: The doctrines on human nature and moral development maintained in ancient China by Gaozi, Mencius, and Xunzi, respectively, have been interpreted mostly as a contradiction within the Confucian school. It is argued here that they represent distinct, yet possible and congruous, modes of interpreting and re-elaborating Confucius' teachings, two opposing yet largely complementary currents that have developed within the Confucian school.
Numinous spaces in British literature from William Wordsworth to Samuel Beckett -- Jesus figures in American literature from Ralph Waldo Emerson to Edward Albee -- Using Bakhtin's definitions to discover ethical voices in Solzhenitsyn and Tolstoy -- René Girard's categories of scapegoats in literature of the American South -- Hopkins's metaphysics of nature as sacred disclosure -- The book of job as mirrored in Hopkins's metaphysics -- Beckett's mythos of the absence of God.
Figuring Animals is a collection of fifteen essays concerning the representation of animals in literature, the visual arts, philosophy, and cultural practice. At the turn of the new century, it is helpful to reconsider our inherited understandings of the species, some of which are still useful to us. It is also important to look ahead to new understandings and new dialogue, which may contribute to the survival of us all. The contributors to this volume participate in this dialogue in (...) a variety of ways--through personal experience, natural history, cultural studies, philosophical inquiry, art history, literary analysis, film studies, and theoretical imagining, and through a combination of these trains of thought. The essays expose weaknesses in western epistemological frames of reference that for centuries have limited our views and, thus, our experiences of animal being, including our own. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Acknowledgments; Introduction: scales of identification; 1. Democratic expansionism, gothic geographies, and Charles Brockden Brown; 2. Urban apartments, global cities: the enlargement of private space in Poe and James; 3. Cultural orphans: domesticity, missionaries, and China from Stowe to Sui Sin Far; 4. 'The Checkered Globe': cosmopolitan despair in the American Pacific; 5. Literature and regional production; Epilogue: scales of resistance.
As a young man, Samuel Taylor Coleridge lived in an age of great social change. The political upheavals in America and France, the industrial revolution, and the explosion in humanity's knowledge of the natural order all had a profound effect on Coleridge and radical intellectuals like him. This book examines Coleridge's ideas on science and society in the critical years 1794 to 1796, setting them within the moral, political, and scientific context of the time. Wylie shows how the complex poem, (...) Religious Musings, became a vehicle for these ideas and how they were then developed in the poetry of Coleridge's later years. (shrink)
Robert Abrams argues that new concepts of space and landscape emerged in mid-nineteenth-century American writing, marking a linguistic and interpretative limit to American expansion. Abrams supports the radical elements of antebellum writing, where writers from Hawthorne to Rebecca Harding Davis disputed the naturalizing discourses of mid-nineteenth century society. Whereas previous critics find in antebellum writing a desire to convert chaos into an affirmative, liberal agenda, Abrams contends that authors of the 1840s and 50s deconstructed more than they constructed.
This book demonstrates that law can be newly interrogated when examined through the lens of literature. Like its forerunner, Empty Justice, the book creates simple pathways which energise and illustrate the links between legal theory and legal science and doctrine, through the wider visions of history, literature and culture. This broadening approach is integral to understanding law in the context of wider debates and media in the community. The book provides a collection of essays, with additional commentary which (...) reflects upon very recent scholarship and debate on a range of ethico-legal topics; it also illustrates how conventional legal matters may be rendered lively and palatable, as an adjunct to approaching doctrine and cases 'cold' in the conventional textbook manner. The chapters range from examination of current thought on cohabitation and marriage laws (via Jude the Obscure), 19th century medico-legal cases relevant to current narratives of insanity in women and the nature and status of expert evidence generally; assisted suicide and autonomy (via a poem by Jon Stallworthy) to an essay on the nature of race and ethnicity (via a poem by R S Thomas), a discussion of obscenity and moral philosophy (via an essay on Crash by J G Ballard and the philosophy of Bernard Williams) and a history of ideas discussion of positivism, natural law and political crisis, war and terrorism through legal and political theory texts and a poem by Auden. The materials refer to case law where appropriate. The chapters range from examination of current thought on cohabitation and marriage laws (via Jude the Obscure), 19th century medico-legal cases relevant to current narratives of insanity in women and the nature and status of expert evidence generally; assisted suicide and autonomy (via a poem by Jon Stallworthy) to an essay on the nature of race and ethnicity (via a poem by R S Thomas), a discussion of obscenity and moral philosophy (via an essay on Crash by J G Ballard and the philosophy of Bernard Williams) and a history of ideas discussion of positivism, natural law and political crisis, war and terrorism through legal and political theory texts and a poem by Auden. The materials refer to case law where appropriate. (shrink)
While individuals presented in central texts of the period are indeed often alone or separated from others, Yousef regards this isolation as a problem the texts attempt to illuminate, rather than a condition they construct as normative or ...
