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Summary Chinese Buddhist philosophy primarily results from traditional Chinese Buddhist thinkers’ efforts to inherit, reinterpret, and develop theories and thoughts in various Chinese translations of Indian Mahayana scriptures and treatises. Five Chinese Buddhist schools or traditions are of philosophical significance: the Three-Treatise school, the Consciousness-Only school, the Tiantai school, the Huayan school, and Chinese Zen (Chan) Buddhism. Among them, the Three-Treatise and Consciousness-Only schools are the Chinese descendants of, respectively, Indian Madhyamaka and Yogācāra; however, both have all but disappeared after the Tang dynasty (618−907). The other three schools, Tiantai, Huayan, and Zen/Chan, are indigenous and can be seen as philosophically the most representative traditions of Chinese Buddhism. Considerably owing to the influence of Chinese thought and culture, Chinese Buddhist way of thinking is fundamentally nondualistic in character, emphasizing, more than Indian Mahayana does, the mutual sameness and interpenetration of the ultimate and the conventional. The thinking tends to be somewhat nondiscursive, involving holistic views expressed in paradoxical language, with particular concern on the practical. Meanwhile, Tathāgatagarbha thought receives much attention among Chinese Buddhist thinkers, and the widespread conviction is that all sentient beings have Buddha-nature and can attain Buddhahood.
Key works Refer to the subcategories.
Introductions Lai 2008 discusses the history of Chinese Buddhist thought up to the Tang dynasty. Inada 1997 comments on the Chinese reception of Buddhism. Liu 1985 and Liu 1989 elucidate the notion of Buddha-nature in Chinese Buddhism.
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  1. Stuart Sargent (1996). Original Insights Never Fully Present: Chan/Zen/Deconstruction. [REVIEW] Journal of the American Oriental Society 116 (1):77-84.
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  2. Walter Seng-Chao & Liebenthal (1968). Chao Lun the Treatises of Seng-Chao. A Translation with Introd., Notes and Appendices by W. Liebenthal. Hongkong University Press.
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  3. Walter Seng-Chao & Liebenthal (1948). The Book of Chao Chao Lun. A Translation From the Original Chinese with Introd., Notes, and Appendices. Catholic University of Peking.
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  4. Jun Shi (2006). Shi Jun Wen Cun. Hua Xia Chu Ban She.
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  5. Hu Shih (1981). "A History of Chinese Philosophy" and its Subsequent Researches, Particularly on Ch'An Buddhism. Chinese Studies in History 14 (3):88-101.
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  6. Hu Shih (1953). Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism in China its History and Method. Philosophy East and West 3 (1):3-24.
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  7. I. Continental Spirit (1997). The Chinese Doctrinal Acceptance of Buddhism By Inada, Kenneth K. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 24 (1):5-17.
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  8. Fumihiko Sueki (2010). Chinese Buddhism and the Anti-Japan War. Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 37 (1):9-20.
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  9. Laura Specker Sullivan (2013). Dōgen and Wittgenstein: Transcending Language Through Ethical Practice. Asian Philosophy 23 (3):221-235.
    While there have been numerous claims of a resemblance between the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein and Zen Buddhism, few studies of the philosophy of Wittgenstein in detailed comparison with specific Zen thinkers have emerged. This article attempts to fill this gap by considering Wittgenstein's philosophy in relation to that of Eihei D?gen, founder of the S?t? school of Zen. Points of particular confluence are found in both thinkers? approaches to language, experience, and practice. Through an elucidation of these points, this (...)
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  10. Yifeng Sun (2004). Shi Jiao Chan Shi Wen Hua: Wen Xue Fan Yi Yu Fan Yi Li Lun. Qing Hua da Xue Chu Ban She.
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  11. Yongtong Tang & Shangyang Sun (2000). Tang Yongtong Xue Shu Wen Hua Sui Bi. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  12. Hoang Thi Tho (2003). Main Thoughts of Buddhist Ch'an in China and Oriental Culture. In Keli Fang (ed.), Chinese Philosophy and the Trends of the 21st Century Civilization. Commercial Press. 290.
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  13. Po-yao Tien (1995). A Modern Buddhist Monk-Reformer in China: The Life and Thought of Yin-Shun. Dissertation, California Institute of Integral Studies
    The purpose of this study is to explore and analyze the life and thought of Yin-shun, the most important Buddhist monk since the Sung Dynasty. His life reflects not only his spiritual progress but also the deterioration, decline, and change in quality of Chinese Buddhism. His thought, expressed through his more than forty five published books, is to promote the revolution of Buddhist thought through his systematic research and profound understanding of the Buddhist sutras and sastras. ;The study of Yin-shun's (...)
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  14. Gishin Tokiwa (1985). Chan (Zen) View of Suffering [Replies, SM Ogden and D. Lochhead]. Buddhist-Christian Studies 5:103-129.
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  15. Ming-Yu Tseng (2007). Space Metaphor as a Signifying Force in Chan Poems. American Journal of Semiotics 23 (1/4):221-241.
    This paper analyzes how space is metaphorized in some Chan poems, and it investigates how space metaphor contributes to Chan culture. It concentrates onorientational metaphors, metaphor associated with an upward or/and a downward orientation. Orientational metaphors tend to be grounded in dichotomized thought, e.g., “GOOD IS UP” vs. “BAD IS DOWN”, “DIVINE IS UP” vs. “MORTAL IS DOWN”, etc. This paper will demonstrate that in some Chan poems, orientational metaphors do not function this way. Instead, what is foregrounded is the (...)
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  16. Dirck Vorenkamp (2005). Reconsidering the Whiteheadian Critique of Huayan Temporal Symmetry in Light of Fazang's Views. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 32 (2):197–210.
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  17. Q. Edward Wang (2013). Buddhism in Modern China. Chinese Studies in History 46 (3):3-6.
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  18. Youru Wang (1999). Deconstruction, Liminology and Pragmatics of Language in the Zhuangzi and in Chan Buddhism. Dissertation, Temple University
    This dissertation investigates three related issues---deconstructive strategy, liminology of language, and pragmatics of indirect communication---in two great traditions of Chinese philosophy and religious thought. These three issues have drawn contemporary Western thinkers' close attentions and have entailed a variety of discussions. The dissertation attempts to bring the traditions of the Zhuangzi and Chan Buddhism into a postmodern focus concerning these three areas. It borrows insights, ideas and terms from contemporary and/or postmodern discourse to rediscover or reinterpret these two traditions. In (...)
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  19. B. Watson (2000). Dharma Rain: Lotus Sutra. In Stephanie Kaza & Kenneth Kraft (eds.), Dharma Rain: Sources of Buddhist Environmentalism. Shambhala Publications. 43--48.
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  20. Harry Lee Wells (2005). Transformation of Hearts and Minds: Chan Zen--Catholic Approaches to Precepts. Buddhist-Christian Studies 25 (1):155-156.
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  21. Ngai Ying Wong (1998). The Gradual and Sudden Paths of Tibetan and Chan Buddhism: A Pedagogical Perspective. Journal of Thought 33 (2):9-23.
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  22. Ann-Ping Chin Woo (1984). Chan Kan-Ch'uan and the Continuing Neo-Confucian Discourse on Mind and Principle. Dissertation, Columbia University
    Chan Kan-ch'uan was a leading Neo-Confucian thinker in the Ming dynasty with a wide following on both the personal and the institutional level. He actively participated in the philosophical debate of the mid-Ming and had intimate ties with Ch'en Hsien-chang and Wang Yang-ming , the two "fountainheads" of Ming thought. ;He was a principal disciple of Ch'en, and his philosophy, though directly inspired by Ch'en, was more deliberate and rigorous in its formulation and presentation. His twenty-four year relationship with Wang (...)
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  23. Shili Xiong (1994). Cun Zhai Sui Bi. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  24. Leonid E. Yangutov (2008). Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism in Wei (221-265) and Both Jin (265-420) Periods. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 9:69-75.
    The article is devoted to the correlations of Buddhism with Confucianism and Taoism in Wei (221-265) and both Jin (265-420) periods. The philosophical principles of these three doctrines, their general and peculiarities in three doctrines philosophical principles which defined the forming in China own Buddhist schools have been showed there. The new view to the correlations between Buddhism and Taoism has been showed, the new conception that the correlations between Buddhism and Taoism in period of Wei are the correlations of (...)
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  25. Chinghui Jianying Ying (2010). Being and Knowing in Wholeness Chinese Chan, Tibetan Dzogchen, and the Logic of Immediacy in Contemplation. Dissertation, Rice University
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  26. Wang Youru (forthcoming). Philosophical Meditations on Zen Buddhism. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy.
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  27. Xue Yu (2013). Re-Creation of Rituals in Humanistic Buddhism: A Case Study of FoGuangShan. Asian Philosophy 23 (4):350 - 364.
    The rise of humanistic Buddhism in the early twentieth century was a direct reaction against the practice of rituals for the dead by highlighting the importance of serving and benefiting the livings in this world here and now. Nevertheless, almost one hundred years later today, rituals for the dead continue to play very important role in Humanistic Buddhism. This paper analyses the ritual theory of Master Xing Yun (??), one of the leading figures in contemporary Humanistic Buddhism, and examines how (...)
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  28. Brook Ziporyn (2009). Lneradicable Frustration and Liberation in Tiantai Buddhism. In G. Derfer, Z. Wang & M. Weber (eds.), The Roar of Awakening. A Whiteheadian Dialogue Between Western Psychotherapies and Eastern Worldviews. Ontos Verlag. 20--117.
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  29. Brook Anthony Ziporyn (1996). What's so Good About Evil: Value and Anti-Value in Tiantai Thought and its Antecedents. Dissertation, University of Michigan
    This dissertation may be viewed as an exposition of the philosophical implications of a single eight-character sentence from the works of the Tiantai Buddhist monk Siming Zhili , the literal meaning of which may be rendered: "Other than the devil there is no Buddha, other than the Buddha there is no devil." A context in which to effectively interpret the significance of this claim is provided by examining the Chinese philosophical tradition with an eye for three closely related themes: notions (...)
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  30. Cai Zongqi (1993). Derrida and Seng-Zhao: Linguistic and Philosophical Deconstructions. Philosophy East and West 43 (3):389 - 404.
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The Three-Treatise School of Chinese Buddhism
  1. Michael Berman (1997). Time and Emptiness in the Chao-Lun. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 24 (1):43-58.
  2. Brian Bocking & Youxuan Wang (2006). Signs of Liberation?—A Semiotic Approach to Wisdom in Chinese Madhyamika Buddhism. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 33 (3):375–392.
  3. Zongqi Cai (1993). Derrida and Seng-Zhao: Linguistic and Philosophical Deconstructions. Philosophy East and West 43 (3):389-404.
  4. Chung-Yuan Chang (1974). Nirvana is Nameless. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 1 (3‐4):247-274.
  5. G. Chatalian (1972). A Study of R. H. Robinson's Early Mādhyamika in India and China. Journal of Indian Philosophy 1 (4):311-340.
  6. Hsueh-Li Cheng (1984). Empty Logic: Madhyamika Buddhism From Chinese Sources. Philosophical Library.
    In this book Prof. Cheng deals with its principle doctrines, its philosophy and its influence on.
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  7. Hsüeh-Li Cheng (1982). Causality as Soteriology: An Analysis of the Central Philosophy of Buddhism. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 9 (4):423-440.
  8. Hsueh-Li Cheng (1981). Nāgārjuna, Kant and Wittgenstein: The San-Lun Mādhyamika Exposition of Emptiness. Religious Studies 17 (1):67 - 85.
  9. Hsueh-Li Cheng (1981). Chi-Tsang's Treatment of Metaphysical Issues. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 8 (3):371-389.
  10. Hsueh-Li Cheng (1980). Motion and Rest in the Middle Treatise. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 7 (3):229-244.
  11. Bart Dessein (2011). Time, Temporality, and the Characteristic Marks of the Conditioned: Sarvāstivāda and Madhyamaka Buddhist Interpretations. Asian Philosophy 21 (4):341 - 360.
    According to the Buddhist concept of ?dependent origination? (prat?tyasamutp?da), discrete factors come into existence because of a combination of causes (hetu) and conditions (pratyaya). Such discrete factors, further, are combinations of five aggregates (pañ caskandha) that, themselves, are subject to constant change. Discrete factors, therefore, lack a self-nature (?tman). The passing through time of discrete factors is characterized by the ?characteristic marks of the conditioned?: birth (utp?da), change in continuance (sthityanyath?tva), and passing away (vyaya); or, alternatively: birth (j?ti), duration (sthiti), (...)
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  12. Jeffrey Dippmann, Sengzhao. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  13. Alan Fox (1992). Self-Reflection in the Sanlun Tradition: Madhyamika as the "Deconstructive Conscience" of Buddhism. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 19 (1):1-24.
  14. Alan Fox (1986). Book Review of Hsueh-Li Cheng's Empty Logic: Madhyamike Buddhism From Chinese Sources. [REVIEW] Journal of Chinese Philosophy 13 (3):361-364.
  15. Chien-Hsing Ho (forthcoming). The Nonduality of Motion and Rest: Sengzhao on the Change of Things. Springer.
    In his essay “Things Do Not Move,” Sengzhao (374?−414 CE), a prominent Chinese Buddhist philosopher, argues for the thesis that the myriad things do not move in time. This view is counter-intuitive and seems to run counter to the Mahayana Buddhist doctrine of emptiness. In this book chapter, I assess Sengzhao’s arguments for his thesis, elucidate his stance on the change/nonchange of things, and discuss related problems. I argue that although Sengzhao is keen on showing the plausibility of the thesis, (...)
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  16. Chien-Hsing Ho (2014). Emptiness as Subject-Object Unity: Sengzhao on the Way Things Truly Are. Routledge.
    Sengzhao (374?−414 CE), a leading Chinese Mādhyamika philosopher, holds that the myriad things are empty, and that they are, at bottom, the same as emptiness qua the way things truly are. In this paper, I distinguish the level of the myriad things from that of the way things truly are and call them, respectively, the ontic and the ontological levels. For Sengzhao, the myriad things at the ontic level are indeterminate and empty, and he equates the way things truly are (...)
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  17. Chien-Hsing Ho (2014). The Way of Nonacquisition: Jizang's Philosophy of Ontic Indeterminacy. Hamburg University Press.
    For Jizang (549−623), a prominent philosophical exponent of Chinese Madhyamaka, all things are empty of determinate form or nature. Given anything X, no linguistic item can truly and conclusively be applied to X in the sense of positing a determinate form or nature therein. This philosophy of ontic indeterminacy is connected closely with his notion of the Way (dao), which seems to indicate a kind of ineffable principle of reality. However, Jizang also equates the Way with nonacquisition as a conscious (...)
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  18. Chien-Hsing Ho (2013). Ontic Indeterminacy and Paradoxical Language: A Philosophical Analysis of Sengzhao's Linguistic Thought. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 12 (4):505-522.
    For Sengzhao 僧肇 (374−414 CE), a leading Sanlun 三論 philosopher of Chinese Buddhism, things in the world are ontologically indeterminate in that they are devoid of any determinate form or nature. In his view, we should understand and use words provisionally, so that they are not taken to connote the determinacy of their referents. To echo the notion of ontic indeterminacy and indicate the provisionality of language, his main work, the Zhaolun 肇論, abounds in paradoxical expressions. In this essay, I (...)
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  19. Chien-Hsing Ho (2012). One Name, Infinite Meanings: Jizang's Thought on Meaning and Reference. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 39 (3):436-452.
    Jizang sets forth a hermeneutical theory of “one name, infinite meanings” that proposes four types of interpretation of word meaning to the effect that a nominal word X means X, non-X, the negation of X, and all things whatsoever. In this article, I offer an analysis of the theory, with a view to elucidating Jizang's thought on meaning and reference and considering its contemporary significance. The theory, I argue, may best be viewed as an expedient means for telling us how (...)
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  20. Chien-Hsing Ho (2012). The Nonduality of Speech and Silence: A Comparative Analysis of Jizang’s Thought on Language and Beyond. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 11 (1):1-19.
    Jizang (549−623 CE), the key philosophical exponent of the Sanlun tradition of Chinese Buddhism, based his philosophy considerably on his reading of the works of Nāgārjuna (c.150−250 CE), the founder of the Indian Madhyamaka school. However, although Jizang sought to follow Nāgārjuna closely, there are salient features in his thought on language that are notably absent from Nāgārjuna’s works. In this paper, I present a philosophical analysis of Jizang’s views of the relationship between speech and silence and compare them with (...)
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