Self-Cultivation Philosophies in Ancient India, Greece, and China

Oxford University Press (2021)
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Abstract

"The book defends the thesis that the concept of self-cultivation philosophy is an informative interpretive framework for comprehending and reflecting on several philosophical outlooks in India, the Greco-Roman world and China. On the basis of an understanding of human nature and the place of human beings in the world, self-cultivation philosophies maintain that our lives can and should be substantially transformed from what is judged to be a problematic, untutored condition of human beings, our existential starting-point, into what is put forward as an ideal state of being. We are to do this by undertaking a set of therapeutic or spiritual exercises guided by some philosophical analysis. The self-cultivation philosophies in India are expressed in: the Bhagavad Gītā; the Sāṃkhya and Yoga philosophies of Īśvarakṛṣṇa and Patañjali; and teaching of the Buddha and his followers Buddhaghosa and Śāntideva. The philosophies originating in Greece, with subsequent development in the Roman period, are the most prominent Hellenistic approaches: the Epicureanism of Epicurus, Lucretius and Philodemus; the Stoicism of Chrysippus, Epictetus and Seneca; and Pyrrho and the Pyrrhonism of Sextus Empiricus. The self-cultivation philosophies from China are the early Confucian outlooks of Confucius, Mencius and Xunzi; the classical Daoist perspectives of the Daodejing and the Zhuangzi; and the Chan tradition of Bodhidharma, Huineng and Linji"--

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Christopher Gowans
Fordham University

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Neo-Confucianism: A Philosophical Introduction.Stephen C. Angle & Justin Tiwald - 2017 - Cambridge, UK: Polity. Edited by Justin Tiwald.

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