You must log in or register to comment.

coyote-1 t1_ixqzbfl wrote

One benefits from visiting that region in order to grasp the collective nature of eastern philosophy. If my rice paddy fails, all the rice paddies downstream of mine also fail. So even though my neighbor might compete with me in the rice selling market, neither of us stands a chance if one of us fails at growing the rice in the first place.

Thus you do not find them hoarding water. The water must flow from my paddy to yours, to the next, all the way down the line. And if I have an issue with water flow or with disease on my paddy, the neighbors pitch in to help correct it.

If you wonder why the East is generally more supportive of collective society and collective governance, this holds part of the answer.


ncastleJC t1_ixs2iy2 wrote

Lex Friedman’s podcast with Michael Levin sort of shows that in biology cells and systems basically work as collectives and become one intelligence by the interaction of gap junctions, where essentially cells forget about their individual barriers and meld together as one collective. In that Levin mentions how each level of biology has an agenda to follow and for every level the parts sum to the higher level of the collective. Essentially you add to a collective regardless of what level you’re on, the question is simply what direction you’re eventually going. He also mentions xenobots, where they removed skin cells from tadpole eggs and the cells eventually turned into little bio machines that can navigate mazes and self replicate, which isn’t the method of production of frogs. The cells outside of a collective develop their own methods. So it’s as if they’re always programmed with a direction, so individual actions can occur as well separate from the collective. Tough to make heads or tails with it.


TargetDroid t1_ixryalr wrote

This is not only wrong, but basically racist. It’s ridiculous. You think “eastern philosophy” is distinct from western philosophy because they have rice paddies over there? wtf.

Nothing substantial, and certainly nothing important, about Chinese religious and philosophical thought is conveyed by reference to their rice paddies and some lame assertion that their cultivation instills some kind of novel attributes in mankind. The idea that that magical plant has led to a society in which neighbors help one another and no strife is to be found is just outrageous. We grow plants in the west, too, ya know. Why is it that those plants didn’t lead to the same alleged (also: false) outcome?

I feel compelled to leave this comment, but holy.. one barely knows what to write. Do you not see how silly it is to pretend that what you wrote is accurate? Was rice just not workin’ like it’s supposed to during the Warring States period? Or.. any of the other myriad violent conflicts in China’s history? You think the Chinese have never so much as “hoarded water” in opposition to one another?

Just: wow.


hanniballz t1_ixryv4j wrote

dude if you think having to put your livelihood in the hands of a multitute of people doesnt change to way you think i dont know what to tell you. just try to insult a war vet's brothers in arms, see wht that gets you.


TargetDroid t1_ixrz3mg wrote

wtf are you even talking about? You think there’s some distinct form of social collaboration that China has had forever, the likes of which Western civilization (except..for…its military veterans!?) knows nothing?



onwee t1_ixsh3u6 wrote

The idea that you call “racist” is the exact premise of Richard Nisbett’s “Geography of Thought,” which I think is an excellent book (and also what got me back into school to do cultural psychology research). I highly recommend it before you dismiss the ideas—that basically started the whole field of cultural psych—completely.


TargetDroid t1_ixshoca wrote

Richard Nisbett thinks Chinese philosophy differs in content from Western philosophy because Chinese people farm rice?


onwee t1_ixsj0al wrote

The book documents the many different ways Eastern thought patterns and Western thought patterns (not just philosophy, but at the level of very basic cognitive processes) differ. THAT these differences exist are well supported by decades of empirical research and makes up the bulk of the book.

Only a minor part the book delves into his explanation FOR these cognitive differences: it involves differences between the primary mode of economy of ancient Western societies (i.e. Greek)—hunting and gathering, which favors a competitive approach—and ancient Eastern societies (i.e. China)—agricultural, which favors a more cooperative approach. He’s a psychologist by training and this part of the thesis is weaker by comparison but nevertheless interesting, and has SOME empirical support when comparing within culture between farming vs ranching regions (e.g. US north vs south, Cohen et al 1996


grundar t1_ixtmbuu wrote

> his explanation FOR these cognitive differences: it involves differences between the primary mode of economy of ancient Western societies (i.e. Greek)—hunting and gathering, which favors a competitive approach—and ancient Eastern societies (i.e. China)—agricultural, which favors a more cooperative approach.

