Western philosophy is NT, and Eastern Philosophy is NF? - Page 2

Western philosophy is NT, and Eastern Philosophy is NF?

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This is a discussion on Western philosophy is NT, and Eastern Philosophy is NF? within the Critical Thinking & Philosophy forums, part of the Topics of Interest category; Zen Buddhism is a very SP philosophy. Abandoning thought and living in the moment....

  1. #11

    Zen Buddhism is a very SP philosophy. Abandoning thought and living in the moment.
    Brian1, strangestdude, strangestdude and 2 others thanked this post.

  2. #12

    Actually, formal logic has not been around for a very long time and is practiced all across the globe, even though it originated in Europe. And logic in general was not really developed or practiced as an academic discipline during long periods of time in the West. There were almost no significant developments in logic in the Western philosophical tradition during the time of the Roman empire and during most of the Middle Ages (right up until the 14th century and the only great logician in that century was William of Ockham); there were also no particularly relevant contributions made to logic by Western philosophers during the period from the Renaissance until the 19th century, with but a few notable exceptions, like the works of eccentrics such as Leibniz, which were left unnoticed until the late 19th century. Eastern (and particularly Indian) philosophy, on the other hand, has its own, distinct tradition of logic and philosophy of language that has been developed and practiced for a longer period of time and with a greater continuity between authors than the tradition of logic and philosophy of language in the West. Moreover, the Indian tradition of logic is much older than the Western tradition of logic.

    As to philosophy of science, it really depends on what you consider to be philosophy of science; it is commonly understood as being a product of the Austro-Anglo-American tradition of analytic philosophy in the 20th century, but that tradition does not encompass all philosophy regarding science and nature. In fact, philosophy of science in this narrow sense does not even encompass all philosophy concerning science and nature in the West! So, 'philosophy of science' can easily be said to be a misleading term.

    Anyway, I agree with others here that you should not use MBTI in the way you try to use it here, but I also have good reasons to say that your analysis would simply be wrong if you were to use it like that. Historically, India has a richer and more continuous tradition of logic than the West. It seems to me that what you are expounding here is just an unwarranted type of Orientalism; "we rational Westerners as opposed to those irrational savages over in the Orient", seems to be the message. It is rubbish, really. Besides, it is a misapplication of MBTI.

  3. #13

    Quote Originally Posted by Raain View Post
    Studying diffrent cultures and comparing them is intresting, but you need an entierly diffrent model to do that.
    I suggest Sorokin's model of socio-cultural dynamics as such a possible alternative here. There's three basic forms of cultures and systems of truth: Sensate, Ideational, Idealistic/Integral.

    Here's a rough run-down of major characteristics of these dynamics:

    Sensate (Materialistic) Culture

    • The defining cultural principle is that true reality is sensory – only the material world is real. There is no other reality or source of values.
    • This becomes the organizing principle of society. It permeates every aspect of culture and defines the basic mentality. People are unable to think in any other terms.
    • Sensate culture pursues science and technology, but dedicates little creative thought to spirituality or religion.
    • Dominant values are wealth, health, bodily comfort, sensual pleasures, power and fame.
    • Ethics, politics, and economics are utilitarian and hedonistic. All ethical and legal precepts are considered mere man-made conventions, relative and changeable.
    • Art and entertainment emphasize sensory stimulation. In the decadent stages of Sensate culture there is a frenzied emphasis on the new and the shocking (literally, sensationalism).
    • Religious institutions are mere relics of previous epochs, stripped of their original substance, and tending to fundamentalism and exaggerated fideism (the view that faith is not compatible with reason).

    Ideational (Spiritual) Culture

    • The defining principle is that true reality is supersensory, transcendent, spiritual.
    • The material world is variously: an illusion (maya), temporary, passing away (“stranger in a strange land”), sinful, or a mere shadow of an eternal transcendent reality.
    • Religion often tends to asceticism and moralism.
    • Mysticism and revelation are considered valid sources of truth and morality.
    • Science and technology are comparatively de-emphasized.
    • Economics is conditioned by religious and moral commandments (e.g., laws against usury).
    • Innovation in theology, metaphysics, and supersensory philosophies.
    • Flourishing of religious and spiritual art (e.g., Gothic cathedrals).

