Systems Thinking and Easter Philosophy 2018-06-21T17:42:48+00:00

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  • Joss ColchesterJoss Colchester
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    What do you think is the relationship between systems thinking and Easter philosophy? There seems to be some connection. A person recently posted a comment on one of the videos “I think Eastern philosophy especially Advaita Vedanta in Hinduism and Madhyamika Buddhist doctrine is based upon the non-linear system. It is important to understand the initial position that leads to these positions. Or the Butterfly effect.” Also there is a whole paper on the topic that is interesting: https://goo.gl/NRb4sd

    David IngDavid Ing
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    If you’re looking for a credible bridge between systems thinking in the West, as compared to China (which isn’t all of Eastern philosophy), you might refer to the works of Zhichang Zhu, from the University of Hull.

    Zhu has a Google Scholar page and a ResearchGate profile.

    With Jifa Gu, Zhu has published articles on the WSR approach (Wu li, Shi li, Ren li).

    Rotem AshkenaziRotem Ashkenazi
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    It is well known that throughout history,the beauty of the eastern philosophy is that she containers contrasts: you can see the world in two ways of perception that contrast, which combine into one unified truth. The best expression of that is the “ying yang” Chinese symbol.

    Therefore, we might learn more about system thinking and applications of holistic methods of understanding, by learning Eastern philosophy – understanding the whole with all its contrasts is keystone in antireductionism.

    Joss ColchesterJoss Colchester
    Keymaster
    Post count: 72

    Yep, very true, seeing the whole and the parts. Have you seen Dr. Orit Gal’s website on social acupuncture that talks a lot about the relationship between complexity and Eastern philosophy

    “The Chinese epistemic tradition did not develop a similar world of ideal forms in the Greek sense. It therefore also did not explore the relations between theory and praxis but rather sidestepped it altogether. Overall, reality was perceived as a continuous process that stemmed purely from the interaction of the factors at play. These interactions produced both opposing and complimentary dynamics which had to be continuously assessed so as to identify any emerging orders. Thus, for Chinese practitioners, the source of any future order was not a process of wilful creation, but rather a state that has already existed as a potential combination of conditions contained within the course of reality. It was this very combination which needed to be identified as potential from within a situation, rather than through a removed intellectual exercise.”

    http://www.socialacupuncture.co.uk/

    Rotem AshkenaziRotem Ashkenazi
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    Thank you it was a very well written paragraph, i will look further into this website.
    We have a dire need for global international research groups who will add these themes and different points of view into the modern scientific discussion.
    We value objectivity far too much and can benefit form different people with different philosophys working together in consensus. Our scientists are fat too busy in assembly line reductionisem science, and eastern philosophys insights still have limited influence. I hope that will change.

    • This reply was modified 4 months ago by Rotem Ashkenazi Rotem Ashkenazi. Reason: Grammar
    Jae Hyung WooJae Hyung Woo
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    This reminds me of one psychology experiment findings from the book “Geography of Thought,” where the researchers found that people from East were more likely to employ relational view whereas people from West were more likely to employ entity-oriented thinking. I think they were given three items “Cow”, “Rooster/Hen”, and “Grass” and made to group two items which are most related to each other. Westerners grouped “Cow” and “Rooster/Hen” together because they are both animal category, but Easterners grouped “Cow” and “Grass” because cow eats grass. I’m not sure about the details, especially how the distinction between “East” and “West” were made , so you can look up the rest in the book. But personally I do think this is a general cultural difference between the two (when I think of my experience). Crudely speaking Asian countries have been traditionally associated with collectivism (i.e., giving the group which one belongs to a priority over oneself) so it seems natural to think that Asians tend to perceive reality as relation. “Eastern Philosophy” then is just one manifestation of such tendency expressed in intellectual realm.

    Jae Hyung WooJae Hyung Woo
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    Post count: 2

    Speaking of philosophy, I’m sure there are various traditions in “Western philosophy” that also incorporated some aspect of systems thinking. One notable example would be the Process Philosophy largely associated with Alfred N. Whitehead, who tried to establish a whole different metaphysical system from the Greek tradition. It’s interesting that his metaphysics is often compared to Buddhist and Eastern philosophy, to the point that it once was almost a trend to do comparative studies between them. I don’t know if Whitehead read Eastern philosophy or not, but it would be unfair for him to say that he was heavily influenced by the other tradition. Moreover he was more of a mathematician before working in the philosophy at all. I think it’s rather a suggestion that there are some fundamental modes of thought or world-views that are accessible to anyone from any culture, if one just observes carefully and clearly.

    Joss ColchesterJoss Colchester
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    Post count: 72

    Thanks for your contribution Jae, that is interesting what you say, for sure many people make this analysis of Western thinking vs Eastern but I wonder whether it still exists in the face of these societies adopting western scientific models and industrial systems of organization, I am somewhat skeptical in this respect of statements about the difference in thought today, when one visits China or Any Asian country one will note how they have very much adopted reductionist ways of design, engineering, and management.

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