Introduction: Laughter as an expression of human nature in the Middle Ages and the early modern period: literary, historical, theological, philosophical, and psychological reflections -- Judith Hagen. Laughter in Procopius's wars -- Livnat Holtzman. "Does God really laugh?": appropriate and inappropriate descriptions of God in Islamic traditionalist theology -- Daniel F. Pigg. Laughter in Beowulf: ambiguity, ambivalence, and group identity formation -- Mark Burde. The parodia sacra problem and medieval comic studies -- Olga V. Trokhimenko. Women's laughter and gender (...) politics in medieval conduct discourse -- Madelon Köhler-Busch. Pushing decorum: uneasy laughter in Heinrich von Dem Türlîn's Diu crône -- Connie L. Scarborough. Laughter and the comic in a religious text -- John Sewell. The son rebelled and so the father made man alone: ridicule and boundary maintenance in The Nizzahon vetus -- Birgit Wiedl. Laughing at the beast: the judensau: anti-Jewish propaganda and humor from the Middle Ages to the early modern period -- Fabian Alfie. Yes . . . but was it funny? Cecco Angiolieri, Rustico Filippi and Giovanni Boccaccio -- Nicolino Applauso. Curses and laughter in medieval Italian comic poetry -- Feargal Béarra. Tromdhámh guaire: a context for laughter and audience in early modern Ireland -- Jean E. Jost. Humorous transgression in the non-conformist fabliaux: a Bakhtinian analysis of three comic tales -- Gretchen Mieszkowski. Chaucerian comedy: Troilus and Criseyde -- Sarah Gordon. Laughing and eating in the fabliaux -- Christine Bousquet-Labouérie. Laughter and medieval stalls -- Scott L. Taylor. Esoteric humor and the incommensurability of laughter -- Jean N. Goodrich. The function of laughter in The second shepherds' play -- Albrecht Classen. Laughing in late-medieval verse and prose narratives -- Rosa Alvarez perez. The workings of desire: Panurge and the dogs -- Elizabeth Chesney Zegura. Laughing out loud in the Heptaméron: a reassessment of Marguerite de Navarre's ambivalent humor -- Lia B. Ross. You had to be there: the elusive humor of the Sottie -- Kyle Diroberto. Sacred parody in Robert Greene's Groatsworth of wit -- Martha Moffitt Peacock. The comedy of the shrew: theorizing humor in early modern Netherlandish art -- Jessica Tvordi. The comic personas of Milton's Prolusion VI: negotiating masculine identity through self-directed humor -- John Alexander. Ridentum dicere verum (using laughter to speak the truth): laughter and the language of the early modern clown "pickelhering" in German literature of the late seventeenth century (1675-1700) -- Thomas Willard. Andreae's ludibrium: Menippean satire in The chymische hochzeit -- Diane Rudall. The comic power of illusion-allusion -- Allison P. Coudert. Laughing at credulity and superstition in the long eighteenth century. (shrink)
Although equal in power to other facets of the rich cultural ferment of modern Russia that have profoundly influenced Western civilization—such as painting, literature, drama, and politics—the authentic legacy of twentieth-century Russian philosophy has until recently been eclipsed by Soviet ideological dominance. Of the important philosophers drawing upon the characteristically Russian synthesis of Ancient Neoplatonism, German Idealism, and Byzantine spirituality, Sergei Bulgakov is outstanding, and his work has important implications for our contemporary thinking about the relationship between humanity and (...)nature in an age of environmental crisis. Overcoming the objectivist stance toward nature consolidated by Descartes and ensconced by Kant, Bulgakov anticipates not only many existential and phenomenological thinkers in the West—especially Heidegger—but also current ecological sensibilities, by showing the ontological status of humanity and nature as profoundly interconnected, especially through his understanding of nature as “household.” Beyond this, he elucidates a normative, “thoesophianic” character of nature corresponding to Plato’s “world soul,” the Renaissance natura naturans, and Heidegger’s “divinely beautiful nature” which is best revealed not by science and technology, but by the aesthetic and contemplative energies of a humanity whose essential interconnection with nature is shown most profoundly by means of this mode of revealing itself. (shrink)
Applying ideas drawn from contemporary critical theory, this book historicizes psychoanalysis through a new and significant theorization of the Gothic. The central premise is that the nineteenth-century Gothic produced a radical critique of accounts of sublimity and Freudian psychoanalysis. This book makes a major contribution to an understanding of both the nineteenth century and the Gothic discourse which challenged the dominant ideas of that period. Writers explored include Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Bram Stoker.
Examining both why and how Emerson evades the ancient quarrel between literature and philosophy, this book entirely rethinks the nature of Emerson's radical individualism and its relation to the possibility of an ethics and a politics. The author argues that the quarrel between literature and philosophy never took place in America, and that instead traditional philosophical work staged itself here as a form of literary praxis and cultural therapeutics, epitomized in the work of Emerson. A revisionary study (...) of some of Emerson's central essays, Less Legible Meanings also invites the reader to reconsider the nature of Emerson's influence on contemporary American culture and to discover new ways in which we might continue to understand his work. Interdisciplinary in scope, the book makes equal use of the history of philosophy, psychoanalytic theory, and cultural history. (shrink)
Introduction -- The muse of paralysis -- Horizon of conquest: Eugene Fromentin's Algerian narratives -- Slow progress: Jean Paulhan and Madagascar -- Frustration: Michel Leiris -- Atopia: Roland Barthes -- The wake of Ulysses.
Cefalu offers the first sustained assessment of the ways in which recent contemporary philosophy and cultural theory -- including the work of Giorgio Agamben, Alain Badiou, Eric Santner, Slavoj Žižek, and Alenka Zupancic -- can illuminate Early Modern literature and culture. The book argues that when selected Early Modern devotional poets set out to represent subject-God relations, they often encounter some sublime aspect of God that, in Slovenian-Lacanian terms, seems "Other" to himself. This divine Other, while sometimes presented directly (...) as a void or empty place, is more often filled in and presented instead as some form of divine excess. While Donne, and to a lesser extent Traherne, disavow those numinous aspects of God that might subsist beneath such excesses, Crashaw, and especially Milton, attempt to represent the intimate relationship between any creature’s and God's intrinsic alterity. Cefalu introduces new ways of theorizing not only seventeenth-century religious ideologies, but also the nature of Early Modern subjectivity. (shrink)
This volume brings together Nussbaum's published papers on the relationship between literature and philosophy, especially moral philosophy. The papers, many of them previously inaccessible to non-specialist readers, explore such fundamental issues as the relationship between style and content in the exploration of ethical issues; the nature of ethical attention and ethical knowledge and their relationship to written forms and styles; and the role of the emotions in deliberation and self-knowledge. Nussbaum investigates and defends a conception of ethical understanding (...) which involves emotional as well as intellectual activity, and which gives a certain type of priority to the perception of particular people and situations rather than to abstract rules. She argues that this ethical conception cannot be completely and appropriately stated without turning to forms of writing usually considered literary rather than philosophical. It is consequently necessary to broaden our conception of moral philosophy in order to include these forms. Featuring two new essays and revised versions of several previously published essays, this collection attempts to articulate the relationship, within such a broader ethical inquiry, between literary and more abstractly theoretical elements. (shrink)
If there is one trait common to almost all post-Holocaust theories of literature, it is arguably the notion that the literary event constitutes the affirmation of an alterity that resists all dialectical mastery and makes possible a post-metaphysical ethics. Beckett's oeuvre in particular has repeatedly been deployed as exemplary of just such an affirmation. In Beckett, Literature and the Ethics of Alterity , however, Weller argues through an analysis of the interrelated topics of translation, comedy, and gender that (...) to read Beckett in this way is to miss the strangely 'anethical' nature of his work. (shrink)
The Nature of Selection is a straightforward, self-contained introduction to philosophical and biological problems in evolutionary theory. It presents a powerful analysis of the evolutionary concepts of natural selection, fitness, and adaptation and clarifies controversial issues concerning altruism, group selection, and the idea that organisms are survival machines built for the good of the genes that inhabit them. "Sober's is the answering philosophical voice, the voice of a first-rate philosopher and a knowledgeable student of contemporary evolutionary theory. His book (...) merits broad attention among both communities. It should also inspire others to continue the conversation."-Philip Kitcher, Nature "Elliott Sober has made extraordinarily important contributions to our understanding of biological problems in evolutionary biology and causality. The Nature of Selection is a major contribution to understanding epistemological problems in evolutionary theory. I predict that it will have a long lasting place in the literature."-Richard C. Lewontin. (shrink)
Literature, for Sartre, it could be said, is not so much an object of theory as the focus of a question. The notion of 'committed literature' is less prescriptive than it is interrogative: the title of the text most commonly associated with 'littérature engagée' is, after all, a question about literature itself, and the nature of 'commitment' lends itself much more to a practice of contestation than to implementation of any particular programme. In what follows, I (...) shall be examining some of the ways in which Sartre makes literature synonymous with a question. And I shall be arguing that the very terms in which literature is presented as a form of self-contestation make biography, rather than theory, the arena in which the notion of literature is most extensively opened up. (shrink)
This essay provides an overview of some recent issues in criticism of early modern English literature. For some scholars the early modern period can only be understood if we accept its irreducible difference; for others, people have always been more or less the same and so reading the past involves knowledge but not a vast leap of faith. Often these differences result in scholars using exactly the same material to reach diametrically opposed conclusions, as examples drawn from the study (...) of early sixteenth-century literature demonstrate. Debates about love and allegory also reveal significant differences between scholars who want to see erotic language in allegorical terms and those who point out that there is a danger is missing the literal reading. Debates about the nature of print and publishing, how writers perceived their careers, how texts should be edited and what methods are appropriate for the study of early modern literature are also discussed. The article does not attempt to resolve all these important debates but shows that differences often stem from diverse conceptions of what literature actually is and what it does, indicating that the importance of such arguments ranges beyond the immediate object of study. (shrink)
I review ornithological literature in order to demonstrate that conventions of description and illustration, as well as some aspects of biological theory relating to birds, put a strong focus on male birds. I criticize the sexist aspects of ornithology from the standpoint of recent feminist philosophy of science, establishing connections between the ways in which we view animals and the ways in which we viewourselves and arguing that it is costly to humans, specifically women, to suggest that females of (...) the nonhuman species are biologically inadequate in relation to their male counterparts. Finally, I note that failure to notice and excise residual sexism in animal science also encourages people to be inattentive to and less considerate of a large and significant part of nature. I conclude with some suggestionsfor reform. (shrink)
Human beings have always been preoccupied with the relationship between humanity and nature, and imaginative literature reflects that preoccupation. The group of views about humanity in nature to be found there is strikingly pluralistic, contrary to the simple “pro” and “con” set to which the environmental debate is often reduced. The richness, however, is not easy to appreciate. In this essay I argue for a new approach to understanding views about the relationship between humanity and nature, (...) one that transcends the conventional terms for such analysis and emphasizes plurality. The approach has ethical dimensions: it aims at strengthening both our hope and our ability to find a better relationship with nature. (shrink)
My aim, in this chapter, is to outline the key details of this particularly interesting aspect of Hume's philosophical system. My presentation will be threefold. In the first section of the paper, I will elucidate the nature of sympathy, drawing upon some of the more recent ways in which Hume's commentators have attempted to resolve the interpretive puzzles Hume's works present. In the second section, I will explicate some of the functions sympathy has in Hume's philosophy, including not only (...) three that have been particularly prominent in the secondary literature, but also two others that have received considerably less attention. In the final section, I will summarize Hume's account of the nature and functions of sympathy and briefly suggest some of the ways in which these aspects of Hume's moral psychology seem to be supported by contemporary psychological research. (shrink)
