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Philosophy is one of the three major tools man uses in order to shed light on some of life's most profound

questions, the other two being science and religion. And like science and religion, philosophy has many
competing theories and is practiced in many different ways.
In the west (or those places that were influenced by the ancient Greek philosophers), we have developed a
method of philosophizing that includes heavy use of logic and reasoning. We value concrete, tangible
evidence and formulaic methodology. But we would be wrong to believe that ours is the only correct way to
go about dealing with philosophy. The Greeks and their European successors were not the only ones who
wondered about life. On the other side of the globe in places like India and China, unique philosophies had
developed on their own, completely separate and very different from their European counterparts. Today,
let us examine the differences between eastern and western philosophy.
Western philosophy refers to the philosophies developed by the ancient Greeks and later European (and
American) philosophers. Western philosophy can be broken down into five main categories:
1. Metaphysics, the study of existence (what's out there?); ex. Existentialism
2. Epistemology, the study of knowledge (how do I know about it?); ex. Rationalism
3. Ethics, the study of action (what should I do?); ex. Moral relativism
4. Politics, the study of force (what actions are permissible?)
5. Aesthetics, the study of art (what can life be like?)
Western philosophy tends to make heavy use of logic, reasoning, and categorization. An idea is presented,
reasons are given for belief in the idea, and then conclusions are made based on the idea. Western
philosophy breaks down ideas as much as it can, and it tends to focus on the parts rather than the whole.
Eastern philosophy usually refers to the philosophical traditions of ancient China and India, but can also
include Islamic, Jewish, Persian, and other philosophical traditions of that region. However, these latter
traditions often lie somewhere in the middle of an imaginary philosophical continuum, and they share
many things in common with western philosophy (the Arabs extensively translated Ancient Greek texts).
For this reason, we will focus on the Chinese and Indian traditions.
The interesting thing about eastern philosophy is that it does not really make a distinction between
metaphysics, epistemology, etc. It also does not make a distinction between philosophy and religion.
Let us take Taoism as an example. The Tao Te Ching contains elements of all five western branches of
philosophy. In one small book, one can find passages and verses of metaphysical, epistemological, ethical,
political, and aesthetic natures. These ideas are not specifically defined; rather, they are revealed in short
stanzas that condense them into (deceptively) simple language.
Whereas western philosophy tends to focus on the parts, eastern philosophy tends to focus on the whole.
Rather than breaking down ideas and concepts into categories, eastern philosophy aims to unify ideas and
show how they all reflect the same truths. Western philosophy focuses on the differences, while eastern
philosophy focuses on the similarities. Where western philosophy is linear, eastern philosophy is cyclical.
And so on, and so forth.
Is Logic A Science?
-It is both; or rather there is a Science of logic-a practical science-and an Art of logic. This, in brief, we
consider to e the most satisfactory answer to a disputed question of secondary importance.

A scientific knowledge of any subject-matter is knowledge of it through its causes, and

