Great Minds of the Eastern Intellectual Tradition : The Great Courses: Intellectual History

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Grant Hardy
  • Series: The Great Courses: Intellectual History
  • 18 hrs and 35 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Western philosophy is a vast intellectual tradition, the product of thousands of years of revolutionary thought built up by a rich collection of brilliant minds. But to understand the Western intellectual tradition is to get only half the story. The Eastern intellectual tradition has made just as important a contribution - and is also the product of thousands of years of cumulative thought by a distinct group of brilliant thinkers.
Their ideas demonstrate wholly different ways of approaching and solving the same fundamental issues that concerned the West's greatest thinkers, such as the existence of God, the meaning of life and the nature of truth and reality.
This epic and comprehensive 36-lecture examination of the East's most influential philosophers and thinkers - from a much-honored teacher and scholar - offers a thought-provoking look at the surprising connections and differences between East and West. By introducing you to the people-including The Buddha, Ashoka, Prince Shotoku, Confucius, and Gandhi - responsible for molding Asian philosophy and for giving birth to a wide variety of spiritual and ideological systems, it will strengthen your knowledge of cultures that play increasingly important roles in our globalized 21st-century world.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Not what I expected

If I had signed up for this class in college out of curiosity I would have dropped it after a couple weeks. As it was I made it about half way through before I returned it.

I was expecting an immersion in the actual philosophical teachings of the great asian minds. What I got instead was a mind numbing rapid fire list like litany of the HISTORY of asian philosophy. After the first few lectures it became very hard to follow and my interest rapidly waned. This lecture series is a shallow skimming of eastern philosophy delving briefly into each the numerous small branches and variations of the major schools of thought.

The names just flow by and the philosophies begin to blur, then, fade, then........WHOA I'm thinking about what I should be getting at the hardware store and haven't absorbed a word in the last 5 minutes. OK, concentrate, try to pay attention, OK Jong Chi in the time of the Jo Dynasty founded the Jang Xi movement of the middle path existential Buddhists believed in the 5 ways to enlightenment (list them all) which differed from the preceding 6 ways (listed for comparison) which meant he never wore shoes.......duct tape, have to pick up some duct tape......

oh I give up.
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- John

Among the Best Great Courses = Don't Miss

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?

Favorite part.

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:
Study Extensively
Inquire Carefully
Ponder Thoroughly
Sift Clearly
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?

Thought provoking
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

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- mc2

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-08-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses