Eastern and Western Philosophers Comparison

Topics: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Western philosophy, Nonviolence Pages: 3 (984 words) Published: November 23, 2009
Philosophy is often divided into two very broad categories, Eastern philosophy and Western philosophy. Eastern philosophy consists mainly of Asian philosophies such as the Indian philosophies of Buddhism and Hinduism, the Japanese philosophies of Zen Buddhism and the samurai tradition, and the Chinese philosophies of Confucianism, Taoism and Ch'an Buddhism (Moore & Bruder, 2008, p. 525). Western philosophy is older and generally divided into groups based on a progression of years as opposed to specific regions, for example, Renaissance philosophy and Modern philosophy.

An Eastern philosopher I believe made very compelling arguments for his ideas is Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, better known as Mahatma Gandhi. "Gandhi, of course, is known everywhere for his use of nonviolence to help attain political freedom for India and for striving to instill a sense of self-respect in all human beings." (Moore & Bruder, 2008, p. 529)

One of Gandhi's main ideas was satyagraha, or the use of non-violent, civil disobedience as opposed to violence to resist tyranny and domination. This is a fascinating idea which not only led to India's independence during the Indian independence movement, but also inspired movements for freedom and civil rights around the world, including the American Civil Rights Movement, a non-violent resistance led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Gandhi's ideas of non-violent resistance are so widely known and appreciated that the United Nations General Assembly dedicated October 2nd, his birthday, as annual International Day of Non-Violence (UN News Centre, 2007). That is truly a testament to his peace loving way of life and the influence it has had on the rest of the world.

A Western philosopher I believe made a compelling case for his ideas is Bertrand Russell. Although he believed that God did not exist, which I do not, he also had many ideas which I agree with and find very interesting. For example, he was a pacifist who disagreed with...

References: Moore, B. N., & Bruder, K. (2008). Philosophy: The power of ideas (7th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
The Nobel Foundation. (1950). Nobel Lectures. Retrieved August 29, 2009, from http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1950/press.html
UN News Centre. (2007, June 15). UN declares 2 October, Gandhi’s birthday, as International Day of Non-Violence. UN News Service. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=22926&Cr=non&Cr1=violence
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