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Durham e-Theses
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Nietzsche and Asian philosophy: a comparative study

Thomas, Douglas Richard (1994) Nietzsche and Asian philosophy: a comparative study. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This thesis closely examined the similarities and differences between Friedrich Nietzsche and Asian Philosophy. Surprising as this may be, Nietzsche and Asian philosophy share many common philosophical patterns. By examining Nietzsche's main points of his philosophical discourse; such as "Will to Power", "Eternal Occurrence", and the "Übermensch" ideal, whilst comparing these concepts to Hindu, Buddhist and Taoism concepts; we will find that there are, as well, often contrasting and conflicting definitive conclusions between Nietzsche and the "East". Nevertheless, certain similarities such as the concepts of the Hindu Caste system, the Buddhist notion of the "non-self" and the role of language in their religion, and the Taoist role of nature, to name a few examples, make this study a useful and viable one in comparing Nietzsche to these notions. Yet, one cannot assume that the many parallels found between Nietzsche and Asian thought are a result of Eastern influence upon Nietzsche's thinking. The purpose of this study is not to discover whether Nietzsche knew an appreciable amount of Asian philosophy - in fact this thesis is based upon the understanding that Nietzsche reached his philosophical conclusions independent of Asian influence. We will, however, notice that Nietzsche used several Asian concepts as models and metaphors in promoting his ideas in an effort to break through and sweep away the social and religious institutions of his time. This study will also enhance our understanding of Nietzsche, the man, whom is often misconstrued as something other than what he was. In gaining an understanding of our place in the world, sometimes it is important to attempt to comprehend even seemingly opposing opinions. For Nietzsche, in his effort to break out of the traditional "Western” world, such an effort was a necessity. Hence, one understands the importance in contemplating the parallels and patterns, and contrasts and contradictions of Nietzschean and Asian philosophy.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1994
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Oct 2012 11:48

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