Indian and Chinese Philosophy

by Adrián Slavkovský (Author)
©2016 Monographs 120 Pages
Series: Uni Slovakia, Volume 5


This textbook offers a brief overview of the main philosophical schools of the two most significant cultures in ancient Asia, from where these thoughts have spread widely – it concerns ancient India and China. Most important philosophical concepts of that region like holistic or ceremonial approach to reality, openness to transcendence, pluralism of opinions, behaviour leading by a sense of harmony are somehow complementary to our prevailing contemporary Western thought. Therefore they can be enriching and balancing for us and our culture.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the Author
  • About the Book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Introduction
  • 1. Eastern Philosophy and its Meaning for Us
  • 1.1 Definition of Eastern Philosophy
  • 1.2 Reasons to Deal with Eastern Philosophy
  • 1.3 How to Dedicate Oneself to Eastern Philosophy
  • 2. Origins of Indian Philosophy. Vedas, Upanishads
  • 2.1 Vedic Period, the Vedas
  • 2.2 Upanishads. Main Features of Indian Thinking
  • 3. Sense and Knowledge in Indian Philosophy
  • 3.1 An Overview of Indian Philosophical Systems (Darshanas)
  • 3.2 Nyaya – Methodology of Public Discussions
  • 3.3 Scepticism of Materialism and Perspectivism of Jainism
  • 4. Vaisheshika, Sankhya and Yoga
  • 4.1 Vaisheshika – An Emphasis on the Empirical Side of Philosophism
  • 4.2 Sankhya and Yoga – Purification of Mind through Knowledge and Exercise
  • 5. Mimansa and Vedanta
  • 5.1 Mimansa
  • 5.2 Vedanta
  • 6. Buddhist Schools
  • 6.1 Origins of Buddhism
  • 6.2 Sarvastivada – Everything Exists
  • 6.3 Madhyamika – The Teaching of Emptiness
  • 7. Origins of Chinese Philosophy
  • 7.1 Typical Signs of Chinese Thinking and of Approach to Reality
  • 7.2 The Most Important Terms
  • 7.3 Heaven and Earth
  • 8. Confucius and Confucianists
  • 8.1 Main Pillars of Confucius’ Teachings
  • 8.2 Mencius (Master Meng)
  • 8.3 Xunzi
  • 9. Taoism
  • 9.1 Tao Te Ching (or Dao De Jing)
  • 9.2 Master Zhuang
  • 10. Mohism
  • 10.1 Mozi and His Teachings
  • 11. School of Logicians and Legists
  • 11.1 School of Names
  • 11.2 Legists
  • 12. Cosmological Thinking
  • 12.1 School of Yin-yang and The Book of Changes
  • Bibliography


In the socialist era it was complicated to find information about Eastern cultures in our country and it was even harder to get the professional books about the philosophy of these cultures. With open borders and possibilities, there were far too many offers at once. Not only concerning books, but also movies and other forms of art, meditation courses, martial arts, and of course plenty of goods. Thanks to the internet, the world has become even more globalised, the Asian countries that had been relatively distant were no longer distant or irrelevant to us. Among books, which should have told us more about the Eastern way of thinking, the genre of esoterism dominated and that made an overview of who were the important thinkers and schools more difficult. Most textbooks about the history of philosophy or various introductions into philosophy did not include ← 7 | 8 → Eastern thinking at all or it was scarcely mentioned. That situation has changed significantly over the past two years and especially someone who speaks a foreign language, mainly English, can easily find relevant works about any aspect of Eastern philosophy.

This textbook offers a brief overview of the main philosophical schools of the two most significant cultures in ancient Asia, from where these thoughts have spread widely – it concerns ancient India and China. Considering the major culture and language differences, a little space was dedicated to a broader context of Indian and Chinese philosophy and language, because many terms, which are used, do not have a proper Slovak equivalent.

This textbook is mainly aimed at students studying a bachelor’s degree in humanities and anyone who is interested in getting to know something about the era of Indian and Chinese philosophy, in which the most important philosophical concepts were born. These philosophical concepts then contributed to the formation of their cultures. It offers rather an overview of themes and relations.

I hope the following textbook will help the reader to get an overview of the broad problematics of Eastern philosophy. Those who are interested can learn even more thanks to the bibliography. As this text relates to the original ancient texts, copyright does not constitute an obstacle and many of these texts can be accessed on the internet not only in the original language but there ← 8 | 9 → are plenty of translations available too. The number of good quality studies and comments are increasing on the internet and I have included a reference to some of them. The following textbook meets its target if it helps the reader to step into the world of Eastern thinking and Eastern mentality so that it would be beneficial for the reader and eventually they could see the western view of reality and thinking in a different light.

In Trnava, December 31, 2014 Adrián Slavkovský ← 9 | 10 → ← 10 | 11 →


ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2016 (April)
Eastern Philosophy harmony holistic transcendence
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2016. 120 pp.

Biographical notes

Adrián Slavkovský (Author)

Adrián Slavkovský is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Philosophy and Arts, Trnava University, Slovakia.


Title: Indian and Chinese Philosophy
book preview page numper 1
book preview page numper 2
book preview page numper 3
book preview page numper 4
book preview page numper 5
book preview page numper 6
book preview page numper 7
book preview page numper 8
book preview page numper 9
book preview page numper 10
book preview page numper 11
book preview page numper 12
book preview page numper 13
book preview page numper 14
book preview page numper 15
book preview page numper 16
book preview page numper 17
book preview page numper 18
book preview page numper 19
book preview page numper 20
book preview page numper 21
book preview page numper 22
book preview page numper 23
book preview page numper 24
122 pages