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Chris Fraser [29]Christopher J. Fraser [1]
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Profile: Chris Fraser (University of Hong Kong)
  1. Chris Fraser, Action and Agency in Early Chinese Thought.
    In this lecture, I present a sketch of how action and agency are conceived of in pre-Qín 先秦, or classical, Chinese thought, along the way drawing some contrasts with familiar Western conceptions of action. I will also comment briefly on how the ideas I present might affect our interpretation of early Chinese texts and how they might help us to relate early Chinese thought to contemporary action theory and ethics.
     
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  2. Chris Fraser, Is Mozi 17 a Fragment of Mozi 26?
    , originally was not an independent chapter in the Fei Gong (Condemning Aggression) series, but rather part of the ending of Mozi 26, the first of the Tian Zhi ¤Ñ§Ó (Heaven’s Intention) chapters. I will argue that we have no reason to..
     
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  3. Chris Fraser, More Mohist Marginalia: A Reply to Makeham on Later Mohist Canon and Explanation B 67.
    This note responds to an interpretation of Mohist Canon and Explanation B 671 published by John Makeham some years ago.2 Makeham’s interpretation makes significant contributions to our understanding of this passage, especially in calling attention to problems with two influential previous interpretations, those of A. C. Graham and Chad Hansen.3 Yet his reading presents difficulties of its own, which I will attempt to rectify here.
     
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  4. Chris Fraser, Realism Reconsidered.
    Correspondence: Chris Fraser (J) (Assistant Professor) Department of Philosophy Rm. 430, Fung King Hey Bldg. Chinese University of Hong Kong Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong Telephone: 852-9782-0560 Fax: 852-2603-5323 E-mail: cjfraser@cuhk.edu.hk..
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  5. Chris Fraser, Thematic Relationships in Mozi 8-13.
    Summary. Analyses of the Mohist triads tend to rely mainly on observations about linguistic or rhetorical features. In this study, I aim to supplement such research by offering observations about the thematic content of the Shang- xian ©|½å and Shangtong ©|¦P triads (MZ 8-10 and 11-13). I argue that my observations are best explained by the hypothesis that the essays in both triads were compiled in the order shang-zhong-xia ¤W¤¤¤U . I also suggest that the writers of the later texts (...)
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  6. Chris Fraser, Weakness of Will, the Background, and Chinese Thought.
    This essay applies John Searle’s account of weakness of will to explore the classical Chinese problem of weak-willed action. Searle’s discussion focuses on the shortcomings of the Western classical model of rationality in explaining weakness of will, so he naturally says little about the practical ethical problem of overcoming weak-willed action, the focus of the relevant Chinese texts. Yet his theory of action, specifically his notion of the Background, suggests a compelling approach to the practical issue, one that converges with (...)
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  7. Chris Fraser (2014). Wandering the Way: A Eudaimonistic Approach to the Zhuāngzǐ. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 13 (4):541-565.
    The paper develops a eudaimonistic reading of the Zhuāngzǐ 莊子 on which the characteristic feature of a well-lived life is the exercise of dé 德 in a general mode of activity labeled yóu 遊 . I argue that the Zhuāngzǐ presents a second-order conception of agents’ flourishing in which the life of dé is not devoted to predetermined substantive ends or activities with a specific substantive content. Rather, it is marked by a distinctive manner of activity and certain characteristic attitudes. (...)
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  8. Chris Fraser (2013). Distinctions, Judgment, and Reasoning in Classical Chinese Thought. History and Philosophy of Logic 34 (1):1-24.
  9. Chris Fraser (2013). Xunzi Versus Zhuangzi: Two Approaches to Death in Classical Chinese Thought. Frontiers of Philosophy in China 8 (3):410-427.
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  10. Chris Fraser (2012). Truth In Moist Dialectics. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 39 (3):351-368.
  11. Chris Fraser (2012). The Limitations of Ritual Propriety: Ritual and Language in Xúnzǐ and Zhuāngzǐ. [REVIEW] Sophia 51 (2):257-282.
    This essay examines the theory of ritual propriety presented in the Xúnzǐ and criticisms of Xunzi-like views found in the classical Daoist anthology Zhuāngzǐ. To highlight the respects in which the Zhuāngzǐ can be read as posing a critical response to a Xunzian view of ritual propriety, the essay juxtaposes the two texts' views of language, since Xunzi's theory of ritual propriety is intertwined with his theory of language. I argue that a Zhuangist critique of the presuppositions of Xunzi's stance (...)
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  12. Chris Fraser (2011). Emotion and Agency in Zhuāngz. Asian Philosophy 21 (1):97-121.
    Among the many striking features of the philosophy of the Zhu?ngz? is that it advocates a life unperturbed by emotions, including even pleasurable, positive emotions such as joy or delight. Many of us see emotions as an ineluctable part of life, and some would argue they are a crucial component of a well-developed moral sensitivity and a good life. The Zhuangist approach to emotion challenges such commonsense views so radically that it amounts to a test case for the fundamental plausibility (...)
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  13. Chris Fraser (2011). Knowledge and Error in Early Chinese Thought. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 10 (2):127-148.
    Drawing primarily on the Mòzǐ and Xúnzǐ, the article proposes an account of how knowledge and error are understood in classical Chinese epistemology and applies it to explain the absence of a skeptical argument from illusion in early Chinese thought. Arguments from illusion are associated with a representational conception of mind and knowledge, which allows the possibility of a comprehensive or persistent gap between appearance and reality. By contrast, early Chinese thinkers understand mind and knowledge primarily in terms of competence (...)
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  14. Chris Fraser (2009). Skepticism and Value in the Zhuāngzi. International Philosophical Quarterly 49 (4):439-457.
    The ethics of the Zhuāngzi is distinctive for its valorization of psychological qualities such as open-mindedness, adaptability, and tolerance. The paper discusses how these qualities and their consequences for morality and politics relate to the text’s views onskepticism and value. Chad Hansen has argued that Zhuangist ethical views are motivated by skepticism about our ability to know a privileged scheme of action-guiding distinctions, which in turn is grounded in a form of relativism about such distinctions. Against this, Icontend that the (...)
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  15. Chris Fraser, Mohism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  16. Chris Fraser (2008). Moism and Self-Interest. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 35 (3):437-454.
  17. Chris Fraser, Mohist Canons. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The Mohist Canons are a set of brief statements on a variety of philosophical and other topics by anonymous members of the Mohist school , an influential philosophical, social, and religious movement of China's Warring States period (479-221 B.C.). [1] Written and compiled most likely between the late 4th and mid 3rd century B.C., the Canons are often referred to as the “later Mohist” or “Neo-Mohist” canons, since they seem chronologically later than the bulk of the Mohist writings, most of (...)
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  18. Chris Fraser (2008). Psychological Emptiness in the Zhuangzi. Asian Philosophy 18 (2):123 – 147.
    Three views of psychological emptiness, or x , can be found in the Zhu ngz . The instrumental view values x primarily as a means of efficacious action. The moderate view assigns it intrinsic value as an element of one Zhuangist vision of the good life. The radical view also takes it to be an element of the ideal life, but in this case the form of life advocated is that of the Daoist sage, who transcends mundane human concerns to (...)
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  19. Chris Fraser (2008). Psychological Emptiness in theZhuāngzǐ. Asian Philosophy 18 (2):123-147.
    Three views of psychological emptiness, or x?, can be found in the Zhu?ngz?. The instrumental view values x? primarily as a means of efficacious action. The moderate view assigns it intrinsic value as an element of one Zhuangist vision of the good life. The radical view also takes it to be an element of the ideal life, but in this case the form of life advocated is that of the Daoist sage, who transcends mundane human concerns to merge with nature (...)
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  20. Chris Fraser, School of Names. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The “School of Names” ming jia ) is the traditional Chinese label for a diverse group of Warring States (479-221 B.C.) thinkers who shared an interest in language, disputation, and metaphysics. They were notorious for logic-chopping, purportedly idle conceptual puzzles, and paradoxes such as “Today go to Yue but arrive yesterday” and “A white horse is not a horse.” Because reflection on language in ancient China centered on “names”.
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  21. Chris Fraser (2008). The Mohist School. In Bo Mou (ed.), Routledge History of Chinese Philosophy. Routledge.
     