    Integral (Idealistic) Culture

    • Its ultimate principle is that the true reality is richly manifold, a tapestry in which sensory, rational, and supersensory threads are interwoven.
    • All compartments of society and the person express this principle.
    • Science, philosophy, and theology blossom together.
    • Fine arts treat both supersensory reality and the noblest aspects of sensory reality.

    Source:Culture in Crisis: The Visionary Theories of Pitirim Sorokin | Satyagraha - Cultural Psychology

    Now from this model we can say that stereotypically, "Eastern" philosophy tends to be Ideational in character whereas Western philosophy over the past 500 years has predominantly been Sensate in character. Yes reality is far more complex than that, as different dynamics have ebbed and flowed through different stages of cultures.

    Even in the West: Neo-Platonic philosophy shares many characteristics with many Eastern philosophies and has predominantly Ideational characteristics. Medieval Scholasticism is also Western, yet has a distinctly Idealistic/Integral character.

    Interestingly enough, Sorokin did propose this model as a form of personality typology as well; or at least having implications for the classification of different personality types.
    lagoulue, Shea, Chesire Tower and 5 others thanked this post.

  4. #14

    Have you ever taken a philosophy class, because you're talking BS out of your mouth? I could say that Thomas Hobbes is Big Picture, non personal, logc based, just get a government so that people can exist. John Locke would say we need to go beyond that towards tolerance and mutual understanding. Both are Western Philosophy. Within that, both, are Empiracists. Empiricists are English, while Rationalists are French and German, and are Mathematicians, Cartesian Method, Calculus ... I would argue that John Locke is really an advocate for Sensors, and that we don't have innate ideas as Descartes thought,but we're more a blank slate, learning from experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by strangestdude View Post
    My main exposure to eastern philosophy has been through (naturalist and supernaturalist) Buddhism or Buddhist influence philosophers/thinkers. And I was surprised to hear fundamental similarities with Chinese thought whilst reading this article;

    Why Are Hundreds of Harvard Students Studying Ancient Chinese Philosophy? - Christine Gross-Loh - The Atlantic

    I've only done rudimentary research into both, but being an INFP I've gained the distinct impression that western philosophy is NT in it's approach and primary concerns, and Eastern philosophy is NF.

    Western philosophy - Big picture, non-personal, and logic based. And most respects 'genius'.

    Eastern philosophy - Meaning and people centered. Intuition* and systems thinking based. And most respects 'sages'.

    *(Non MBTI intuition meaning defined as; the ability to acquire knowledge without [conscious] inference and/or the use of reason. - wikipedia.)

    From my observation the most widely practiced fruits of western philosophy have been; formal reasoning and the philosophy of science.

    Whereas the most widely practiced fruits of eastern philosophy have been; practices like mindfulness meditation, and contemplative practices based on cultivating a sense of common humanity and interconnectivity. (Jon Kabat Zinn, Phil Gilbert and Kristen Neff present research based on those practices FWIW).

    What do you guys think?

    (Please don't let this descend into an argument about which one is better.)
    Last edited by Brian1; 10-13-2013 at 05:10 PM.

  5. #15

    I don't think most of the empiricists were sensors. In the conclusions they came to, they decided that knowledge comes from sense experience and induction. That doesn't mean they weren't using intuition to come to those conclusions. Although I'm certain there are sensor philosophers, philosophy is inherently a predominantly intuitive endeavor, and sensing is more conducive to natural sciences.

    It's understandable why one might think Western philosophy is more NT while Eastern philosophy is NF. But both eastern and western philosophy are broad categories. Hell, how many different cultures are subsumed under 'eastern thought'? Just looking at India, Nyaya for example seems far more T than F.

