Continuity of Heart-mind and Things-events: A Systematic Reconstruction of Neo-Confucian Epistemology
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Asian Philosophy 21 (3):269 - 290 (2011)
Many scholars argue that there is no epistemology in Chinese philosophy, or that an epistemological sensibility was not fully developed in Chinese thinking. This leads western audiences to mistakenly think that Chinese philosophy is not properly ?philosophical?. This paper argues that there is a great deal of discourse about understanding the world as a whole in ancient Chinese philosophy. Taking Song-ming Neo-Confucianism as an example, the author shows that most researchers do not uncover its philosophical advancement as it developed throughout history. The author reconstructs a real philosophical breakthrough in Neo-Confucianism and argues that Chinese philosophy should be recognized as fully ?philosophical??not just ethical, but also epistemological. Through the clarification about epistemological progress in Song-ming Neo-Confucianism, the author argues that there is a coherent development of epistemology in Chinese philosophical history. In short, this article formalizes a systematic view of Chinese Neo-Confucian epistemology by demonstrating that epistemological theory developed step by step in Song-ming Neo-Confucianism
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