Eastern and Western Philosophers Comparison Paper
Friday, 2 October 2010
Eastern and Western Philosophers Comparison
I chose to compare Kant and Buddha, with a leaning more to the Indian Buddha, rather than the Chinese form of Buddha. The comparison of these two philosophers may seem a little strange but I found that they share a similarity of thought. Kant’s moral law, which can be simplified to (Palomo-Lamarca, Palmquist 2001), “The moral law is a law I make for myself and apply to myself”. Strangely enough this is also the first step in Buddha’s teaching of morality; “The first being I hurt with my unhealthy behavior is not the other(s) to whom my action is directed, but my own self.” (Palomo-Lamarca, Palmquist 2001). I think it was this particular comparison that led me to choosing Kant and Buddha as comparison philosophers.
Kant and Buddha have similar thoughts, one in particular is “Ding an sich”, the thing itself. Kant tells us that form is created by our body (mind), as did Buddha. When we see a form we see areas of black separated from white. Buddha tells us that they are one and the same, connected and that the form is created by us.
Buddha tells us that our bodies may die, but the actions we committed whilst inhabiting those bodies continue on after the death. If freewill was a more tangible element, then the cause of the action could be stopped by the freedom of our will, curiously though Buddha also said that everything was dependant on something. How can something be free and dependant at the same time? Kant didn’t exactly give a viewpoint on free will except to say that it was an illusion that was a necessity to mankind in order to live. (Stanford encyclopedia of Philosophy).
Buddha and Kant agreed on basic ideas about things, I think that Kant and Buddha argue from similar standpoints, with regard to personal identities to human actions. They both make their claims from different...