Comparative Hindu and Presocratic Philosophy

Filosophia 31 (1):16-31 (2002)
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This paper aims to synthesize two equally impressive systems of thought: Indian philosophy in the East and Presocratic philosophy in the West, which are separated not only by space and time but by our prejudices. It attempts to show the universality of philosophy by exploring the parallelisms and similarities, clarifying contrasts, and highlighting the common themes that are emphasized and de-emphasized in them. The study does not intend to give a complete account of the early Greek and Hindu thoughts. The discussion of Hindu philosophy focuses on the Upanishads, the main source of Hinduism. We will use for our primary source the following texts which majority of Indologists consider as the most authoritative: Aiteriya, Kaushitaki, Taittiriya, Chandogya, Brihadharanyaka, Katha, Mandukya, Maitriyani, Svetasvatara, Isa, and Kena. On the side of Presocratic philosophy are included such major thinkers as Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes, Heraclitus, Pythagoras, Parmenides, Anaxagoras, and Empidocles.

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Ferdinand Tablan
Seattle University


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