Eastern Philosophy refers very broadly to the various philosophies of Asia. Notable among these are:
The term sometimes also includes Middle Eastern traditions of philosophical thought, including:
The distinction between Western and Eastern is of course somewhat arbitrary and artificial, and in some respects even misleading. For example, Indian and Chinese philosophies are at least as distinct from each other as they are from Western Philosophy.
Ancient Babylonian philosophy can be considered Eastern in some ways, but it almost certainly had a strong influence on Greek, particularly Hellenistic, philosophy. It can be argued that Persian, Arabic and Jewish philosophies are much closer in nature to Western philosophy than Eastern, and the geographical and historical links are much closer.
In many cases, the philosophical schools are indistinguishable from the various religions which gave rise to them (or vice versa).
Very broadly speaking, according to some commentators, Western society strives to find and prove "the truth", while Eastern society accepts the truth as given and is more interested in finding the balance. Westerners put more stock in individual rights; Easterners in social responsibility. It has been argued that the essence of the Eastern world view is the awareness of the unity and mutual interrelation of all things, which are inseparable parts of a cosmic whole.