"The prosperity of the majority of Greek city-states was based on agriculture".

Golden Age Greece was fed by crops, not by "hunting and gathering". Similarly for Egypt and Mesopotamia during their cultural peaks.

Either you're misremembering the book or the book is in error, but cities of tens of thousands are too large to feed via hunting and gathering.


onwee t1_ixuotuv wrote

I’m no archaeologist (and neither was the author of these ideas) but once a civilization grows to a certain size hunting/gathering naturally becomes insufficient.

From what I could remember tho, the book made the case that agriculture of Greek civilization was nevertheless a much smaller component of its diet and economy (relative to Chinese farming); fishing, herding, and especially trading played much larger roles, all of which emphasized direct competition between neighbors and neighboring city states.

Economy was only one hypothesized factor. I think others were linguistic structures and early (Western) development vs nearly complete absence of (Eastern) logic. But you’re right I definitely could use a revisit of the book.


grundar t1_ixvne5q wrote

> and especially trading played much larger roles, all of which emphasized direct competition between neighbors and neighboring city states.

Trading inherently has a strong cooperative element, though, so I don't see how Ancient Greece's significant reliance on trading supports the "competitive West/cooperative East" dichotomy.

In particular, trading generally requires making mutually-beneficial agreements with peer groups outside your immediate circle. By contrast, farming essentially relies on monopolistic use of a piece of land, and as a result could most certainly be framed as competitive (more food grown = more people = take over more land = even more food grown, etc.).

Either direction could be spun to support the dichotomy; as a result, there's a strong chance that the book is cherry-picking its analysis to support its target narrative, and as a result is not presenting a realistic view.


onwee t1_ixvvt50 wrote

Eh you could be right about the explanation OF the dichotomy, but THAT the dichotomy exists is an empirical question and had already been answered by decades of (cross-cultural psychology) research—it isn’t just a cherry-picked narrative.


grundar t1_ixxl3gt wrote

> Eh you could be right about the explanation OF the dichotomy

To be clear, that's what I'm questioning, the idea that the West was based on hunting/gathering vs. agriculture in the East. Agriculture was the base of all settled populations worldwide, with very few (and relatively small) exceptions.

> but THAT the dichotomy exists is an empirical question and had already been answered by decades of (cross-cultural psychology) research

Interesting; that does not match my experience of American and Chinese cultures. What would you say is the best empirical evidence supporting the idea of a simple competitive-West/cooperative-East dichotomy?

Anecdotally, I'm reasonably familiar with Chinese and American cultures, and that simplistic dichotomy does not fit what I have observed. Competition is brutal right now for Chinese parents and their kids, and also in many other ways (for people seeking spouses, for top university spots, for desirable apartments, etc.). Chinese families in the USA are markedly more competitive than their white peers; witness the "Tiger Mom" stereotype. In many ways, this competition has deep cultural roots, notably including the imperial examinations needed to become a civil servant which date back centuries.

My understanding is that there's more evidence for a consistent difference in individualism vs. collectivism, but (a) that's a different thing than competition vs. cooperation, and (b) that's in large part due to many of the comparisons being made against the USA, which itself stands out as unusually individualistic even compared to its Western peers.


onwee t1_ixxs5db wrote

We are talking past each other about completely different things here: competitive vs cooperative economical models of ancient societies is an explanation of the “dichotomy,” not the “dichotomy” itself that I was talking about. What I was referring to are the differences between Eastern and Western cognitive processes—somewhat paralleling individualistic/collectivistic social processes—what cultural psychologists call the analytic vs holistic cognition.

