How the World Thinks a Global History of Philosophy?

In today’s world, we often view philosophy as a western-centered discipline, dominated by names like Plato, Aristotle, and Descartes. However, the truth is that philosophy has a rich and diverse history that spans the globe. In his book “How the World Thinks: A Global History of Philosophy,” Julian Baggini takes us on a journey through different cultural perspectives on philosophy.

The Importance of a Global Perspective

One of the key arguments that Baggini makes in his book is that we need to broaden our understanding of philosophy beyond the western canon. By doing so, we can gain insights into different ways of thinking and living that can enrich our own lives.

The Chinese Philosophical Tradition

Baggini starts his exploration with one of the oldest philosophical traditions in the world – China. Chinese philosophy emphasizes harmony and balance between individuals and society. In particular, Confucianism focuses on ethical principles such as respect for elders and authority figures, while Taoism emphasizes living in harmony with nature.

Indian Philosophy

Moving to India, Baggini explores different schools of thought within Hinduism and Buddhism. Hinduism emphasizes the importance of self-realization through meditation and contemplation. On the other hand, Buddhism focuses on finding inner peace through detachment from material possessions and desires.

African Philosophy

Baggini notes that African philosophy is often overlooked in western academic circles. However, African thinkers have made significant contributions to philosophical thought throughout history. For example, Ubuntu philosophy emphasizes interconnectedness and community values.


Overall, “How the World Thinks” offers a refreshing perspective on philosophy by exploring diverse cultural traditions from around the world. By embracing this global perspective, we can gain new insights into our own lives and better understand the values and beliefs of others.