reasons, and principles, knowledge of its laws, a systematized, co-ordinated knowledge of it, got by mental
application, analysis, demonstration. Science is speculative if the knowledge is acquired for its own sake
and has noimmeidate application to practical ends, no immediate influence on conduct,
no immediate utility for any ulterior object; it is practical if the knowledge is acquired not so much for its
own sake as with a view to using it for some ulterior purpose to which it is immediately applicable: Finis
speculative, veritas; finis operativae sive practicae, actio. Manifestly this distinction is not a fundamental
one; for, in so far as its springs, not from the motive entertained in studying the science, but from the
nature of the knowledge acquired, it is merely a matter of degree, since all true knowledge has, or can
have, some practical influence on external conduct; and furthermore, it is one and the same mind, one and
the same reason, that acquires all science, whether speculative or practical; and finally, even the most
practical knowledge may be acquired for the sake of its own truth, apart altogether from its ulterior value,
and will be, under this aspect, speculative.
Now immediately, logic is a science, for it studies and analyses our mental processes and teaches us a
systematized body of truths concerning those processes. It is even speculative in character, both in so far
as the knowledge yielded by such analysis is desirable for its won sake, and inasmuch as even its practical
aim is precisely to secure that very object which all speculative science aims at-knowledge of the truth.
This is St Thomas point of view when he writes: In speculativis alia rationalis scientia est dailecticaet
alia scientia demonstrative (St IIa IIae, q. 51, art. 2, ad. 3).
"According to Fritjof Capra, the emphasis of rational thought is epitomised in Descartes' celebrated
statement,'Cognito, ergo sum' - 'I think, therefore, I exist.' This has forcefully encouraged Westerners to
equate their identity with their rational mind rather than with the whole organism. This division between
the mind and the body has led to a view of the universe as a mechanical system consisting of separate
objects, which in turn were reduced to fundamental building blocks whose properties and interactions were
thought to completely determine all natural phenomena.
This mechanistic conception of the whole world is still the basis of most of our sciences and continues to
have a tremendous influence on our lives. Academic disciplines become fragmented and this has served as
a rationale for treating the universe as if it consisted of separate parts to be exploited by different groups."
In western philosophy, we like to emphasize the importance of parts of a whole rather than the whole. We
see things like the mind and the body as two separate parts with separate identities, rather than viewing
them as two equal but opposing parts that form a greater whole. This mentality can be found daily in
American society, be it in politics, religion, or even race relations.
Eastern philosophy, on the other hand, emphasizes the whole. That's one of the reasons Chinese and
Indian sages never differentiated between religion and philosophy or categorized their philosophies into
branches. All of their teachings were not meant to be taken as separate truths, but as parts that would
eventually lead to the revelation of the one Truth:
"The essence of the Eastern world view is the awareness of the unity and the mutual inter-relation of all
things and events, the experience of all phenomena in the world as manifestation of a basic oneness. All
things are seen as independent and inseparable parts of a cosmic whole, as different manifestations of the
same ultimate reality. The Eastern traditions refer to this ultimate, indivisible reality as Brahman in
Hinduism, Dharmakaya in Buddhism and Tao in Taoism."
The different conceptions of the Creator or the creative energy reflect the division between eastern and
western philosophy well. Remember that while we separate philosophy and religion in the west, the two go
hand in hand in most eastern traditions.

In the west, there is God. According to your religion, you worship God in a certain way and live your life a
certain way. The Abrahamic God is worshipped by most of the world's population. This God is a "he" and he
feels the same kind of emotions that man does: anger, jealousy, happiness, love, etc. This God is
supernatural and can bend the laws of nature at his will. Ironically, although man is said to have been
created by God, and though it is said that everything God creates is good, man is seen as dirty, sinful, evil,
and unworthy of God's love. Men must work to earn the love of their God, be it by worshipping his one
begotten son, by praying to him five times daily and making a pilgrimage to Mecca, by getting
circumcised, or some other act of devotion.

