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Great Minds of the Eastern Intellectual Tradition | [The Great Courses]

Great Minds of the Eastern Intellectual Tradition

Western philosophy is a vast intellectual tradition, the product of thousands of years of revolutionary thought built up by a rich collection of brilliant minds. But to understand the Western intellectual tradition is to get only half the story. The Eastern intellectual tradition has made just as important a contribution-and is also the product of thousands of years of cumulative thought by a distinct group of brilliant thinkers. Their ideas demonstrate wholly different ways of approaching and solving the same fundamental issues that concerned the West's greatest thinkers, such as . the existence of God; . the meaning of life; and. the nature of truth and reality.This epic and comprehensive 36-lecture examination of the East's most influential philosophers and thinkers-from a much-honored teacher and scholar-offers a thought-provoking look at the surprising connections and differences between East and West. By introducing you to the people-including The Buddha, Ashoka, Prince Shotoku, Confucius, and Gandhi-responsible for molding Asian philosophy and for giving birth to a wide variety of spiritual and ideological systems, it will strengthen your knowledge of cultures that play increasingly important roles in our globalized 21st-century world.
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Publisher's Summary

Western philosophy is a vast intellectual tradition, the product of thousands of years of revolutionary thought built up by a rich collection of brilliant minds. But to understand the Western intellectual tradition is to get only half the story. The Eastern intellectual tradition has made just as important a contribution - and is also the product of thousands of years of cumulative thought by a distinct group of brilliant thinkers.

Their ideas demonstrate wholly different ways of approaching and solving the same fundamental issues that concerned the West's greatest thinkers, such as the existence of God, the meaning of life and the nature of truth and reality.

This epic and comprehensive 36-lecture examination of the East's most influential philosophers and thinkers - from a much-honored teacher and scholar - offers a thought-provoking look at the surprising connections and differences between East and West. By introducing you to the people-including The Buddha, Ashoka, Prince Shotoku, Confucius, and Gandhi - responsible for molding Asian philosophy and for giving birth to a wide variety of spiritual and ideological systems, it will strengthen your knowledge of cultures that play increasingly important roles in our globalized 21st-century world.

Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.

©2011 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2011 The Great Courses

What Members Say

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  •  
    mc2 Monument, CO, US 04-24-14
    mc2 Monument, CO, US 04-24-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Among the Best Great Courses = Don't Miss"
    What did you love best about Great Minds of the Eastern Intellectual Tradition?

    Dr Hardy has a complete mastery of the material. It sounds like he is recalling from memory and it comes across as very conversational. He brings to light the genius of the philosophical thought from India and China and then includes Japan and Korea.
    The history of the East is enlightening


    What other book might you compare Great Minds of the Eastern Intellectual Tradition to and why?

    The closest comparison is to The Modern Intellectual Tradition: From Descartes to Derrida. However, I think this was better.

    The performance was outstanding. Mastery of the material. Conversational and Enthusiastic. You could tell he loved the material and he could not wait to tell you all about it.

    The Story was great. Dr Hardy was careful to repeat any lists and he went through them methodically and clearly.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Favorite part.

    There were many interesting and entertaining parts. You learn about "one hand clapping" and "shooting the messenger"

    However the most memorable part that I paused and listened to over and over was:
    Study Extensively
    Inquire Carefully
    Ponder Thoroughly
    Sift Clearly
    Practice Earnestly - Zhu Xi


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I cried when it was over. I wanted to continue to hear more. I will definitely be listening to this one again and take more notes.


    Any additional comments?

    Thought provoking
    Entertaining
    Enriching
    You will definitely come away with a better appreciation of Eastern thought. You will also have a lot that can be applied to your life, like the following:
    Knowledge and Action Must go Together

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 08-16-13
    Michael 08-16-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Lectures among the best of the Great Courses"
    What made the experience of listening to Great Minds of the Eastern Intellectual Tradition the most enjoyable?

    Listening to a professor acknowledged for his ability to teach and who has obvious passion for the subject and a large coverage without losing his audience.


    What did you like best about this story?

    So much information here in a subject I did not know much about and feel that I learned quite a bit from it. Even if I can't remember all the names and specifics, there will always be new avenues of thinking opened by this book.


    What about Professor Grant Hardy’s performance did you like?

