China Vs the West

25 Oct

So, I’m reading this book right now: The Geography of Thought by Richard Nisbett.

I’m always a bit skeptical reading books which attempt to theoreticize the cultural differences between China and the Western world, especially when written by a Western author…

…And while his argument surely has flaws, I have to admit he got my attention when he boiled down his cultural comparison to this one simple thought:

Western thought is like a line. Eastern thought is like a circle.

‘The Chinese believe in constant change, but with things always moving back to some prior state. They pay attention to a wide range of events; they search for relationships between things; and they think you can’t understand the part without understanding the whole. Westerners live in a simpler, more deterministic world; they focus on salient objects or people instead of the larger picture; and they think they can control events because they know the rules that govern the behavior of the object.’

Which then got me thinking…

How subjective can we really be to other cultures?

How much do our roots play into the way we think?

Can we really learn to feel the world through someone else’s eyes?


One Response to “China Vs the West”

  1. Charinee November 5, 2010 at 3:23 am #

    I think we can take what others say/write into consideration but it’s up to use to experience it ourselves.

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