The Netherlands is a small country with many people and much livestock. As a result, animals in nature reservations are often living near cattle farms. Therefore, people from the agricultural practices are afraid that wild animals will infect domestic livestock with diseases like Swine Fever and Foot and Mouth Disease. To protect agriculture (considered as an important economic practice), very strict regulations have been made for minimizing this risk. In this way, the practice of animal farming has been dominating (...) the practices of nature management completely. If, for instance, Foot and Mouth Disease strikes an agricultural area, all wild pigs and cattle living in the nearby nature reservations have to be killed, whether infected or not. This dominant position of one practice over the other has now become problematic. While the morality of the practice of nature management seems to be very different from the morality of agriculture and agriculture has become less important from an economic point of view, the public as well as those involved in nature management no longer seem to accept the dominant position of agriculture. Besides a literature study, we performed a field study with in-depth interviews with experts from both practices to analyze the dynamics of the internal moralities of both practices in the previous century, in order to clarify the contemporary situation. The conclusion was that the traditionally strong position of agriculture is not only weakening; it also appears that the internal values of agriculture are changing. The experts from both sides agreed that, in case of a disease outbreak, it is neither ethically justified nor necessary (because of the estimated low risk of disease transfer) to destroy the animals in nature reservations as a routine preventive measure. This is a major shift in morality. (shrink)
In addition to his brilliant achievements in theoretical mathematics, Alfred North Whitehead exercised an extensive knowledge of philosophy and literature that informs and elevates all of his works. In this book, he offers undergraduate students and other readers an absorbing exploration of the fundamental problems of substance, space, and time. The Concept of Nature originated with Whitehead's Tarner Lectures of 1919, and its discussions are highlighted by a criticism of Einstein's method of interpreting results, and by the author's (...) alternative development of the celebrated theory of the four-dimensional space-time manifold. 1920 ed. (shrink)
Is it possible for postmodernism to offer viable, coherent accounts of ethics? Or are our social and intellectual worlds too fragmented for any broad consensus about the moral life? These issues have emerged as some of the most contentious in literary and philosophical studies. In Renegotiating Ethics in Literature, Philosophy, and Theory a distinguished international gathering of philosophers and literary scholars address the reconceptualisations involved in this 'turn towards ethics'. An important feature of this has been a renewed interest (...) in the literary text as a focus for the exploration of ethical issues. Exponents of this trend include Charles Taylor, Bernard Williams, Iris Murdoch, Cora Diamond, Richard Rorty and Martha Nussbaum, the latter a contributor and a key figure in this volume. This book assesses the significance of this development for ethical and literary theory and attempts to articulate an alternative postmodern account of ethics which does not rely on earlier appeals to universal truths. (shrink)
Is it possible to take the enterprise of physics seriously while also holding the belief that the world contains an order beyond the reach of that physics? Is it possible to simultaneously believe in objective laws of nature and in miracles? Is it possible to search for the truths of physics while also acknowledging the limitations of that search as it is carried out by limited human knowers? As a philosopher, as a Christian, and as a participant in the (...) physics of his day, Leibniz had an interesting view that bears on all of these questions. This paper examines the status of laws of nature in Leibniz's philosophy and how the status of these laws fits into his larger philosophical picture of the limits of human knowledge and the wise and omniscient God who created the actual world. (shrink)
Visionary quests to return to the Garden of Eden have shaped Western culture from Columbus' voyages to today's tropical island retreats. Few narratives are so powerful - and, as Carolyn Merchant shows, so misguided and destructive - as the dream of recapturing a lost paradise. A sweeping account of these quixotic endeavors by one of America's leading environmentalists, Reinventing Eden traces the idea of rebuilding the primeval garden from its origins to its latest incarnations in shopping malls, theme parks and (...) gated communities. With eloquence and insight, Merchant shows how the drive to conquer nature and to explore and settle the globe, springs from this utopian pastoral impulse throughout Western history. Time and again, human manipulation of the environment is our downfall: Eden is achieved by fencing off pristine beauty in national parks and wildlife preserves, while leaving the majority of the earth in ruins. Challenging both narratives, Merchant argues that the green veneer of city-park conservation has become a cover for the corruption of the earth and the neglect of its environment. Reinventing Eden is a bold new way to think about the earth that includes green political parties, sustainable development and a partnership between humans and earth that is nothing short of an ecological revolution. (shrink)
Learning about ‘nature’ has particular significance for education because the idea of nature is an important source of inspiring meaning-rich experience and creation. In order to have meaningful experiences in learning and living, this paper argues for a personal subject-related lifeworld approach to the learning of ‘nature’. Many authors claim that the lifeworld-led learning approach helps to enrich educational experience. However, there can be various interpretations of the lifeworld approach, as the concept of lifeworld is diversely understood. (...) This paper proposes a personal, subject-related lifeworld approach from a Husserlian-Merleau-Pontian perspective. I suggest that it holds great potential for improving our current curriculum which suffers from meaning-impoverishment. This paper comprises the following parts: the elucidation of the lifeworld approach to learning, a demonstration of the flaws of current curricula by discussing and analysing the Taiwanese curriculum guidelines, and an exposition of the contribution of the Husserlian-Merleau-Pontian lifeworld approach towards improving our current curriculum. (shrink)
In literary aesthetics, the debate on whether literary fictions provide propositional knowledge generally centres around the question whether there are authors’ explicit or implicit truth-claims in literary works and whether the reader’s act of looking for and assessing such claims as true or false is an appropriate stance toward the works as literary works. Nevertheless, in reading literary fiction, readers cannot always be sure whether the author is actually asserting or suggesting a view she expresses or presents because of the (...) artistic and imaginative nature of the work. In this essay, I shall argue that in addition to asserting and suggesting, authors make use of a third way of conveying knowledge by their works: they invite the reader to genuinely or extra-fictionally contemplate unasserted thoughts or viewpoints to a given issue, or they offer hypotheses or provide the reader fictional material for constructing a hypothesis. The aim of this essay is to examine this rather unanalyzed but extremely wide grey zone: the author’s act of ‘contemplating’ and the cognitive value of its products which I shall call ‘literary hypotheses.’. (shrink)
Wuthering Heights has proved exceptionally elusive to interpretation. By foregrounding the idea of human nature, Darwinian literary theory provides a framework within which we can assimilate previous insights about Wuthering Heights , delineate the norms Brontë shares with her projected audience, analyze her divided impulses, and explain the generic forms in which those impulses manifest themselves. Brontë herself presupposes a folk understanding of human nature in her audience. Evolutionary psychology converges with that folk understanding but provides explanations that (...) are broader and deeper. In addition to its explanatory power, a Darwinian approach has a naturalistic aesthetic dimension that is particularly important for interpreting Wuthering Heights. (shrink)
If nature is by definition the object of the natural sciences, then the dichotomy 'natural' versus 'chemical', held by both chemists and nonchemists, suggests an idiosyncrasy of chemistry. The first part of the paper presents a selective historical analysis of the main notions of nature in chemistry, as developed in early Christian views of chemical crafts, alchemy, iatrochemistry, mechanical philosophy, organic chemistry, and contemporary drug research. I argue that the dichotomy as well as quasi-moral judgments of chemistry have (...) been based on static and teleological notions of nature throughout history and that chemists, unlike physicists, have neglected the dynamic notion of nature. The second part provides a philosophical criticism of the former notions and argues for the latter as well as for an explicit discourse about values in chemistry. (shrink)
