Humanities & Social Sciences, Vol 7, No 1 (2014)

The Concept of “The Absolute” in Eastern and Western Philosophies: Comparative Analysis

Vladimir Krasikov


The article compares the main traditions in the interpretation of the concept of "absolute" viz.Brahmanism, Plato's philosophy, German idealism and Taoism. Clearly, they express diverse cultural practices of mind and language. However, the Brahman absolute and the German idealistic philosophy absolute are kindred spirits. The Brahman philosophy and the German idealistic philosophy say practically the same but they maybe have quite different attitudes towards life. The ancient people (Indians and Greeks) cultivated contemplative life and harmony. Accordingly, their thinking and language primarily paid attention to a fixing such conditions as chief characteristics of the absolute. Despite this attitude, people of modern history are more pragmatic and active therefore speculative images and language characteristics of their absolute become more dynamic and performativity. 

There is a striking difference in the account given in the Tao tradition. Tao or a limiting value of universe expresses a distinctive life experience and a specific associative logic here. Seemingly, some ancient Chinese people paid their main attention to more potentiality than actualization. There was probably a result of a strong hierarchical social order and a mystic philosophical form of escapism.