FRAMES OF COMPARISON Anthropology and Inheriting Traditional Practices

Journal of Religious Ethics 33 (2):225-253 (2005)
Abstract
This essay seeks to develop and illustrate an approach to comparison based on "ad hoc" frames. A frame is defined by a question, to which dif- ferent thinkers can be seen as offering complementary and/or competing responses. Pursuing a middle ground between universalist conceptions of comparison and particularist rejections of comparison, this approach brings various positions into dialogue in a manner that is not inherently totalizing. The article draws extensively on Hegel's philosophy of religion to articulate this approach to comparison and its presuppositions. The sec- ond section of the essay seeks to illustrate the value of this approach by using the question of how traditional practices are inherited to frame a comparison of Hegel on habit and the Confucian thinker Xunzi on ritual. This comparison functions principally to indicate the process of comparison and suggest the value of pursuing this comparison in greater depth
Keywords self  Xunzi  Hegel  comparative ethics  habit  anthropology
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