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Vedic Influence on Western Philosophy Essay

  • Submitted by: Recrucio
  • on February 26, 2014
  • Category: History
  • Length: 2,593 words

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Below is an essay on "Vedic Influence on Western Philosophy" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Dimensions Essay
By the end of the 18th century, the ideas of Romanticism pushed metaphysical teachings to have a greater concern with the thing-in-itself, pushing aside a previous concentration on the phenomenal world. Evoking new emotions and ideas, this period led Western scholars to expand upon the work of philosophes from the Age of Enlightenment. These reforms emerged through multiple mediums, anywhere from utilizing the Latin translation of the Upanishads by Anquetil-Duperron to adding new light to Kantianism. In a time of intellectual curiosity, 19th century philosophy incorporated many Vedic-based ideas, which have since been returned to, and analyzed by, members of the 20th and 21th century Hindu community.
The ascetic teachings expressed in the Upanishads provide the belief that the negation of all internal desires is the only way to achieve self-liberation. Arthur Schopenhauer, renowned Western philosopher, expressed this belief within his most famous work, The World as Will and Representation (Wicks, 2007). Schopenhauer referred to the Upanishads as being, “…the most satisfying and elevating reading (with the exception of the original text) which is possible in the world; it has been the solace of my life and will be the solace of my death” (Payne, 1990). He believed that the world is a representation of man’s quest to live. Schopenhauer did not believe in a new life following death; instead, he viewed death as a representation that fuels man’s will to live. Will manifests itself, not only as desires, but also as fear, terror, and awe. Schopenhauer’s views contrasted with the modern Kantian ideas at the time. Though Schopenhauer was a supporter of Kantian idealism, Kant believed that the human mind could not expand its knowledge about the thing-in-itself; whereas Schopenhauer expressed that will is man’s access to this knowledge, stating that will is man’s most important form of existence. The will he defines can also be described as a desire, or...

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