The Philosophy of Asian Community


CHOI Woo-Won

대동철학회 대동철학 제32집 2005.12 pp.343-361
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The philosophy is the universal name of the fundamental attitude of life toward the world. The present situation on earth, endangered by the ecological destruction and the possibility of nuclear war which make us doubt about the survival of mankind in the future, demands us to change our way of thinking and living fundamentally. The problems menacing the mankind can not be solved simply by the scientific technological development. Our way of thinking and living should be changed. We should learn how to live together with other religions, cultures, and civilizations peacefully. To realize this co‐existence, the new vision which can open the higher dimension of existence between nature and man, between man and man, should be shared by all mankind. We should arrive at the recognition of the invisible interpenetration and the interdependence of the real world, which will lead us to the common effort for co‐existence and harmony.
It is not difficult to see that the confined specialities of knowledge, even if they are rational and efficient in their isolated domains, often arrive at the negative results for the interrelated total system. With only such knowledges, losing the sight of essential interconnection, we can not solve the problem. Under the inertia and the superficiality of the fossilized paradigm, the concealed structural problems become more and more serious. In that sense, today's techno‐scientific civilization, which pursues only technical knowledges for the maximization of efficiency, truly needs philosophical thoughts. The possibility of harmonizing the nature, the mankind, and the society will be seen only when we can read the dynamic interacting processes in the invisible structural interconnections of the system of Being.
Here, we should raise the question whether the philosophies of today are going ahead toward this way, or are only repeating the blind paradigm of past in different forms. That question is important because we can now see that, in the history of Western philosophy, the fundamental illusions concerning the Being, dissimulated in the root of it, have led its history to the false, even to the inverse direction. The confusion between process‐reality and its spatial projection, more fundamentally the confusion between time and space, has made the Western philosophy unable to approach to the inner essence of true reality of the Being. So, the history of the Western philosophy is the history of the errors. The errors become more serious when they are integrated to a particular system of interests of the society, of the age, or of the civilization.
In this context, we can see evidently that the Asian Community is arising as a historical necessity. The high spiritual heritage, the sympathetic solidarity, and the union of abundant personal, material, technological resources will raise the Asian Community to the level which excels that of EU and NAFTA. This Asian Community, if realized, can play a role of making peace between the Islamic world and the West. It is not difficult to see that the clash between civilizations in nuclear age will lead to total destruction of earth. So in international field, the power politics of the West which has no other objectives than domina ion should be abandoned. Instead of it, the wisdom of mutual dependence between man and man, between nature and man, should be taught as the basic attitude of living. The philosophical intuition into our deeper real selves will open the way to this wisdom. We have seen that, in the long history of Asia, the Buddhist meditation on the true meaning of the Being and the life, has given the foundation of peaceful coexistence of societies. Through its cultural tradition of harmonizing with the heterogeneous others, the Asian Community will open the true way to the community of all mankind. The Asian philosophical tradition has always taught that we should not treat the others as a means, but as an end in themselves. For such a historical progress, we should change the paradigm of philosophy with the new vision of the Asian Community.


 1. Introduction
 2. The History of Illusions and Oblivions
 3. The Fundamental Transformation of Metaphysics
 4. The Philosophy of Identity and the Closed Society
 5. Beyond the Intellectual Level of Epistemology
 6. The Asian Community and the Future Civilization


  • CHOI Woo-Won Pusan National University


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