The empirical support is entirely on the social and cognitive processes, of which cooperative vs competitive economic models is just one hypothesized explanation for a root cause.


TargetDroid t1_ixsm4m6 wrote

So the answer to my question, then, is: “No.”


onwee t1_ixswq2d wrote

Lol. 對牛彈琴…you win all the points


latakewoz t1_ixsygiq wrote

Finally two pholosophers sharing there wisdom.


yamatoshi t1_iy6rhin wrote


I had to research that proverb, but I like it. Seems fitting XD


GGoldenSun t1_ixrzg17 wrote

He literally said he visited the region and gained some local knowledge...

Being contextual isn't being racist. 😂😂😂


TargetDroid t1_ixrzuw7 wrote

No… but reducing Chinese philosophy’s differences from the West to a consequence of tilling rice paddies is pretty bad…no?

In our hyper-sensitive environment, such accusations have lost their gravity, but damn if this doesn’t smack of it, nonetheless.

I don’t even think he’s intending racism; he’s probably just so enamored with the sense of the exotic that he is absent-mindedly and inaccurately placing cause and effect relationships therein.


iiioiia t1_ixv9lyv wrote

> No… but reducing Chinese philosophy’s differences from the West to a consequence of tilling rice paddies is pretty bad…no?

It is, so why are you doing it?

> but damn if this doesn’t smack of it, nonetheless.

I recommend you fix your terrible perception then.

> I don’t even think he’s intending racism; he’s probably just so enamored with the sense of the exotic that he is absent-mindedly and inaccurately placing cause and effect relationships therein.

Of course: what seems to be true is "probably" true.


Fresque t1_ixs010a wrote

I thought the rice paddy thing was a metaphor...


TargetDroid t1_ixs07ht wrote

What, exactly, do you suspect it to represent? We till plants in the West, too, so… that seems to preclude some general point from being made…


GANJAxNINJA69 t1_ixs145a wrote

You can say the rice paddies represents each persons interests/wealth. One rice paddy has all the water, other rice paddies don’t flourish and is detrimental to the whole. This is not radical thinking just requires basic empathy.


TargetDroid t1_ixs19f2 wrote

And how, exactly, does that have anything to do with the distinction between Chinese and Western philosophical or religious thought?


GANJAxNINJA69 t1_ixs2lpp wrote

I mean it was just a metaphor brother. Not meant to be the answer to all


latakewoz t1_ixszk4x wrote

In china we say: life is like chicken, it can be sweet and sour at the same time


J4K4LOPE t1_ixsa2p9 wrote

Implying that eastern philosophy is geared towards collective reasoning rather than individualistic and overly competitive reasoning?


TargetDroid t1_ixshfdb wrote

Because they farm rice?


Xeludon t1_ixsqevh wrote

No? Wtf?

The example is "people help eachother because if one fails, they all fail"

Rice is the most common grain over there, it's absolutely not racist to use that as an example.

It's like saying "in Europe, people focus entirely on their wheat farms, and will hoard water to make others fail so they can gain more profit."

That's not a racist thing to say, and I don't see how you couldn't see the example, it's pretty racist of you to make that leap tbh.


TargetDroid t1_ixss88x wrote

The claims being made in the parent comment to which I originally responded appear to include:

  1. Chinese philosophy differs from Western philosophy in some way (action is “collective” or some crap)
  2. Rice has something to do with this.

I challenged anyone to provide something resembling a sensible explanation for this which isn’t as stupid as it appears on its face. In fact, it strikes me as racist because it laughably seeks to explain important, complex, very studiously and intentionally developed differences in human thought to be reducible to some crap about a plant which one of the ethnicities in question happens to cultivate for food. That argument is so stupid, it’s amazing.

In response to my critique, someone in a parent comment suggested that the original commenter intended the rice reference to be a metaphor.

This makes no sense, of course. The original commenter was clearly making literal claims about rice-based agricultural practices leading somehow to different philosophical output among the rice-farming population when compared to non-rice-farming populations. If you re-read what he wrote, you can see that he plainly states that, because of the nature of rice farming, you won’t find Chinese people “hoarding water”.

