Discover the World of Eastern Philosophy



9 Questions

What are the six major schools of orthodox Indian Hindu philosophy?

Which school of Indian philosophy emphasizes meditation and liberation?

What is the main idea of Mohism?

Which of the following is NOT one of the key concepts in Indian philosophy?

Which Chinese philosophical system emphasizes ritual, moral, and religious applications?

Which Indian religion upholds the individualistic nature of the soul and personal responsibility for one's decisions?

Which of the following is NOT a key concept in Sikhism?

What is the official political ideology of North Korea?

Which school of Indian philosophy explores sources of knowledge and holds that liberation arises through correct knowledge?


Overview of Eastern Philosophy

  • Eastern philosophy includes various philosophies from East and South Asia, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Indian, and more.

  • Indian philosophy refers to ancient philosophical traditions of the Indian subcontinent, including Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist philosophy.

  • Hinduism is the dominant religion in South Asia, with Shaivism, Vaishnavism, and Shaktism among numerous other traditions.

  • Hinduism is a categorization of distinct intellectual or philosophical points of view, rather than a rigid, common set of beliefs.

  • Key concepts in Indian philosophy include dharma, karma, samsara, moksha, and ahimsa.

  • Indian philosophers developed a system of epistemological reasoning and logic and investigated topics such as ontology, reliable means of knowledge, and value systems.

  • The six major schools of orthodox Indian Hindu philosophy are Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Samkhya, Yoga, Mīmāṃsā, and Vedanta, while the five major heterodox schools are Jain, Buddhist, Ajivika, Ajñana, and Cārvāka.

  • Sāmkhya is a dualist philosophical tradition, while the Yoga school emphasizes meditation and liberation.

  • The Nyāya school of epistemology explores sources of knowledge and holds that liberation arises through correct knowledge.

  • Vaiśeṣika is a naturalist school of atomism, while Mīmāṃsā is a school of ritual orthopraxy known for its hermeneutical study and interpretation of the Vedas.

  • Vedānta or Uttara-Mīmāṃsā, are a group of traditions which focus on the philosophical issues found in the Principal Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras, and the Bhagavad Gita.

  • Heterodox or Śramaṇic schools are associated with the non-Vedic Śramaṇic traditions that existed in India since before the 6th century BCE, including Jainism, early Buddhism, Cārvāka, Ajñana, and Ājīvika.

  • Jain philosophy deals with metaphysics, reality, cosmology, ontology, epistemology, and divinity, and is essentially a transtheistic religion of ancient India.

  • Jainism strongly upholds the individualistic nature of the soul and personal responsibility for one's decisions, and that self-reliance and individual efforts alone are responsible for one's liberation.Overview of Indian and East Asian Philosophies

  • Indian philosophy has a rich tradition that includes contributions from various schools of thought, including Jainism, Cārvāka, Ājīvika, Ajñana, and Buddhism.

  • Cārvāka was an atheistic philosophy that rejected the Vedas and all associated supernatural doctrines. They held perception as the primary source of knowledge while rejecting inference.

  • Ājīvika was founded by Makkhali Gosala, it was a Śramaṇa movement and a major rival of early Buddhism and Jainism. They believed in absolute determinism and rejected the karma doctrine.

  • Ajñana was a Śramaṇa school of radical Indian skepticism and a rival of early Buddhism and Jainism. They held that it was impossible to obtain knowledge of metaphysical nature or ascertain the truth value of philosophical propositions.

  • Buddhist philosophy began with the thought of Gautama Buddha and is preserved in the early Buddhist texts. Key concepts include the Four Noble Truths, Anatta (not-self), the transience of all things (Anicca), and a certain skepticism about metaphysical questions.

  • Later Buddhist philosophical traditions developed complex phenomenological psychologies termed 'Abhidharma'. Mahayana philosophers such as Nagarjuna and Vasubandhu developed the theories of Shunyata (emptiness of all phenomena) and Vijnapti-matra (appearance only).

  • Buddhist modernism includes various movements like Humanistic Buddhism, Secular Buddhism, the Vipassana movement, and Engaged Buddhism.

  • Sikhism is an Indian religion developed by Guru Nanak. Their main sacred text is the Guru Granth Sahib. Key concepts include Simran, Sewa, the Three Pillars of Sikhism, and the Five Thieves.

  • In response to colonialism and their contact with Western philosophy, 19th-century Indians developed new ways of thinking now termed Neo-Vedanta and Hindu modernism. Their ideas focused on the universality of Indian philosophy (particularly Vedanta) and the unity of different religions.

  • East Asian philosophical thought began in Ancient China, and Chinese philosophy begins during the Western Zhou Dynasty and the following periods after its fall when the "Hundred Schools of Thought" flourished.

  • Confucianism is a Chinese philosophical system with ritual, moral, and religious applications that focuses on humanistic values like familial and social harmony, filial piety, benevolence, and a system of ritual norms.

  • Legalism was a philosophical tradition which focused on laws, realpolitik, and bureaucratic management.

  • Mohism was founded by Mozi and was a major school of thought and rival of Confucianism and Taoism during the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods. The main idea of Mohism was "impartial care".Overview of Eastern Philosophy

  • Eastern philosophy includes a variety of philosophical schools, traditions, and practices that originated in Asia, including China, Japan, Korea, and India.

  • The major schools of Eastern philosophy include Confucianism, Taoism, Mohism, and Buddhism.

  • Confucianism emphasizes social harmony, respect for authority, and moral virtue. The Analects of Confucius is a key text.

  • Mohism emphasizes impartial meritocracy in government, based on talent, not blood relations. Mozi was against Confucian ritualism and emphasized pragmatic survival through farming, fortification, and statecraft.

  • Taoism emphasizes harmony with the Tao, which is seen as the principle that is the source, pattern, and substance of everything that exists. The Dao De Jing and the Nan Hua Jing are key texts.

  • Modern Chinese thought is rooted in Classical Confucianism, Neo-Confucianism, Buddhism, Daoism, and Xixue (“Western Learning”).

  • Japanese thought is strongly influenced by Western science and philosophy. The Kyoto School combined the phenomenology of Husserl with insights from Zen Buddhism.

  • Juche is the official political ideology of North Korea, emphasizing self-reliance.

  • Recent attempts to integrate Western and Eastern philosophical traditions include Arthur Schopenhauer’s synthesis of Hinduism with Western thought and Sri Aurobindo’s integral yoga.

  • Criticisms of Eastern philosophy include the idea that it is a product of 19th-century Western scholarship and did not exist in Asia and that philosophy is only characteristic of Western cultures.


Test your knowledge of Eastern philosophy with this quiz! From Indian philosophy and its major schools of thought to the traditions and practices of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism in East Asia, this quiz covers a wide range of topics. Discover the key concepts and ideas behind these philosophies, explore their history and evolution, and see how they have impacted modern thought. Challenge yourself and see how much you know about Eastern philosophy!

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