    Obviously passionate about the subject. The only problem is that he can't say "example" and says "edsample" which is a bit annoying. He can't help that of course, but if you are really irritated by that sort of thing, probably should let this one go. Sad if you have to, but I can understand that sort of irritability.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The story of the monk who after many frightening and potentially fatal incidents finds peace in the beautiful flower seconds before his death. This resonated with me strongly and brought to mind the rather famous verse from the new testament "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is lovely, ... , whatever is of good report, think about these things". This is the true inspirational value of the great courses: expanding ones knowledge and connecting various understandings with the feeling of understanding new and fascinating connections.


    Any additional comments?

    The great courses are amazing, I wholly recommend them with respect to those I have completed so far.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Saud 11-27-13
    Saud 11-27-13

    Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    794
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    "Much Richer than You Would Think"

    I listened to this right after its Western counterpart, and immediately noticed a lot of parallels (debates on the meaning of life) and deviance (emphasis on spirituality until very recently.) There is a lot of concentrated wisdom in this course from China, Japan, India and (in a single lecture) Korea. I was disappointed at the complete absence of Russia in this course, however.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Skaneateles, NY, United States 11-06-14
    John Skaneateles, NY, United States 11-06-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not what I expected"

    If I had signed up for this class in college out of curiosity I would have dropped it after a couple weeks. As it was I made it about half way through before I returned it.

    I was expecting an immersion in the actual philosophical teachings of the great asian minds. What I got instead was a mind numbing rapid fire list like litany of the HISTORY of asian philosophy. After the first few lectures it became very hard to follow and my interest rapidly waned. This lecture series is a shallow skimming of eastern philosophy delving briefly into each the numerous small branches and variations of the major schools of thought.

    The names just flow by and the philosophies begin to blur, then, fade, then........WHOA I'm thinking about what I should be getting at the hardware store and haven't absorbed a word in the last 5 minutes. OK, concentrate, try to pay attention, OK Jong Chi in the time of the Jo Dynasty founded the Jang Xi movement of the middle path existential Buddhists believed in the 5 ways to enlightenment (list them all) which differed from the preceding 6 ways (listed for comparison) which meant he never wore shoes.......duct tape, have to pick up some duct tape......

    oh I give up.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Winter Wonder Oakland, CA USA 12-04-13
    Winter Wonder Oakland, CA USA 12-04-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic, Comprehensive, Welcoming"

    Prof. Hardy has an excellent attitude and style. He is well versed and sees the big connections between these many schools and makes occasional reference to western thinkers and historical occurrences. I can think of no better way to get into eastern thought, especially Chinese (confucianism and daoism), Indian (Various forms of hinduism), and Buddhism (chinese, japanese, etc.).

    Take notes!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam United States 07-14-14
    Adam United States 07-14-14 Member Since 2013
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    "The Longest But Best Course"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Great Minds of the Eastern Intellectual Tradition to be better than the print version?

    Were there to be a print edition, it would be its own textbook.


    What other book might you compare Great Minds of the Eastern Intellectual Tradition to and why?

    It references an entire library of books.


    Have you listened to any of Professor Grant Hardy’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This course prompted me to pick up his other Great Courses series.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    Zen master Hakuin Ekaku's story is not only fascinating but very relatable to every listener.


    Any additional comments?

    I can't recommend this course enough. I've listened to it four times. There is so much information, you will come to the same realization quickly. It's like putting a cup under a waterfall. There's just too much to hold in a single listen. Best credit ever spent on Audible.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 11-15-14
    Michael 11-15-14
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    "Dr. Hardy is Awesome."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Most Definitely. Informative. Dr. Hardy's love for the subject beams through.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    Samsara. Moksha. Sadhu. The Four Books. The Five Classics. So very many other things that I didn't even know that I didn't know.


    What does Professor Grant Hardy bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Yes. He brings a sense of humor, and genuine love of the subject to the table. Amusing anecdotes. Not a single lecture is drab or boring.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I plowed through this lecture series. It was engaging, and after my first lesson I found nothing wrong with it. I'm going back for a second, in fact, because there's no way I retained all of it, even though I retained so much!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Prasad 01-27-14
    Prasad 01-27-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Extraordinary"
    What made the experience of listening to Great Minds of the Eastern Intellectual Tradition the most enjoyable?

    Inspirational timeless wisdom great energy passion journey into the past, present and future


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    Nagarjuna and Vasubandhu Mahayana Buddhism


    Have you listened to any of Professor Grant Hardy’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    No

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caleb Portsmouth, NH, United States 12-06-13
    Caleb Portsmouth, NH, United States 12-06-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Real nice Introduction"
    Any additional comments?

    As someone just exploring these topics, and listening while I work in a wood shop, this is a nice set of lectures. They are each about 45 minutes long and fairly easy to follow. I've listened to some stuff that goes a little deeper, which I like, but it's easy to get lost. This introduction and overview is giving me a better foundation to move forward with.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cromaat777 05-20-15
    Cromaat777 05-20-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Indeed, a Great Course!"

    Excellent lectures. Great work by Professor Hardy. Brilliant level of scholarship and presentation. Cannot recommend enough!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 16 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
Sort by:
  • J. Whittaker
    4/5/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great tour through the east"
    What did you like most about Great Minds of the Eastern Intellectual Tradition?

    It's very interesting and covers all the ground in a reasonably simple manner for outsiders. The professor is good and knows his stuff. He also presents it a somewhat light heated fashion, which complements the content well.


    What does Professor Grant Hardy bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Unlike audiobooks that are written books just read aloud, this is a lecture series specifically designed for audio format. This makes it MUCH easier to listen to than a traditional audio book.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • David
    Stockton-on-Tees, United Kingdom
    4/29/15
    Overall
    Performance
    "A really quick run through!"

    A really enjoyable introduction to ideas in Eastern thought, a huge amount of which I'd never heard of! Baffling amounts of names in unfamiliar syllables but an inspiration to read further.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Chris
    4/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyable course with too large a scope"

    This course covers Asian philosophy from ancient to modern by discussing "great minds" and their beliefs. In total, over 70 great minds are discussed so you should be warned going in that the scope of this course is huge. There is no way you will remember all of the people mentioned, and no way that you will remember all of the details of their beliefs. For this reason, the course can seem to drag a bit as you get mired in arcana of different Hindu beliefs on metaphysics etc.

    The course mainly discusses Indian, Chinese and Japanese philosophy and religion. In India, the focus is mainly on metaphysics and ethics, and I found these lectures to be the weakest. I believe this may be a result of Indian history being more oral than Chinese, and so we hear a lot fewer interesting stories of peoples lives in the lectures and rather more discussions of commentaries of commentaries of Vedic texts. It is easy to get lost between all the different Indian philosophical theories.

    The Chinese and Japanese lectures I found to be absolutely brilliant. Perhaps this is because of personal interest, but I really did feel like the history discussed was worth learning about, the philosophy made sense and wasn't difficult to follow because it was presented in the historical context. On the Chinese side, I felt like I had learned a lot about a country that has always seemed very foreign to me, and the comparisons between Chinese philosophy and Greek philosophy are really quite striking. Japan has a fascinating history, and the philosophy of aesthetics and ethics was very nice to hear about.

    Otherwise, the course gives one lecture to Tibetan Buddhism/philosophy and a few lectures to Korean philosophy. These are both very interesting topics but I think the time given to them might suffice for the average listener, I certainly don't feel the need to follow them up.

    Overall, this course is a whirlwind, with some weak bits but mostly very worthwhile. I will certainly be following up with other courses on more particular topics, but I definitely needed this overview to know where I want to start. I certainly recommend this to anyone who is interested, but be prepared for a lot of new names and words!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • S. van Dijk
    1/14/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting and entertaining"

    This was a good listen. and I learned a lot.
    I missed having a course book, though; all those names...perhaps I should have bought the Teaching Company version.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shotoman
    10/14/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Informative, interesting and humerous....."
    Where does Great Minds of the Eastern Intellectual Tradition rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It would be in my top 3


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Great Minds of the Eastern Intellectual Tradition?

    Discovering what Confucius did for a living...


    What does Professor Grant Hardy bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    A true passion and knowledge of the subject..he'd be one of your favourite lecturers at University


    Any additional comments?

    I had a general interest in the topic and downloaded the lecture series just for fun really. I've have found the book very easy to listen to and been surprised at how much I have retained...whether you are engaged in studying the actual subject or like myself have a passing interest it's worth getting hold of this material..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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