Historically, Oriental and western philosophies developed in isolation from each other. The geographical and cultural length between oriental and western civilization decided substantial variations between oriental and western philosophies. On the other hand, works of ancient Greek philosophers, such as for example Socrates, and some oriental philosophies, such as for example Taoism, do involve some common ideas and principles, although, irrespective of some similarities, variations between oriental and western philosophies happen to be special. In this regard, it is possible to dwell upon the philosophy developed by Socrates and Taoism as two several philosophies, which respected the strife of people for the improvement of their existence and self-perfection but tips on how to write a policy paper nonetheless had quite different sights, beliefs and concepts. So, Taoism worshiped Toa as the first-trigger of the universe and produced the philosophy, which worshiped Tao and promoted the self-perfection of individuals to meet Taoist ideals, whereas Socrates stood on the floor that individuals should seek for wisdom as the way of self-perfection, taking care of their souls to attain harmony and spiritual equilibrium.
As the matter of fact, Socrates is one of the most influential philosophers of old Greece that described, to a significant extent, the advancement of not only ancient philosophy but likewise the western philosophy at large. Socrates laid the building blocks to basic principles of western philosophy, which were modified, modified and adapted by various other philosophers. Concurrently, his views were, in ways, universal because Socrates centered on the development of suggestions, concepts and values which were universal and relevant to different cultures. Hence, Socrates’ philosophy persisted throughout moments and places for years and years.
In such a context, it is vital to dwell upon basics of Socrates’ philosophy and to assess them to fundamental ideas of Taoist philosophy. Firstly, Socrates stressed the value of wisdom and expertise. He insisted that people should learn the encompassing universe, themselves and phenomena around them. He developed the theory that the unexamined lifestyle isn’t worth living. As well, he remained very essential in regards to himself and his know-how. On analyzing his know-how he approximated "I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I understand nothing". In such a way, Socrates stood on the floor that human brain can hardly become definitely wise. In other words, Socrates had doubts that people could know everything. At this stage, his views were near Taoism, which respected Tao as the wisest deity, whose wisdom isn’t achievable for ordinary human beings.
In such a context, it is worth mentioning the actual fact that Socrates insisted that wisdom shouldn’t be the ultimate goal of human life but what made the life purposeful was the search for wisdom, learning:
I decided that it was not wisdom that allowed poets to create their poetry, but a kind of instinct or inspiration, such as you locate in seers and prophets who deliver almost all their sublime messages without knowing whatsoever what they mean.
At the same time, Socrates argued that the main task in existence is caring for the soul: "All men’s souls will be immortal, however the souls of the righteous will be immortal and divine". Accordingly, Socrates argued that people should manage their souls and lead a virtuous existence to be great and happy. Socrates places focus on the fact that persons should work on their self-improvement and self-perfection to care for their soul and also to live a happy lifestyle.
At this aspect, another how to write an informative essay principle of Socrates is usually of the most importance. Socrates believed that a good person could not be harmed by other people. In this respect, the material well-being of a person was not important for Socrates since: "He’s richest who is quite happy with minimal, for content may be the wealth of nature". Subsequently, Socrates believed that it’s through the virtuous existence people could possibly be happy and are in harmony with their personal and with other people.
Principles of Taoism
In fact, fundamental concepts of Taoism are, in ways, similar compared to that of Socrates, although Taoist ideas are built up on the religious ground. To put it more specifically, Taoist believe Tao is the first-cause of the universe:
"We have confidence in the formless and eternal Tao, and we acknowledge all personified deities to be mere individual constructs. We reject hatred, intolerance, and unneeded violence, and embrace harmony, like and learning, as we are taught naturally. We place our trust and our lives in the Tao, that we may live in peace and stability with the Universe, both in this mortal existence and beyond".
In this regard, Taoist views are quite different from that of Socrates because Taoist seen Tao as the Supreme Being, deity that tips the world and humans, whereas Socrates insisted on the power of human mind. So, Socrates was even more anthropocentric compared to Taoists who viewed Tao as the supreme deity.
At once, goals of human existence and living in Taoism were, in ways, similar compared to that of Socrates. Taoist stood on the ground that a believers’ goal was to harmonize themselves with Tao. This implies that Taoist are likely to look for harmony and self-perfection to harmonize with Tao as Socrates suggested to seek for knowledge and self-perfection to manage the soul.
At the same time, Socrates was apparently concerned with the spiritual life of people most importantly, whereas physical areas of human existence had been secondary to him. He insisted on the need to develop expertise and wisdom of individuals. In contrast, Taoism stressed the importance of health and vitality as opposed to Socrates’ soul. In such a way, Taoist thought that the contentment is impossible without health and vitality, whereas Socrates was considerably more concerned with understanding, wisdom and soul of individuals, rather than their physical body, health and vitality.
Nevertheless, Taoist designed believes which were near Socrates’ philosophy. To put it more exactly, Taoist viewed the development of virtue as one’s chief task. What is meant this is actually the reality that Taoist should lead a virtuous standard of living to reach the harmony with Toa. In contrast, sinful life result in misfortunes and problems persons could not cope with within their life.
Hence, Taoist developed the fact that people should plan in advance and consider cautiously their actions before making them. In this regard, the belief of planning human actions is definitely intertwined with Socrates focus on the importance of wisdom in human life. Alternatively, Taoist focus on the value of actions’ setting up were determined by the belief that actions have a tendency to be reciprocated that signifies that good actions of a person lead to good activities committed by other people in regard to the individual and, vice versa, negative actions provoke misfortunes and terrible actions committed in regard to the individual.
Similarity between Taoism and Socrates
Socrates and Toaism still have some similarities. For example, both Socrates and Taoism believed a person with wonderful wisdom can be uninformed "And to act on that ignorance beneath the pretense that it is knowledge, both held, is usually folly that leads not to progress and betterment within the individual and society but to the opposite effect" (Moore & Bruder, 2005, p. 503). Therefore, wisdom isn’t achievable but worth striving for, while, in case of Socrates, striving for wisdom would make the life of folks purposeful.
At the same time, both Socrates and Taoism stressed the importance of the virtuous life. Socrates insisted on the virtuous life as part of looking after the soul, whereas Taoist viewed virtuous life in an effort to reach harmony with Tao. So, both philosophies viewed virtuous life as necessary because without virtuous life-style people cannot be happy within their life. At this stage, the virtuous life is among the fundamental principles of both philosophies. On the other hand, it really is worth mentioning the actual fact that the means of the achievement of the virtuous existence and delight differed in Socrates’ and Taoist philosophy. To put it more exactly, Socrates believed in wisdom and expertise as the primary tool by making use of which people could become virtuous, whereas Taoist thought that it had been through worshipping of Tao and respecting ideas of Taoism people could be virtuous and, therefore, content.
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is crucial to place emphasis on the fact that Socrates and Taoism designed philosophies, which acquired both similarities and variations. At first glance, Socrates’ philosophy and Taoism are absolutely different, especially in regard to the role of spiritual beliefs in the life of people. On the main one hand, Socrates viewed know-how and wisdom as problems worthwhile living of and without which human life is pointless. However, Taoism seen worshipping of Tao and living regarding to ideas of Taoism as the only way of life for authentic Taoists. In that situation, it is fairly noteworthy that Socrates and Taoists developed views, that have been, to a particular extent, related. In this regard, it is worth mentioning the actual fact that both Socrates and Taoism seen virtuous existence as essential principles for the happiness of individuals. Simultaneously, both Socrates and Taoism agreed that people, regardless of their efforts to learn and strife for know-how, cannot always be wise and wise persons could be uninformed.