This article analyses the tradition of “articulating xing in terms of sheng ” and related other expressions, and also examines the debate between Mencius and Gaozi concerning “ xing is known by sheng .” It claims that while Mencius’ “human nature is good” discourse is influenced by the interpretive tradition of “articulating xing in terms of sheng ”, Mencius also transcends and develops this tradition. Therefore it is only when Mencius’ views about the goodness of human nature are (...) understood in the context of this interpretive tradition that his ideas can be fully understood. Utilizing this framework, the Confucian understanding of rights is then explored. (shrink)
The formation of the discourse of Neo-Confucianism 1 in the Song period was a result of the interactions between many social and cultural trends. In the development of the Neo-Confucian discourse, the Cheng brothers (Cheng Hao and Cheng Yi) played key roles with their charismatic thoughts and impelling personalities, while Zhu Xi pushed Neo-Confucian thought and discourse to a pinnacle with his broad knowledge and precise reasoning. In the warm discussions and debates between different schools and thoughts, the Neo-Confucian discourse (...) proceeded towards completion and perfection, and evolved as contemporary topics and thinking modes changed. The essay argues that “ ding xing 定性 (stilling the nature)” was an important Neo-Confucian topic during the Song period. The doctrine of “stilling the nature” involves much central Neo-Confucian discourse such as the definition of xing 性 (human nature), the interior and exterior aspects of human nature, nature and qing 情 (feelings, sentiments), nature and xin 心 (mind, heart), nature and ren 仁 (benevolence, humanity, humaneness) and yi 义 (righteousness), nature and shi 事 (affair) or wu 物 (thing, object), the practice of preservation and cultivation, etc. Therefore, an examination of the formation, development and evolution of Neo-Confucianism is of great importance to the study of its early history. (shrink)
Appreciating nature may at its best feature have three levels of experience according to practical aesthetics. The first level is more sensuous as it largely pleases the ear and eye, the second level is more psychological as it chiefly pleases the mind and mood, and the third level is more sublimate as it mainly pleases the will and spirit. In Chinese culture the affinity between man and nature can be traced back to the traditional conception of tian ren (...) he yi 天人合一 as heaven-human oneness, which will be ultimately conducive to the artistic realm or aesthetic state of being. (shrink)
This article analyses the tradition of "articulating xing in terms of sheng" and related other expressions, and also examines the debate between Mencius and Gaozi concerning "xing is known by sheng" It claims that while Mencius' "human nature is good" discourse is influenced by the interpretive tradition of "articulating xing in terms of sheng", Mencius also transcends and develops this tradition. Therefore it is only when Mencius' views about the goodness of human nature are understood in the context (...) of this interpretive tradition that his ideas can be fully understood. Utilizing this framework, the Confucian understanding of rights is then explored. /// 通过对"以生言性"的传统及其不同命题表述的详尽分析，对孟子、告子"生 之谓性"的辩论做出梳理，指出孟子性善论一方面受到了"以生言性"传统的影响， 另一方面则超越、发展了这一传统，故只有将孟子性善论放在"以生言性"的传统 下才能得到真正的理解。从这一角度出发，为探讨儒家的权利观念提供了可能。. (shrink)
The approach of returning to the original and recovering nature is a typical characteristic of Chinese philosophy. It was founded by the Daoist School and followed by both Daoist and Confucian schools. The precondition of returning to the original and recovering nature is the stillness and goodness within nature integrated into a whole afterwards. Its implementation includes not only returning to the original root so as to achieve the philosophical aim but also restoration to (...) the original nature after it is injured by man’s physical nature and desire. The realization of human nature depends on the work making up for the loss of the original nature. Although there are different methods of realization concerning the return to the original nature, such as returning to the root, seeking the lost mind, extinguishing desire, being good at return, and the self-consciousness of intuitive knowledge, all of these aim at returning to the original nature of stillness and purity. The philosophical value consists in the unceasing pursuit of returning to the original nature. (shrink)
