Speaker, Author and Professor
of Ethics, Intercultural Ethics,
Medical Ethics & Asian Philosophy

The Pulse of Wisdom: The Philosophies of India, China, and Japan

Second Edition (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Division of Thomson Learning, 2000)

Cover Designer:

Yvo Riezebos

Back cover:

Michael C. Brannigan’s The Pulse of Wisdom introduces the philosophies of India, China, and Japan so comprehensively, and yet, so engagingly that they are accessible to students and general readers alike.  Each of the five thematic chapters—Reality, Self, Knowledge, Ethics, and Death—is organized into three sections—India, China, and Japan—so that readers can understand and compare the most important teachings, schools, and figures from these three regions.  At the end of each chapter, Professor Brannigan includes primary sources relevant to each theme from the major works in Asian philosophy.

The author’s thematic treatment retains both integrity and scholarship while avoiding a monolithic view of Eastern philosophy, rather, offering a “view from within” so that readers gain a sense of the many rooms and houses within Asian thought.

Encompassing both historical and contemporary Asian philosophers and ideas, this Second Edition features:

  • “Historical Survey”—an excellent introductory chapter surveying the history of Asian philosophy
  • Three alternative tables of contents—ordered historically and according to various schools of thought
  • Probing discussion questions—now added to the study questions in each chapter
  • Additional readings from Bhagavad Gita, Mahatma Gandhi, and Zen stories
  • Added selections on Hindu ethics, Islamic infouence in India, and the relationship between ethics and character
  • Expanded discussion of Tibetan Buddhism, India’s “untouchables” (Dalits), Chuang Tzu’s view of knowledge, epistemology, and much more


“Superior… The most useful and effective single text in the field.”

Carmine Anatasio
Wright State University