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I listened to this right after its Western counterpart, and immediately noticed a lot of parallels (debates on the meaning of life) and deviance (emphasis on spirituality until very recently.) There is a lot of concentrated wisdom in this course from China, Japan, India and (in a single lecture) Korea. I was disappointed at the complete absence of Russia in this course, however.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
What did you love best about Great Minds of the Eastern Intellectual Tradition?
Dr Hardy has a complete mastery of the material. It sounds like he is recalling from memory and it comes across as very conversational. He brings to light the genius of the philosophical thought from India and China and then includes Japan and Korea.
The history of the East is enlightening
What other book might you compare Great Minds of the Eastern Intellectual Tradition to and why?
The closest comparison is to The Modern Intellectual Tradition: From Descartes to Derrida. However, I think this was better.
The performance was outstanding. Mastery of the material. Conversational and Enthusiastic. You could tell he loved the material and he could not wait to tell you all about it.
The Story was great. Dr Hardy was careful to repeat any lists and he went through them methodically and clearly.
Which scene was your favorite?
There were many interesting and entertaining parts. You learn about "one hand clapping" and "shooting the messenger"
However the most memorable part that I paused and listened to over and over was:
Practice Earnestly - Zhu Xi
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
I cried when it was over. I wanted to continue to hear more. I will definitely be listening to this one again and take more notes.
Any additional comments?
You will definitely come away with a better appreciation of Eastern thought. You will also have a lot that can be applied to your life, like the following:
Knowledge and Action Must go Together
22 of 23 people found this review helpful
This course covers Asian philosophy from ancient to modern by discussing "great minds" and their beliefs. In total, over 70 great minds are discussed so you should be warned going in that the scope of this course is huge. There is no way you will remember all of the people mentioned, and no way that you will remember all of the details of their beliefs. For this reason, the course can seem to drag a bit as you get mired in arcana of different Hindu beliefs on metaphysics etc.
The course mainly discusses Indian, Chinese and Japanese philosophy and religion. In India, the focus is mainly on metaphysics and ethics, and I found these lectures to be the weakest. I believe this may be a result of Indian history being more oral than Chinese, and so we hear a lot fewer interesting stories of peoples lives in the lectures and rather more discussions of commentaries of commentaries of Vedic texts. It is easy to get lost between all the different Indian philosophical theories.
The Chinese and Japanese lectures I found to be absolutely brilliant. Perhaps this is because of personal interest, but I really did feel like the history discussed was worth learning about, the philosophy made sense and wasn't difficult to follow because it was presented in the historical context. On the Chinese side, I felt like I had learned a lot about a country that has always seemed very foreign to me, and the comparisons between Chinese philosophy and Greek philosophy are really quite striking. Japan has a fascinating history, and the philosophy of aesthetics and ethics was very nice to hear about.
Otherwise, the course gives one lecture to Tibetan Buddhism/philosophy and a few lectures to Korean philosophy. These are both very interesting topics but I think the time given to them might suffice for the average listener, I certainly don't feel the need to follow them up.
Overall, this course is a whirlwind, with some weak bits but mostly very worthwhile. I will certainly be following up with other courses on more particular topics, but I definitely needed this overview to know where I want to start. I certainly recommend this to anyone who is interested, but be prepared for a lot of new names and words!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
What did you like most about Great Minds of the Eastern Intellectual Tradition?
It's very interesting and covers all the ground in a reasonably simple manner for outsiders. The professor is good and knows his stuff. He also presents it a somewhat light heated fashion, which complements the content well.
What does Professor Grant Hardy bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
Unlike audiobooks that are written books just read aloud, this is a lecture series specifically designed for audio format. This makes it MUCH easier to listen to than a traditional audio book.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful