Abstract

Although it now well known that an exchange of novel concepts played a significant role in the emergence of Western and South Asian philosophies, the mechanism by which that process occurred remains poorly understood. This problem is here addressed by a re-examination of the chronology of early Greek philosophy and a number of South Asian religious movements. It is argued that various similarities between pre-Socratic philosophy and the teachings of Siddartha Gautama and his near contemporaries, suggest that these developments all took place during the time of the Achaemenid Persian empire. This preferred fifth-century dating of the lifetime of the Buddha is about a century lower than is commonly assumed.

Abstract

Le rôle important joué par les échanges de nouveaux concepts dans la naissance des philosophies occidentale et sud-asiatique est reconnu, mais son processus reste encore et toujours mal compris. Nous abordons ce problème par la chronologie des débuts de la philosophie grecque et de celle des mouvements religieux sudasiatiques. Les diverses similarités entre d’une part la philosophie présocratique et d’autre part les enseignements de Siddartha Gautama et de ses proches contemporains nous font penser que ces tous développements se sont déroulés sous l’empire achéménide. En plaçant ainsi la vie du Bouddha au Ve siècle, nous proposons une date plus haute de plus d’un siècle.

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