(The Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove, embroidery, 1860-1880.)
Eastern philosophy is a field of philosophy which designates the philosophical traditions elaborated in the Asian, Persian and Islamic countries of tradition. Eastern philosophy is distinguished from Western philosophy by the concepts used and the methods of argumentation. Eastern philosophy includes many disciplinary traditions and the classification used in Western philosophy is widely used also in Eastern philosophy (analytic philosophy, politics, epistemology etc.).
Eastern philosophy as a field of study and an academic discipline
Different oriental philosophies
Eastern philosophy includes Chinese philosophy, Iranian philosophy, Japanese philosophy, Indian philosophy, Pakistani philosophy, Vietnamese philosophy and Korean philosophy. The term may possibly refer to Babylonian philosophy and Islamic philosophy.
A field of study at the heart of comparative philosophy research
The traditions of Eastern philosophy are generally studied within a corpus of comparative philosophy and give rise to studies that reveal commonalities between different key authors of Western and Eastern traditions (eg studies on Taoism and Levinas thought performed at Peking University).
An academic discipline that should not be confused with sectarian practices
Little studied in Europe, Eastern philosophies are often confused with purely spiritual questions and/or issues related to health and well-being, if the traditions of Eastern philosophy (such as the mainstream of Western philosophy) address these topics among others, Eastern philosophies corresponding, above all, to an academic discipline taught in specialized institutions, often prestigious for this specificity (Oxford, Cambridge, EPHE, EHESS, Louvain, Oslo etc.).
Several governmental institutions have warned against the pseudo-specialists of Eastern philosophy, who have no recognized diploma in this field (proliferation of fake degrees) and develop practices often related to the care that is found in sectarian practices.
A philosophical discipline related to history and philology
A discipline governed by rules
Training courses on the great traditions of Eastern philosophy are carried out by university research professors who have themselves been trained not only in the discipline, that is, in the methods of philosophy, but also in the specificities of particular philosophical traditions (Chinese philosophy, Indian philosophy, Persian philosophy etc.). Designating as a specialist in one or more streams of Eastern philosophy thus requires a legitimacy linked to skills acquired during a course of several years of courses leading to diplomas and under the direction of persons accredited in recognized institutions.
The great currents of Eastern philosophy are based on the teachings of world-renowned authors
Islamic philosophy includes, for example, extremely important authors such as Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi, Al-Farabi, Ibn Sina, Averroes etc. The Chinese philosophy counts on known philosophers as Zhu Xi, Wang Yangming etc.