Comparative Axiology: Aesthetics & Ethics

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Comparative Religion CORE 120

Yoga Sutras
Egyptian Book of The Dead
Plato's works
any other philosophical/sacred text(s)

also examine: Earth's cultural/religious art

Definition of Axiology[edit | edit source]

    Axiology, i.e. aesthetics plus ethics, studies value: of beauty plus virtue, respectively. Aesthetics may be easier, but can show ethics' value: ethics are aesthetic. The 'great' religions (monotheisms and henotheisms) and even most pagan ones involve axiology.

Introductory Philosophical (Platonic) Axiology[edit | edit source]

    Read the following Platonic dialogues. The 1st ones listed are a good introduction; reasons to read the rest are given. It would be good to read some neo-Platonism afterwards.

Aesthetics: Symposium, beauty: Greater Hippias.

Ethics: Lysis; courage: Laches; moderation: Charmides; piety: Euthyphro; virtue: Republic (definition,) Symposium (benefits,) Meno (acquiring,) Gorgias (rhetorical,) Protagoras, Laws (society.)

    Republic and Laws are long, but it is good to read them entirely; maybe just Republic's cardinal virtues section and as much of Laws as you want (at least skim through both.)

Comparative Aesthetics[edit | edit source]

    After familiarizing yourself with aesthetics, perhaps peruse Jungian psychology archetypes--or just compare some religious art.

    Look at cultural and religious art: that of African, Australian, Amerindian, Middle Eastern, Semitic, Far Eastern cultures, Hellenismos, Slavianstvo, Celtic, Forn Siðr cultures and religions. A significant archetype in pagan religions is the world-tree, and in Hellenismos: Hermes' caduceus.

    Look at religious art in the great religions: Sanatana/Hindu & Jain Dharma, Taoism (and Confucianism if applicable,) Mazdaism/Zoroastrianism, Amenism-Raism-Atenism, Judaism/Nazar(ean)s, Buddha Dharma, Nazar(ean)s/Christianity, Islam, Druze, Sikh Dharma, Bahai. Significant archetypes in Dharma are the Shaktis, and in Judaism are various Tree of Life ideas.

    Recall your philosophical aesthetic knowledge; perhaps peruse Pythagorean and [neo-]Platonic mathematical images; postulate ethics' aesthetics; sum up your aesthetics ideas.

Comparative Ethics[edit | edit source]

    After familiarizing yourself with ethics, perhaps peruse (near) modern deist philosophy and compare it to ancient theism. Such as, read Egyptian Book of The Dead (Oaths/Commandments to/from Osiris,) Yoga Sutra (precepts,) Genesis (Edenic Laws, 10 Commandments,) Lao-tze's biography, Dhammapada (precepts.)

    Compare the Eastern/Brahmic-Dharma precept ahimsa with Western/A-brah(a)mic Edenic Laws and Exodus & Deuteronomy (& Egyptian) harmlessness Commandments. Manichaenism, Sikhism, Bahai use those. Compare the Philosophy/Hellenismos Republic text sections on the guardians (philosopher-rulers of a Republic.) Many philosophers in those (and other) faiths consider ahimsa primary in ethics, which causes aesthetic life and society; consider it and sum up your ethics ideas.

Comparative Axiology[edit | edit source]

    Integrate aesthetics and ethics axiologically, and consider what episteme (knowledge, particularly scientific) this could lead to; prepare for epistemology.