Western religion and focuses on the exoteric (outer) aspects of religious traditions, and it focuses on the
fragments that make up the religion (your religion, your denomination, what church you go to, what foods
you eat, which scriptures you read, etc.). Western philosophy focuses on the parts rather than the whole.
Contrasting this idea is the eastern perspective on the Creator or creative energy. In Taoism, there is the
Tao. The Tao is not a deity. It is not a he or a she. It is the source of all gender and therefore transcends it.
The Tao is the source of all life, and it is what sustains all life. To put it in more western terms, the Tao could
be called the powerful energy that created and SUPPORTS life. The goal of Taoism is to connect with this
energy by living a more natural and balanced lifestyle. One does not worship the Tao, one aligns oneself
with it. One does not pray to the Tao, one meditates and contemplates the Tao. You connect with the Tao by
aligning yourself with the concept of yin yang, by simply going with the flow of nature. The Tao is not
"supernatural" in the sense that it performs miracles; rather, it is that which created and governs the
"laws" of nature.
The Hindu concept of Brahman is similar to the Tao, as is the Buddhist concept of Dharma. These are not
deities. They do not require us to pray to them in a certain language or worship them. Rather, they
represent the fundamental, substantial reality behind a world that is ever-changing. Everything in the
universe is constantly growing and shrinking, being born and dying. Everything is becoming something
else. But behind this becoming is something that IS. That which IS is that which the eastern philosophies
emphasize, not that which becomes.
Eastern traditions focus more on the esoteric (inner) aspects of religion and philosophy, and they focus on
the whole rather than the parts. It doesn't care so much about some rigid obligation to a supernatural
mystery god, but it emphasizes the importance of transcending the material world, thereby finding one's
true divine inner nature and one's place in the universe.
Finally, we have the idea of conflict versus harmony.
Western philosophy stresses differences and the conflicts arising from those differences. For example,
Christian beliefs of God and the devil, good and evil, right and wrong, etc. have strongly influenced our
society even in a secular context:
"The Marxist view of history saw change as arising from a 'dialectic 'interplay of opposites -hence class
struggle and conflict. Western civilisation based itself on the struggle between the Good and Evil, God and
Satan or Psyche and Cupid."
The philosophical traditions of the west are built on the idea of separation and difference. Atheists and
theists, rather than attempt to find a common ground, instead attempt to discredit each others' ideas. The
western philosophical tradition also makes heavy use of debate, and in a debate one is expected to prove
why one's stance is superior to the opposite stance.

Western philosophy was not developed in an attempt to harmonize seemingly opposite ideas or to solve
contradictions and paradoxes; rather, it was developed to prove how one idea is superior to another.
Unfortunately, we have taken this to the extreme, and rather than use our logic and reasoning (beloved
staples of western philosophy), we have let our emotions get to us. In America, for example, different
groups love to emphasize how they are different from each other. Just take a look at our politics. Look at
how lost we are in the democrat/republican divide. We bicker incessantly over why the other side is wrong.
Meanwhile, the well-being of our nation is often overlooked as we engage in this childish arguing.
In the eastern philosophical traditions, the emphasis is placed on harmony. The Taoist idea of yin yang is a
good example of this. Yin is feminine, dark, cold, and yielding. Yang is masculine, bright, hot, and
advancing. Though these may seem like separate ideas to the western mind, in reality opposing parts of
equal importance that together create a greater whole. They differ only in degree, not in nature, and
together they create existence:
"Eastern philosophical thought is based on this notion of the Yin and the Yang. Frithjof Capra describes the
Yang as the strong,male creative power associated with Heaven while yin is the dark,receptive, female and
maternal element.

The dark yin and the bright yang are arranged in a symmetrical manner. They are dynamic - a rotating
symmetry suggesting very forcefully a continuous cyclic movement. The two dots in the diagram
symbolise the idea that each one of the forces reaches its extreme, it contains in itself the seed of the
opposite. 'Life' says Chuang Tzu'is the blended harmony of the yin and the yang.' "
Yin and yang are both necessary to life. It's not about yin versus yang, masculine versus feminine, etc.;
rather, it's about the coming together of these two opposing forces of equal measure so that a balanced
life may be created.
Eastern philosophy embraces paradoxes and contradictions, and it has its own unique ways of solving
them. Because we are not used to this kind of thought in the west, many of us are left trying to use our
western philosophical thinking in our study of eastern philosophy. In doing so, we miss the point entirely,
and we fail to understand the principles of harmony so prevalent in eastern thought.
-A cradle is a small bed for an infant. Many of the ideas that flourished in the western world were born in
ancient Greece. This is why Greece is often known as the Cradle of Western Civilization.
This Greece was neither a model, nor just one historical specimen among others, but the 'seedbed' of
Western democracy.
Scandinavia is a historical and cultural-linguistic region in Northern Europe characterized by a common
ethno-cultural North Germanic heritage and mutually intelligible North Germanic languages. It comprises
the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on
the Scandinavian Peninsula, whereas modern Denmark consists of Jutland and the Danish islands.


