Understanding Non-Western Philosophy : Introductory Readings

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1993-01-14
  • Publisher: MCG (Manual)

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


This collection of important readings in African, Asian, and Southern Mediterranean philosophy is the perfect supplement for instructors who wish to introduce non-Western materials to their students. The readings are presented chronologically within four sections covering the following geographical areas: Africa, West Asia, North Africa, Islamic Spain, South Asia, and East Asia.

Table of Contents

Preface • Time Line


Ancient Egypt: From The Instruction of Ptahhotep • The Song from the Tomb of King Intef • The Dispute Between a Man and His Ba • From The Instruction of Any • From The Book of the Dead

Enlightenment Ethiopia: Zera Yacob, from The Treatise of Zera Yacob • Walda Heywat, from The Treatise of Walda Heywat

Contemporary Perspectives: Frantz Fanon, from The Wretched of the Earth • Kwasi Wiredu, from Philosophy and an African Culture


Platonism: Philo, from Allegorical Interpretation • Philo, from On the Account of the World’s Creation Given by Moses • Philo, from On Drunkenness • Philo, from On the Confusion of Tongues • Philo, from The Special Laws • Philo, from On Rewards and Punishments • Philo, from Concerning Noah’s Work as a Planter • Origen, from On Principles • Augustine, from The Enchiridion • Augustine, from The City of God • Augustine, from Answer to SkepticsCreationism: Al-Kindi, from On First Philosophy • Saadia ben Joseph, from The Book of Beliefs and Opinions • Al-Ghazali, from The Incoherence of the Philosophers • Maimonides, from The Guide of the Perplexed • Maimonides, The Purpose of Man

Rationalism: Al-Farabi, from Principles of the Views of the Citizens of the Best State • Avicenna, from A Treatise on Logic • Avicenna, On the Nature of God • Averroës, from The Incoherence of the Incoherence


Samkhya, Yoga, and the Bhagavad Gita: from the Katha Upanishad • From the Bhagavad Gita (Song of God) • From the Yogasutra • Isvarakrsna, from the Verses on Analysis of Nature (Samkhya-karika)

Early Buddhism: The First Sermon • From the Majjhima-Nikaya • Buddhaghosa, from The Path of Purification (Visuddhi-Magga) • From Questions to King Milinda (Milindapanha) • Buddhaghosa, The Duration of LifeJainism: From the Acaranga Sutra • Vadi Devasuri, from The Ornament Illuminating the Means and Principles of Knowledge (Pramana-naya-tattvalokalankarah)

Nagarjuna and Madhyamika Buddhism: Nagarjuna, from Averting the Arguments • Candrakirti, from Reasoning into Reality

Buddhist Idealism and Logic: From The Surangama Sutra • Dignaga, from The Investigation of the Object of Awareness (Alambanapariksa) With Extracts from Vinitadeva’s Commentary • Dharmakirti, from The Pith of Right Thinking (Nyayabindu) With a Commentary by DharmottaraMimamsa (Exegesis): Kumarila, from The SlokavarttikaCarvaka Skepticism: From Madhava’s Compendium of PhilosophyNyaya-Vaisesika Epistemic Logic and Ontology: From the Vaisesika Sutra • From the Nyaya-sutra With a Commentary by Vatsyayana • Udayana, from Proofs of the Existence of God • Gangesa, from The Jewel of Thought about Reality (Tattvacintamani)

Vedanta: From the Rg Veda • From the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad • From the Mundaka Upanishad • Sankara, from Brahmasutra Commentary • Sriharsa, Critique of Difference • Rupa Gosvami, The Mystical Theology of Passion • Vivekananda, Addresses at the Parliament of Religions • Aurobindo, from The Life Divine

Modern Academic Philosophy: J. N. Mohanty, Gilbert Ryle’s Criticisms of the Concept of Consciousness • B. K. Matilal, from Perception: An Essay on Classical Indian Theories of Knowledge


Confucianism: Confucius, from The Analects • The Great Learning • Mencius, from The Book of Mencius • Hsun Tzu, from the Hsun Tzu

Taoism: Lao Tzu, from Tao-te Ching • Chuang Tzu, from the Chuang Tzu • The Yang Chu ChapterOther Schools: Mo Tzu, from Universal Love • Wang Ch-ung, from Balanced Inquiries

Chinese Buddhism: Hsuan-tsang, from The Treatise on the Establishment of the Doctrine of Consciousness-Only • Fa-tsang, from Treatise on the Golden Lion • Fa-tsang, from Hundred Gates to the Sea of Ideas of the Flowery Splendor Scripture • The Recorded Conversations of Zen Master I-HsuanNeo-Confucianism: Chu Hsi, from The Philosophy of Human Nature • Wang Yang-Ming, from Instructions for Practical Life • Wang Yang-Ming, from Record of Discourses • Wang Yang-Ming, from Reply to Ku Tung-Ch’iao • Wang Fu-chih, from The Surviving Works of Wang Fu-Chih

Japanese Buddhism: Kitaro Nishida, from An Inquiry into the Good • D. T. Suzuki, from Zen Buddhism • Keiji Nishitani, from Science and Zen

Pronunciation Guide



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