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Parallels between Eastern and Western Philosophy Historically philosophical ideas have been essentially divided between the east and west Despite the geographic separation eastern and western thought pertaining to the human condition and the nature of the cosmos share a common thread Certain aspect of the European philosophy existentialism can be found in the Japanese samurai code The ideas of German philosophers Martin Heidegger and Arthur Schopenhauer resemble the philosophies of Taoism and Buddhism respectively The ideas of American philosopher William James and the ideas contained in Buddhism are also connected Other Western philosophical ideas are connected with eastern thought There are similarities between eastern and western philosophy Parallelism is apparent between existentialpre-existential philosophy and the samurai code Existentialism according to Jean-Paul Sartre is the philosophy that mans existence precedes his essence People have no given self-identity they have to choose their identities and work for them through their actions Solomon 410 Existentialism is a western philosophy because its theorists are from a European origin In this perspective existential ethics are very similar to samurai ethics For example German Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsches world-view and value system closely resemble samurai ethics He is considered to be a pre-existential figure because his works influenced the ideas of Sartre Nietzsche world-view consists of mainly two classes of people the master class and the slave class Each of the class has their own moral code Nietzsche describes a noble man a person from the master class to be honerable in himself the powerful one and whoever has power over himself Denise Peterfreund and White 233 This class value uniformity and simplicity of form Denise Peterfreund and White 233 The slave class however does not share this will to power Instead they fear the master class and perceive them as being evil In comparison the samurai share similar ethical view as Nietzsche A samurai is expected to make every effort to respect and honor his parents he should be polite discreet
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