    And in Western philosophy, you can find both Feelers and Thinkers. Camus, Kierkegaard, and Rousseau are all typed as INFP on CelebrityTypes.

    Some Buddhists may have been sensing types, but there were also definitely intuitives writing things like Bardo Thodol, and writing on metaphysics. And then you have to ask whether the sixteen types can even be applied to non-Western cultures.

  6. #16

    Well, I think, in philosophy you have all these schools of thought, the idea that all of them are N typed,even though different theories are reached,would be erroneous. I mean Descartes basically established that God is needed as a first cause. Essence preceeds Existence. Hobbes met him and said "you are stupid". And Hobbes inaugurated the dissent, that Existence preceeds Essence, if there is any Essence at all. Then Sartre came in and asked isn't it that there's Existence, but there's no Essence whatsoever. So, I think there would a predisposition towards Sensor philosophers along the way.

  7. #17

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian1 View Post
    Well, I think, in philosophy you have all these schools of thought, the idea that all of them are N typed,even though different theories are reached,would be erroneous. I mean Descartes basically established that God is needed as a first cause. Essence preceeds Existence. Hobbes met him and said "you are stupid". And Hobbes inaugurated the dissent, that Existence preceeds Essence, if there is any Essence at all. Then Sartre came in and asked isn't it that there's Existence, but there's no Essence whatsoever. So, I think there would a predisposition towards Sensor philosophers along the way.
    Maybe I just don't understand the functions well enough, but I don't really see many sensors being interested in philosophy. My understanding of S vs. N is that S is very aware of external reality, what's in front of them, while N is in their head asking questions about whatever lies beneath that phenomenal reality, bumping into whatever is there. And that's basically the point of philosophy, like Thales falling into the well, looking up at the sky in thought.

    I don't think that we should just type philosophers according to the conclusions they come to or their school of thought. At least not without considering their methods, their behavior, their interests, relationships, etc. Anybody, regardless of type, can have any belief, opinion, or doctrine. Like I said, Rousseau and Camus are both INFP (not to mention, French), but their philosophies are profoundly different. So I'm not sure you can just say "oh, Descartes was a rationalist, so he's probably NT; Hobbes was an empiricist, so ST". It isn't necessarily that simple.

    I do think there are S philosophers; I just don't think there are as many, and I don't think the famous empiricists were all sensors just because they were empiricists.

    and the more broadly you try to generalize, the more problematic it is. East vs. west is about as broad as you can get.
    claude, claude, claude and 5 others thanked this post.

  8. #18

    That is spot-on from what I can tell. I've never looked too much in to eastern philosophy, though I know a little bit on the surface (Buddhism, karma, morality, etc.) and that does seem to be the spawn of an NF's thoughts. I've studied a lot of western philosophy, most particularly that of Ancient Greece. It does deal with morality, but more with a more logical approach, and that to determine what is right is born human reason. ("You treat others right, because it only makes sense!") It also teaches that to deal with tragedies and loss, you must place no value in what you've lost to relieve yourself of that pain. So you can see how more in-tuned with "reality" Greek philosophy is, and doesn't have as quite a stronger spiritual side as the thoughts of the East. I've never studied much philosophy of the far East, but I am interested. Would anyone recommend to me any specific authors, books, writers etc. any work of Eastern philosophy?
    strangestdude, strangestdude and strangestdude thanked this post.

  9. #19

    Eastern philosophy tends to get stereotyped. Consider philosophers such as Nagarjuna, the Nyaya scholars and Huizi. They are as 'Western' in their thinking and logic-chopping as Aristotle if not moreso. Not to mention Western philosophy isn't confined to the analytic tradition either; existentialism for instance tends to have a special appeal to INFPs.
    Last edited by Dao; 10-13-2013 at 10:25 PM. Reason: Typographical error.

  10. #20

    actually your description of eastern philosophy is also branch of western philosophy called continental philosophy

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