The geography of Scandinavia is extremely varied. Notable are the Norwegian fjords, the Scandinavian
Mountains, the flat, low areas in Denmark, and the archipelagos of Sweden and Norway. Sweden has many
lakes and moraines, legacies of the ice age.
The climate varies from north to south and from west to east; a marine west coast climate (Cfb) typical of
western Europe dominates in Denmark, southernmost part of Sweden and along the west coast of Norway
reaching north to 65N, with orographic lift giving more mm/year precipitation (<5000 mm) in some areas
in western Norway. The central part from Oslo to Stockholm has a humid continental climate (Dfb),
which gradually gives way to subarctic climate (Dfc) further north and cool marine west coast climate (Cfc)
along the northwestern coast. A small area along the northern coast east of the North Cape has tundra
climate (Et) as a result of a lack of summer warmth. The Scandinavian Mountains block the mild and moist
air coming from the southwest, thus northern Sweden and theFinnmarksvidda plateau in Norway receive
little precipitation and have cold winters. Large areas in the Scandinavian mountains havealpine
tundra climate.
The warmest temperature ever recorded in Scandinavia is 38.0 C in Mlilla (Sweden).[42] The coldest
temperature ever recorded is 52.6 C in Vuoggatjlme (Sweden).[43] The coldest month was February
1985 in Vittangi (Sweden) with a mean of 27.2 C.[43]
Southwesterly winds further warmed by foehn wind can give warm temperatures in narrow Norwegian
fjords in winter; Tafjord has recorded 17.9 C in January and Sunndal18.9 C in February.
An equinox is an astronomical event in which the plane of Earth's equator passes the center of the Sun,[2]
making night and day of approximately equal length all over the planet. The equinoxes are the only times
when the solar terminator (the "edge" between night and day) is perpendicular to the equator. As a result,
the northern and southern hemispheres are equally illuminated.
In other words, the equinoxes are the only times when the subsolar point is on the equator, meaning that
the Sun is exactly overhead at a point on the equatorial line. Equinoxes occur twice a year, around 21
March and 23 September. The subsolar point crosses the equator moving northward at the March equinox
and southward at the September equinox.
The equinoxes, along with solstices, are directly related to the seasons of the year. In the northern
hemisphere, the vernal equinox (March) conventionally marks the beginning of spring in most

cultures[citation needed], and the autumnal equinox (September) marks the beginning of autumn. In the
southern hemisphere, the vernal equinox occurs in September and the autumnal equinox in March.
Winter solstice is an astronomical phenomenon marking the shortest day and the longest night of the
year. In the Northern Hemisphere this is the December solstice and in the Southern Hemisphere this is the
June solstice.
Greece is a country in Southern Europe, located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Greece = surrounded by three continents:

Europe (Mainland Europe)


Its mainland is located at the southernmost trip of the Balkan Peninsula.

Surrounded on the NORTH by:

the Republic of Macedonia

To the EAST by:

the Aegean Sea


To the SOUTH by:

The Mediterranean Sea

To the west by:

The Ionian Sea


*Balkan Peninsula- The Balkan Peninsula and the Balkans is a peninsula and a cultural area in
Southeast Europe with different and disputed borders. The region takes its name from the Balkan
Mountains that stretch from the east of Serbia to the Black Sea at the east of Bulgaria.
The Balkans meet the Adriatic Sea on the northwest, Ionian Sea on the southwest, the
Mediterranean and Aegean Sea on the south and southeast, and the Black Sea on the east and
northeast. The highest point of the Balkans is Mount Musala 2,925 metres (9,596 ft) on the Rila
mountain range in Bulgaria.

