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Indian and Chinese Philosophy

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Adrián Slavkovský

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.
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12. Cosmological Thinking

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Keywords: Yin and Yang, qi, 5 elements, change, minor inception

12.1 School of Yin-yang and The Book of Changes

According to Records of the Grand Historian by Sima Qian, one of the six philosophical schools during the Zhou dynasty was The School of Yin-yang, Chinese Yinyangjia. This school focused on nature, observing the changes in nature and asks about their causes.

Yin and Yang are expressions of the fact that reality shall be perceived in its integrity and dynamics, in which opposites are interconnected and complementary to each other. The Yin sign includes the element of cloud and represents shadow. The Yang sign includes the element of sun and represents light. This couple became the prototype of any duality.

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