Nonetheless, here we are, with you trying to explain the original commenter’s use of rice as some sort of a metaphor which explains the difference between Chinese and Western philosophy…by reference to…helping people..or something?

Does that seem like an accurate summary to you?


Xeludon t1_ixstnar wrote

Not even close.

Rice was not the reason, at all.

They used rice as an example of how the philosophy works, they weren't saying "it's this way because of rice".

I have no idea how you read it that way, no one else did, which is why you're being downvoted so hard, your take makes no sense.

The original comment was very, very easy to read and made sense, it very clearly wasn't what you think it was, at all.

The entire point of the original comment was a brief explanation using farmers as an example, rice is the most common grain there, so using rice farmers made the most sense.

Do you think it would've made sense to talk about Chinese society and how it works using olive farmers as an example? No. Because the most common grain is rice.

You took it to a racist place yourself, for whatever reason.

You decided it was racist because you read rice and Chinese in the same sentence and created your own narrative.

the only one here who was racist was you.

Also; yes, their philosophy does differ from western philosophy, because Chinese philosophy hinges very heavily on everyone helping eachother. Western philosophy hinges very heavily on everyone helping themselves.


TargetDroid t1_ixsudg7 wrote

He wrote:

“…neither of us stands a chance if one of us fails at growing rice in the first place. Thus you do not find them hoarding water.”

That is: because they farm rice, Chinese people have developed more “collective-oriented” philosophical distinctions from those in the West… despite the fact that those in the West also face the basic human predicament of sharing resources and cooperating in the rudimentary manner being described while farming other plants…

So that rice must be really magical, huh?


Xeludon t1_ixsuyqs wrote

Again; not even close.

The entire meaning is "neither of us stands a chance if one of us fails, thus you don't find them hoarding-" it could be literally anything.

They used rice and agriculture as an example because it's the easiest to follow.

Their point was that hoarding and sabotaging in Chinese philosophy causes negative effects to everyone involved.

Read what they put again, but replace the word water with money, or houses, or cars, or literally anything.

In China, there's laws that stop people hoarding property, among other things.

Their example and analogy wasn't in any way literal. You just read it that way, which is on you.

I'm still not sure where you got lost and why you don't understand, everyone else got it.

And no.

Western philosophy is capitalist and individualistic, based entirely on personal wealth and personal success.

In Western philosophy, it's all for one.

In Chinese philosophy, it's very much socialist and communal, based entirely on societal growth, communal wealth and communal succes.

Chinese philosophy is one for all.


TargetDroid t1_ixsvkzj wrote


Well, this is why I quit Reddit. I forgot.

Anyway, be sure to educate Yang Chu, a famous Chinese philosopher of the exact time period in question (who makes an appearance in the author’s cited Zhuangzi, even!) and let him know that Chinese philosophy is just all about collectivism!


Xeludon t1_ixswn6y wrote

No one said it was "all about collectivism"

What is being said is that collectivism is a common theme within Chinese philosophy, which it is.

A good example of this is religion within China.

Buddhism and Daoism- both about helping others, and being communal, the collective outweighs the singular.

Abrahamic religions - about individualism, helping others is minimal, the singular outweighs the collective.

Also; Yang Zhu was regarded as a hedonist, not a philosopher, and was an outlier.

Much like we have people who believe in communism in the west, there's individuals in China who follow capitalist ideals. That doesn't make capitalism the majority belief within China, and doesn't make communism the majority in the west.

That's like saying "well, there's billionaores in the west so everyone is a billionaire", that's not how it works.

You seem to believe that a few individuals within a society believing something the rest of that society doesn't, suddenly makes that society about that individuals beliefs.