*Aegean Sea- The Aegean Sea is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located
between the Greek and Anatolian peninsulas, i.e., between the mainland of Greece and Turkey. In
the north, it is connected to the Marmara Sea and Black Sea by the Dardanelles and Bosporus. The
Aegean Islands are within the sea and some bound it on its southern periphery, including Crete and
The sea was traditionally known as Archipelago, but in English this word's meaning has changed to
refer to the Aegean Islands and, generally, to any island group.

*Mediterranean Sea- The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded
by the Mediterranean regionand almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Southern
Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant. The sea is
sometimes considered a part of the Atlantic Ocean, although it is usually identified as a separate
body of water.


North: Ormenio village (414541 N, 261315 E)

South: Gavdos island (344811 N, 240725 E)

East: Strongyli island (360617 N, 293839 E)
West: Othonoi island (395111 N, 192241 E)

Mainland Greece forms the southernmost part of the Balkan peninsula with two additional smaller
peninsulas projecting from it: the Chalcidice and the Peloponnese. The north of the country includes parts
of the historical regions of Macedonia, Chalkidice and Thrace. To the south the mainland narrows and
includes the regions of Epirus, Thessaly and Central Greece, where the region of Attica and the capital city
Athens are located. Further south, the smaller peninsula of Peloponnese is separated from the rest of the
Greek mainland by the Corinthian Gulf and the Isthmus of Corinth.
Mainland Greece covers about 83% of the country's total territory and is largely mountainous. The largest
mountain range of Greece is the Pindus range, the southern extension of the Dinaric Alps, which forms the
spine of the Greek mainland, separating Epirus from Thessaly and Macedonia. The country's tallest
mountain is Mount Olympus, which also separates Thessaly from Macedonia. Its highest peak rises to
2,919 m above sea level, making it the second highest of the Balkan peninsula after Musala in the Rila
Greece has a very large number of islands, with most of them being in the Aegean Sea and the rest in the
Ionian Sea. Estimates of the number of islands vary between 1,200 and 6,000. A figure frequently cited in
travel guides is 1,425 islands, of which 166 are said to be inhabited.[6] The Greek Tourism Organization
reports a figure of 6,000, with 227 of them inhabited. The Greek islands amount for about 17% of the
country's total territory, and vary greatly in size as well as in climate. The country's largest island is Crete,
with Euboea being second largest. Other large Greek islands include Rhodes and Lesbos in the Aegean sea,
as well as Corfu and Cephalonia in the Ionian sea. Many of the smaller Greek islands form groups or chains,
often called archipelagos, with notable examples being the Cyclades and the Sporades in the south-central
Aegean sea.

About four-fifths of Greece is mountainous, including most of the islands. The most important range is the
Pindus, which runs down the center of the peninsula from north to south at about 2,650 m (8,700 ft) in
average elevation. Mt. Olympus (limbos; 2,917 m/9,570 ft) is the highest peak and was the legendary
home of the ancient gods.
Greece has four recognizable geographic regions. The Pindus range divides northern Greece into damp,
mountainous, and isolated Epirus (Ipiros) in the west and the sunny, dry plains and lesser mountain ranges
of the east. This eastern region comprises the plains of Thessaly (Thessala) and the "new provinces" of
Macedonia (Makedonia) and Thrace (Thraki)"new" because they became part of Greece after the Balkan
wars in 191213. Central Greece is the southeastern finger of the mainland that cradled the city-states of
ancient Greece and comprises such classical provinces as Attica (Atik), Boeotia (Voiotia), Doris, Phocis, and
Locris. Southern Greece consists of the mountainous, four-fingered Peloponnesus (Pelopnnisos), separated
from the mainland by the Gulf of Corinth (Korinthiaks Klpos). Islands of the Aegean comprise the

numerous Cyclades (Kikldes); the Dodecanese (Dhodheknisos), including Rhodes (Rdhos); and the two
large islands of Crete (Krti) and Euboea (vvoia).
Greek rivers are not navigable. Many dry up in the summer and become rushing mountain torrents in the

