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About time: why western philosophy can only teach us so much

By gaining greater knowledge of how others envision, we can become less certain of the knowledge we think we have, which is always the first step to increased understanding. By Julian Baggini

One of “the worlds largest” unexplained wonders of human history is that written philosophy firstly flowered altogether separately in different parts of the globe at more or less the same time. The roots of Indian, Chinese and ancient Greek philosophy, as well as Buddhism, can all be traced back to a period of roughly 300 years, beginning in the 8th century BC.

These early philosophies have shaped the different ways people adore, live and think about the big questions that concern us all. Most people do not consciously articulate the philosophical assumptions they have absorbed and are often not even aware that they have any, but premises about the specific features of self, ethics, sources of knowledge and the goals of life are deeply embedded in our cultures and frame our thinking without our being aware of them.

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Related: ‘A reckoning for our species’: the philosopher oracle of the Anthropocene

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Read more: theguardian.com

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