SocialActuality t1_ixsuxyj wrote

The rice farming is just a socioeconomically relevant metaphor for the importance of collective thinking. They never said it was a cause of this emphasis on collective thought or that it was anything but a metaphor.


coyote-1 t1_ixuiu8f wrote

Ahhh, yet more ranting. Are you aware of how rice grows? It is not a plant growing out of hard earth. It grows in shallow ‘ponds’ that we call paddies. Water must remain in those paddies, yet flow through unobstructed. If it does not flow it stagnates, and the rice molds and becomes garbage.

It absolutely requires a cooperative mindset to get it right.

But you seem resistant to the idea that the basis of survival in a given region would be reflected in the writings that come from that region. Why?

Also, I did not say “Chinese people don’t hoard water”. I said RICE FARMERS do not hoard water. Contextual reading is your friend, targetdroid, unless your intent is to continue to rant and look silly.


coyote-1 t1_ixuhsgg wrote

We do not cooperatively till plants here! My corn field gets water, that water sinks into the ground otr evaporates. It does not pass down the line to my neighbor’s crop. I’m in competition with that neighbor for the water resource.

Thus we have the rugged individualism of the American West, and of philosophers who emerge from this tradition.


coyote-1 t1_ixuh7qd wrote

That’s none of what I said. You are ranting. I’m amused though by you labeling my post ‘racist’ when the topic is Chinese philosophy, and the OP asks the question of why in this philosophy all actions are collective.

Do you really imagine the environment from which a particular philosopher emerges has zero impact on his/her thinking? The Central European thinkers of the 19th century had differences, but one could easily conceive them as a single body of work. And that body of work is far different than that of Plato and Aristotle and Epicurus, in a different place and time… which is far different than Alan Watts.

No…. it would be nearly impossible for environment to not impact philosophy.


Tsui_Brooklyn t1_ixs1tj4 wrote

You must the point by a mile


TargetDroid t1_ixs2b47 wrote

What would that point be? Remember to include:

  1. The alleged universally-recognized “collectivity” of action (whatever that means) throughout “Classical Chinese philosophy”
  2. The relationship of the above to the social implications of rice cultivation (as distinct from other plant cultivation taking place outside of China, I guess)

Dawnofdusk t1_ixs504i wrote

As someone who has studied classical Chinese philosophy (i.e., I took a class on it given in Chinese), I think the author's summary of things is pretty good. I do not like the vaguely orientalist turn at the end where the upshot of all this is that "Western individualism bad. Asian collectivism oooh exotic." It seems the rest of the comment section is also stuck in this mode.

I'm reminded of the excerpt from Zhuangzi, quoted in the preface of Bertrand Russell's book on China, which says something to the effect of (apologies to any scholars of classical Chinese thought for the following tenuous English paraphrase) "Us humans have orifices for speaking, hearing, seeing, etc. Let us dig some such orifices into Chaos, so they may also have such functions. And so, Chaos died." Differentiation, categorization, stratification (the preferred term of Deleuze) is difficult not only from a hermeneutic perspective but in some sense may be intrinsically damaging. This I think is what the interesting idea of "co-action" is that the author is going for, and is a sentiment that really sticks out when reading these works in the original Chinese, as Chinese (and particularly classical Chinese) lacks a lot of the definite noun/verb/adjective/preposition/etc. delineations that you find in Western grammars. (EDIT: another such observation which is purely linguistic is the lack of articles in the Chinese language, which means references to nouns are inherently generic and not specific.)

To read this as some sort of "and this is why China is communist" hot take or similar hot takes on Asian collectivism is just boring and anachronistic. Also doesn't make much sense even from the purely sociohistorical lens: Confucianism created an extremely rigid social hierarchy. So much for social collectivism.


physics515 t1_ixtkeox wrote

It's interesting this is linked to collectivism, because the same principle is laid out in the older founding liberal texts such as Human Action. Which states that any action is an expression of value thus by taking an action you are inherently expressing value to others. This revelation can be said to be the underpinnings of all western individualistic philosophies.


