Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences

Date of Last Revision

2023-05-05 12:46:20



Honors Course


Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Date of Expected Graduation

Summer 2022


East/west comparative philosophy often focuses on the differences between philosophies as finished states which, though effective at showing differences in thought, emphasizes the otherness of foreign traditions. In order to establish meaningful similarities between the development on eastern and western traditions, I compared the development of American liberalism (1651-1776 CE) and Chinese Confucianism and Daoism (772-221 BCE), focusing on the similarities between social contract to enlightenment philosophers and the early to late Hundred Schools of Thought Confucian and Daoist philosophers. Three principals were derived from this process: a shift from external to internal justifications for the state causes increased secularism within philosophies, ideal states are based on virtuous leaders when the state is integrated into the citizen’s lives and virtuous structure when the state separate, and philosophical skepticism towards human nature creates more restrictive governments. This method of developmental comparison could yield more accurate and universal principles if applied to more traditions.

Research Sponsor

John Huss

First Reader

Christopher Buford

Second Reader

Eric Sotnak

Honors Faculty Advisor

Christopher Buford



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