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History of Philosophy
Oriental Philosophy
by Turner, William (S.T.D.)


In the doctrines by means of which the Babylonians, Chinese, Hindus, Egyptians, and other Oriental peoples sought to formulate their thoughts concerning the origin of the universe and the nature and destiny of man, the religious element predominates over the natural or rational explanation. An adequate account of these doctrines belongs, therefore, to the History of Religions rather than to the History of Philosophy. While, however, this is so, and while the task of separating the religious from the philosophical element of thought in the Oriental systems of speculation is by no means easy, some account of these systems must be given before we pass to the study of Western thought.

Sources. The most important collection of primary sources is The Sacred Books of the East, edited by Max Müller (Oxford, 1879 ff.). For a complete list of secondary sources and recent studies on the religious systems of the East, consult Lehrbuch der Religionsgeschichte, von P. D. Chantepie de la Saussaye, Bd. II (2. Aufl., Freiburg im B., 1897). Consult also Ueberweg, History of Philosophy, trans. by Morris (New York, 1872), Vol. I, pp. 15, 16.

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