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Philosophy/Eastern and Western thinking


What is the difference between "eastern" and "western" ways of thinking? I say a graphic that shows western thinking more in line with rules and rationality rather than the eastern thinking that it is better to get on with everyone and accept chaos.

Is this correct, and where can I find more information on this?

If I were to reduce it to one sentence, it's this: "Western philosophers think that questions have answers. Eastern philosophers think that answers have questions."

Another important factor is that Western religions generally see a complete division between God(s) and man; Eastern religions tend to see the universe as a unity. This leads to the difference you describe -- Western philosophers emphasizing rules and Eastern philosophers emphasizing unity and harmony.

So, in essence, you're right.

For more information, see:

Hope this helps.




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Charles K. MacKay


I can answer a number of questions in philosophy; my academic concentrations (graduate school at Cornell) are ethics, political philosophy, and 19th-century German philosophy (Marx, Hegel, and hangers-on.)



BA, New College, 1971, Philosophy and Religion
Awarded four graduate fellowships upon graduation

MA, Cornell University, 1974
Social and Political Philosophy, Danforth Fellowship

All course work and dissertation drafts completed for Ph.D. Cornell University, 1971-1975, Social and Political Philosophy, Danforth Fellowship

Courses in statistics and microeconomics, George Washington University and The American University, 1976-1978

EXPERIENCE: Health Insurance Specialist 2005 - Present
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service
US Department of Health and Human Services

Allentown Business School Instructor (Computer Science) 2003 - 2005

Northampton Community College
Adjunct Professor of Philosophy 2003 -2005

Lehigh County Community College
Adjunct Professor of Philosophy and Computer Science


Medicare Made Easy (with Charles B. Inlander) Addison-Wesley, 1989

Good Operations, Bad Operations (with Charles B. Inlander) Viking Press, 1993

Health Rebooted: Information Changes Everything (in press), 2008

Bachelor of Arts, Philosphy and Religion, New College, 1971 Master of Arts, Social and Political Philosophy, Cornell University, 1975

Awards and Honors
Danforth Fellowship, Woodrow Wilson Fellowship

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