Folklore, Fairy Tales, Fables, Myths, Legends–all of these exist because humans are story tellers, These materials have been the source of wisdom for thousands of years. Sometimes they were written for children. Other times they were teaching tales from respected leaders and scholars. These stories teach Truth without the stories needing to be factual! And so we have Bluebeard, tribal folklore, and other simple tales in this book.
In addition to the “stories that are making a point”, we also have, across the globe, various writings that have become central to religious philosophy. The traditions might call them scripture, or sacred writings, or teaching, or a path.
So in this section we have to include Kong Fu Tsu (our friend Confucius), Siddhartha Gautama (the original Buddha) and Lao Tzu (supposed author of the Daodejing) in the category of global Wise People. These three Asian traditions–Buddhism, Confucian thought and Daoism–have all contributed to the cultural wisdom and strength of major areas of this globe. We also need to include some of the written contributions from the three great monotheistic traditions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), and from the much loved Bhagavad Gita in Hindusim.
Philosophy is all about those big questions. Sometimes the questions and the answers, too, come in the form of a poem, a story, or even a proverb!
An excellent article on the role of these materials in philosophy, written by Marc Bobro is found at:
- Graduate of Univ. of Arizona (BA), King's College London (MA), and Univ. of Washington (PhD). I am Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Santa Barbara City College and regularly teach Modern Philosophy, Ancient Philosophy, Introduction to Ethics, and Logic. And when not teaching, you can find me working on papers in early modern philosophy, biking, playing bass and tuba with Crying 4 Kafka (find us on Spotify, Facebook, Soundcloud or crying4kafka.com), or collaborating on art with Elizabeth Folk. ↵