Dawnofdusk t1_ixtyg4g wrote

Interesting I had not heard of that before. In my opinion, the underpinning of Western individualistic philosophies seems more like mind-over-matter/mind body dualism described by René Descartes. In this case the metaphysics is very different from that of Chinese thought, or at least Daoism in particular, if one thinks for example of the story where "Zhuangzi dreamt of being a butterfly. Or was it that the butterfly dreamt of being Zhuangzi?"


johnstocktonshorts t1_ixt07zl wrote

so to what extent does it affect the more collectivist social belief system in modern china?


Dawnofdusk t1_ixty3yn wrote

I'm no sociologist, but certainly it's true that the ideas in these philosophies are very different from Descartes' mind/matter dualism or other such Western metaphysical ideas which support the individualistic beliefs in the West. However not demonstrating the same individualistic values does not mean therefore adhering to some other vaguely defined set of collectivist values. If anything, most of the philosophical thought over this time (which we group together despite the fact it ranges over centuries) reflected the political disunity of China and therefore spoke more to the need for structure and order. Obviously one way such order can be realized is in a more collectivist way of thinking, and there are such ideas in classical writing (famously, Overall, however I am not convinced that Chinese culture is as uniquely collectivist as the China watchers like to say, it is merely not individualist. A parallel question would be, why is the West not as collectivist despite such values being so strong in the Bible/New Testament (love thy neighbor as thyself, give up everything to follow me, etc.). These questions are not clear cut.


TargetDroid t1_ixrv8yp wrote

This isn’t true AT ALL.

China has a massive set of philosophical beliefs in which, for example, hermitude is important. Innumerable Daoist and Buddhist sages and wise men retreated from society to be free of its collective grasp.

Of course, the way the alleged commonality is described in the opening paragraphs, it’s loose and vague enough to apply to a wide range of very different philosophical positions. It reads initially like a(n obviously false) social claim, but seems upon its author’s initial description to be a vague metaphysical claim. At best, it gives a dramatically false sense of unity in a very broad and diverse set of beliefs. At worst, it poorly describes any one of them, and fails completely as a thesis.

The author’s first two paragraphs simply put a metaphysical spin on life and the third paragraph states that such a spin would be “near common sense” to a “Chinese philosopher” of a six hundred year period spanning numerous dynasties (during which Buddhism is introduced, no less).

The article is laughable on its face to someone who has actually studied the philosophical and religious content of the time period. It is nothing more than clickbait.

In fact, it’s downright insulting to reduce the complex philosophical environment of the cited time period to some lamely-put, pseudo-profound summary which does no justice to any actual thought from the period.

Edit: My God. Against my better judgment, I decided to read past the first few paragraphs, in the spirit of the sub. My advice: don’t bother. The citations of the DaoDeJing and Zhuangzi in defense of some weird, poorly-defined idea of the “agency” of a house or a tree are outrageously stupid. Like, unbelievably so. Beyond being merely a comedically incorrect academic, it seems apparent to me that this person has absolutely no idea what he or she is talking about.


redthreadzen t1_ixt8e2m wrote

Buddhism at it's core extoles the realisation of fundamental interconnection and inderdependance.


Tomycj t1_iy21kbl wrote

Just want to point out that individualism does not oppose the fact humans are interconnected and interdependant. It just states that the subject of rights is the individual, that the collective shall not impose itself over it.


redthreadzen t1_iy2jfw9 wrote

Interesting. Then has a person really realised fundamental interconnection and interdependance?

As if there is a choice between indiviual imposition and interdependance within right view. Right view doesn't entertain the idea that the individual has priority over the collective, becuase right view is that the individual really doesn't exist as a seperate entity. That would be a selfish individualist point of view, rather than no self or selfless.