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  22. Chris Fraser (2008). Wc-Wtl, the Background, and Intentionality. In Bo Mou (ed.), Searle's Philosophy and Chinese Philosophy: Constructive Engagement. Brill. 27--63.
    John Searle’s “thesis of the Background” is an attempt to articulate the role of nonintentional capacities---know-how, skills, and abilities---in constituting intentional phenomena. This essay applies Searle’s notion of the Background to shed light on the Daoist notion of w’u-w’ei---“non-action” or non-intentional action---and to help clarify the sort of activity that might originally have inspired the w’u-w’ei ideal. I draw on Searle’s work and the original Chinese sources to develop a defensible conception of a w’u-w’ei-like state that may play an intrinsically (...)
     
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  23. Chris Fraser (2007). On Wu-Wei as a Unifying Metaphor. [REVIEW] Philosophy East and West 57 (1):97 - 106.
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  24. Chris Fraser (2007). Language and Ontology in Early Chinese Thought. Philosophy East and West 57 (4):420-456.
    : This essay critiques Chad Hansen’s "mass noun hypothesis," arguing that though most Classical Chinese nouns do function as mass nouns, this fact does not support the claim that pre-Qin thinkers treat the extensions of common nouns as mereological wholes, nor does it explain why they adopt nominalist semantic theories. The essay shows that early texts explain the use of common nouns by appeal to similarity relations, not mereological relations. However, it further argues that some early texts do characterize the (...)
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  25. Chris Fraser (2007). Review: On Wu-Wei as a Unifying Metaphor. [REVIEW] Philosophy East and West 57 (1):97 - 106.
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  26. Chris Fraser (2006). Zhuangzi, Xunzi, and the Paradoxical Nature of Education. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 33 (4):529–542.
  27. Chris Fraser (2005). Two Roads to Wisdom? Chinese and Analytic Philosophical Traditions. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 32 (2):331–336.
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  28. Chris Fraser, Doctrinal Developments in the Mozi Jian Ai Triad.
    doctrines of the three Mohist factions mentioned in the Hanfeizi and Zhuangzi (Yu Yue; see his preface to Mozi Jian Gu). The digest theory: Most of the essays can be attributed to three different..
     
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  29. Chris Fraser, Táng Jūnyì on Mencian and Mohist Conceptions of Mind.
    Tang Junyi (T’ang Chun-i 唐君毅) was among the founders of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the first chair of the Department of Philosophy at CUHK, an influential scholar of Chinese philosophy, and one of the leaders of the New Confucian movement. In this article, I take issue with the line of interpretation he develops in a provocative 1955 study of Mencius and Mozi. Though I don’t make the connections explicit, Tang’s views and my critique of them are relevant to (...)
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