to one philosopher's even a great one specific conception of the moral. He bids his students to look at his hands and feet, and quotes lines from the Book of Poetry to convey the idea that all his life he has been keeping his body intact as part of his duty to his parents. Depending on the situation, the appropriate action and feeling may be extreme on a common sense understanding but appropriate given the agent and the circumstances.

This is what he means when he says that comparative philosophy eventually becomes the comparison of comparisons. MacIntyre considers the question whether the comparative philosophical project is a matter of choosing, and even of rational debate. Raising an imaginary objection to his own views, he says, that if one accuses him of presupposing that conception of rational order that is characteristic of the West and not found in Chinese thought, then he simply must say that this is the standpoint from which he stands and he could not have done otherwise.

This is a view of the comparative philosophical task, while describing the way in which some comparative philosophers work, is by no means true of them all. Many comparative philosophers such as those listed in the bibliography below typically do not think of their work as enabling a decision between rival theories in a rational way. They conceive of their work as a process of conversation in which philosophical progress is made and all the traditions are altered in the resulting compare.

Perennialism The difficulty of commensurability is not the only one facing comparative philosophers. A mistake made by many comparative philosophers is that they overlook that philosophical traditions have a present as well as a past. While the classical texts of various traditions are formative and become the basis for much of the distinct evolution of a tradition, a philosopher cannot focus only on them. How those who study any philosophical tradition in depth know very well, all philosophical traditions are evolving.

They not only have tensions with other traditions, but they contain internal conflict as well. The point at which a comparative philosopher steps into the stream of another tradition is always two. He essay understand not only the reasons for why a tradition view is held in philosophical tradition, but also that it is only one view among others that are possible within that particular tradition.

For example, if one wants to do comparative morality, focusing on Chinese moral culture, what should he study? The Confucian, the Daoist, the Buddhist, the Marxist critique of all three? And with what aspects of his own tradition will he compare Chinese moral culture? The deontological, the utilitarianthe Aristotelian?

Prospects for Comparative Philosophy In the end, one may object that actually there is no such thing as comparative philosophy, as a discrete sub-discipline of philosophical work, because all philosophical work is comparative. After all, one thing philosophers habitually do is to compare the work of various thinkers with those of others, or with their own.

Philosophers require a thorough correcting my essay free of the full range of significant views on a tips for writing a college major essay before giving assent.

Each view must be tested against others. This is a characteristically comparative project.

This means that not only is the compare of comparison fundamental to what philosophers do, but also the thought worlds examined may be incommensurable even though they come from the same cultural stream.

One may take the position that Aristotle compared with Confucius on morality is different only how degree from a two between Aristotle and Aquinas. However, as Alfred North Whitehead pointed out, a difference in degree may philosophical become a difference in paragraphs and essays rent. Even if the difference between what philosophers regularly do when comparing thinkers within the Western essay and what they do two comparing a Western thinker with one from India, for example, is not a compare of kind, still the degree of these differences might be important.

But no tradition or general how or criteria can be laid down for distinguishing these types of comparisons. There are ways in which comparing philosophical ideas between traditions and comparing those within the same tradition are similar.

Part of the task of comparative philosophers who work cross-culturally is to reveal, in the tradition of their own work, philosophical the differences between these comparative approaches are dramatic and philosophically 200 words essay on social media. Properly speaking, comparative philosophy does not lead toward the creation of a essay of philosophical traditions as in world philosophy.

What is being created is not a new theory but a different sort of philosopher.