In much the same way that a leaf is part of the whole tree. Or an acorn is even seperate from the tree it fell from, because these thing are not things at all but rather dynamic happenings. A fundalmatally different view of matter in that, no thing is static but rather flowing from state to state. Even mountains, and universes change over time and are subject to interaction and interconection.


latakewoz t1_ixt01f1 wrote

Just let your spirit go with the flow. I kind of think the aticle is brilliant having read only five lines of it myself


FaytKaiser t1_ixrydld wrote

I like the concept, but to filter every possible action through the lens of society is ultimately self destructive. Just as individuals should make room in their considerstion for the society, society too should make room in its considerations for the individual. Just as each of us should work to make life better for everybody, the collective should also serve to benefit each individual. Otherwise, what is the point?


AspiringIdealist t1_ixsfez4 wrote

It’s not so much that you have to find a balance between individualism and collectivism, as much as a person should realize that individuality should be preserved because it’s an irreplaceable and part of the collective.


TheMindfulnessShaman t1_ixsfvsi wrote

> I like the concept, but to filter every possible action through the lens of society is ultimately self destructive. Just as individuals should make room in their considerstion for the society, society too should make room in its considerations for the individual. Just as each of us should work to make life better for everybody, the collective should also serve to benefit each individual. Otherwise, what is the point?

We just need to collectively pull together enough commonality of purpose to provide an impetus for the next epistemological leap to unfold (refold?).


redthreadzen t1_ixt811p wrote

Probably the best pointer to the nature of karma, which is also collective. Global warming is probably one of the better examples of collective action and the outcome of that. (karma) International and intergenerational.


Leading-Building-241 t1_ixv6kgp wrote

This whole piece strikes me as a false dichotomy and very manipulative. People aren't either collective or individual, they are both all at once. Every high school kid who plays a sport knows that the team is stronger than the individual. The difference in the west is we don't say "empty and forget the heart mind" to be a better part of the collective. We say be the strongest and best individual you can be and you will make everyone around you better for it. We also say if you are ordered to do something against your conscious, and you do it, you are still accountable to God for your sins.


Tomycj t1_iy21zp5 wrote

Yeah it's important to understand that individualism is not against teamwork.


AcceptableRespect969 t1_ixv5c60 wrote

The interconnnection ideas here seem more closely related to the Buddhist idea of dependent-coarising rather than ideas of the Chinese philosophers of the classical period. The ideas of correlative cosmology in 感應 mentioned in this paper have many parallels in premodern European thought such as in the humours if the body and so on. If anything, I would say that China traditionally placed much more emphasis on the individual human actor than in the west, as seen for example in the importance of the biography sections of their dynastic histories. The Chinese emphasis comes at the expense of social and material considerations of action in the world. China does have a stronger group culture than in the west, both family and hometown ties are much more important than in many and perhaps most other cultures. In this way China has been less individualistic.


AspiringIdealist t1_ixsezjc wrote

Because they are; Western individualism is ontologically wrong.


Tomycj t1_iy21n37 wrote



AspiringIdealist t1_iy289a3 wrote

There is no way to separate the self from the whole in the same way that a conscious self is distinct from it.


Tomycj t1_iy3p5yz wrote

Yes there is. I can stablish a clear boundary between me and my environment, that doesn't mean I don't interact with it.

I can clearly see how "I" am different from "you". We have different thoughts, different needs, different objectives and values. That doesn't mean we can't team up. In fact, in order to efficiently team up, I need to understand that you're different from me, and be able to recognize points in common (and differences), to convince you, to treat you well according to what you expect.


Noctudeit t1_ixswid7 wrote

Perhaps this is why they fell for communism.


[deleted] t1_ixrn5ev wrote



BernardJOrtcutt t1_iy4p2am wrote

Your comment was removed for violating the following rule:

>Read the Post Before You Reply

>Read/watch/listen the posted content, understand and identify the philosophical arguments given, and respond to these substantively. If you have unrelated thoughts or don't wish to read the content, please post your own thread or simply refrain from commenting. Comments which are clearly not in direct response to the posted content may be removed.

Repeated or serious violations of the subreddit rules will result in a ban.

This is a shared account that is only used for notifications. Please do not reply, as your message will go unread.


[deleted] t1_ixrd9qj wrote