Greece is the southernmost country in Europe. Its land extends out into the Mediterranean Sea. Greeces
land area covers 131944 square kilometers. Greeces neighbors to the north are Albania, Yugoslavia and
Bulgaria. Its neighbors to the east are Turkey. The remainder of Greeces borders is met by sea. Much of
the land in Greece is made of mountain ranges, plains and valleys. The composition of the soil is primarily
made of limestone. Limestone is a type of sedimentary rock that is shaly or sandy. The limestone is either
bare or covered with small shrubs. Limestone is not very porous so it does not hold much moisture. There
is not much precipitation in Greece, therefore, shrubs are the main vegetation.
Mountain ranges divide Greece into many regions. Mountains run like ocean waves across the country
dividing plains and valleys. Plains are very small and you will not see many flat pieces of land in this
country. The mountain ranges divide Greece into nine major regions: Thrace, Macedonia, Thessaly, Epirus,
Central Greece and Euboea, the Peloponnesus, the Ionian Islands, the Agean islands and Crete. The
Acropolis of Athens is found in the Central Region.
Central Greece is a region of mountains and hills, small valleys and many small islands. It takes up about
only one fifth or Greece, but is the center of civilization. We will address this in the population section of
this page. The large island of Euboea is part of Central Greece and it is found on the east coast of Athens.
The Peloponnesus is a peninsula that lies close to the tip of the mainland. It is primarily made up of small
valleys and rugged mountains and coastlines. The acropolis of Athens is found in Central Greece in an area
called Attica. On the southern edge of Attica lies Athens, the capital city of Greece. A mountain range in
the central region is Parnassos.


Agriculture came to Europe from Asia via the Balkans, which was one of the first areas in Europe to
experience the neolithic transformation. As early as 5000 BC the areas mesolithic population had been
transformed to a peasant society of 250,000 people, which in turn grew to 2,000,000 people by the Bronze
Age. By then the art of writing had been imported to the Greeks, Linear B was used to record accounts,
and evident from this was the level of sophistication which most certainly reflected in the population
distribution. If 2,000,000 people lived in the Balkans in 1250 BC, 1,000,000 people lived in Greece.

By the time the Dark Ages were underway in Greece in the 7th century BC, so was the population which
exploded and carried more than half of its share of the Balkan total and over 2,000,000 people in absolute
numbers. By the 5th century, the Greek archipelago contained 3,000,000 people out of 5,000,000 people
in the Balkans. Alexander's campaigns opened the whole Orient to Greek settlements, an outlet for the
overpopulation back home. As a result, Asia Minor received the bulk of the Greek expansion. By 200 AD,
and after the fruits of Roman peace had settled in, 6,000,000 people in Asia Minor viewed themselves as
Greeks of the Roman world, and another 1,000,000 Armenians oscillated between Roman and Persian
For the next 15 centuries Asia Minor would carry the bulk of the Greek population.
After the reign of Emperor Heraclius and the loss of all of its overseas borders, Byzantine territories were
pretty much limited to the Balkans and Anatolia, both Greek populated areas. When Byzantium began to
recover after a series of conflicts in the 8th century and its territories stabilized, its population began to
recover. By the end of the 8th century there were 7,000,000 Byzantines, a figure that climbed to
12,000,000 Byzantines by 1025. The numbers began falling steadily to 9,000,000 Byzantines at 1204 and
even lower to 5,000,000 Byzantines at 1281 with the arrival of the Turks.
The loss of a considerable area in Asia Minor along with a series of conflicts henceforth with the Ottomans
never allowed the Greek population to recover and over the next few centuries remained stable between
the range of 45,000,000 people. Asia Minor would be completely lost to Greek habitancy in 1922 after
defeat by Turkey and the population exchange which saw 2,000,000 Greeks move across the Aegean.
Henceforth, Greek population began to rise steadily in numbers to an all-time high for the peninsula and
archipelago of 11,000,000 people by 2007.