Aristotle's doctrine that human beings are political animals is, in part, an empirical thesis, and posits an inclination to enter into cooperative relationships, even apart from the instrumental benefits of doing so. Aristotle's insight is that human cooperation rests on a non-rational propensity to trust even strangers, when conditions are favorable. Turning to broader questions about the role of nature in human development, I situate Aristotle's attitude towards our natural propensities between two extremes: he rejects both the view that (...) we must bow to whatever nature dictates, and also the view that nature is generally or always to be suppressed or overcome. This middle position requires that Aristotle hold nature and goodness apart, so that the latter can serve as a standard for evaluating the former. He holds that nature does not treat all human beings alike: just as some are handicapped in their development by a deficiency in their natural abilities or propensities, others are extraordinarily fortunate and have so powerful a disposition to act well that they easily acquire good habits and skills of practical reasoning. Further, he recognizes that sociable inclinations and natural virtues have to compete in the human soul with other natural forces that make ethical life extraordinarily difficult. That is why things so often go so badly for us: we need not only to subdue the external environment, but to overcome certain inner natural obstacles as well. Even so, for Aristotle ethical life is not generally alienated from nature, as it is for other philosophers. Footnotesa I am grateful to David Keyt and Fred Miller, and to the other contributors to this volume, for their helpful comments on the previous draft of this paper. (shrink)
This book explains the relationship between intelligence and environmental complexity, and in so doing links philosophy of mind to more general issues about the relations between organisms and environments, and to the general pattern of 'externalist' explanations. The author provides a biological approach to the investigation of mind and cognition in nature. In particular he explores the idea that the function of cognition is to enable agents to deal with environmental complexity. The history of the idea in the work (...) of Dewey and Spencer is considered, as is the impact of recent evolutionary theory on our understanding of the place of mind in nature. (shrink)
Abstract: This essay addresses three specific moments in the history of the role played by intuition in Kant's system. Part one develops Kant's attitude toward intuition in order to understand how ‘sensible intuition’ becomes the first step in his development of transcendental idealism and how this in turn requires him to reject the possibility of an ‘intellectual intuition’ for human cognition. Part two considers the role of Jacobi when it came to interpreting both Kant's epistemic achievement and what were taken (...) to be the outstanding problems of freedom's relation to nature; problems interpreted to be resolvable only via an appeal to ‘intellectual intuition’. Part three begins with Kant's subsequent return to the question of freedom and nature in his Critique of Judgment. With Goethe's contemporaneous Metamorphoses of Plants as a contrast case, it becomes clear that whereas Goethe can embrace the role of an intuitive understanding in his account of nature and within the logic of polarity in particular, Kant could never allow an intuition of nature that in his system would spell the very impossibility of freedom itself. (shrink)
This paper analyses the model of interaction at the heart of Axel Honneth's social philosophy. It argues that interaction in his mature ethics of recognition has been reduced to intercourse between human persons and that the role of nature is now missing from it. The ethics of recognition takes into account neither the material dimensions of individual and social action, nor the normative meaning of non-human persons and natural environments. The loss of nature in the mature ethics of (...) recognition is made visible through a comparison with Honneth's initial formulation of his project. As an anthropology of intersubjectivity combining the teaching of the German philosophical anthropologists and G.H. Mead, his first model sought to ground social theory in the natural preconditions of human action. The last part of the article argues that a return to Mead's theory of practical intersubjectivity informed by Merleau-Ponty's germane theory of intercorporeity provides essential conceptual tools to enable the integration of the natural and the material within the theory of recognition. (shrink)
This paper explores the idea of 'respect for nature' in the Earth Charter. It maintains that the Earth Charter proposes a broadly holistic environmental ethic where, in situations of conflict, species are given ethical priority over the lives of individual sentient organisms. The paper considers policy implications of this perspective, looking by means of example at the current European environmental policy dispute about the ruddy and white-headed duck. Questions about the value of species and biological diversity this raises are (...) explored. The paper concludes that the principle of valuing individual animal lives should be given more prominence in Earth Charter principles. (shrink)
Analysis of academic forest scientists’ ethical reasoning and values given decision-making scenarios indicates that Holmes Rolston, III’s value theory, specifically his ethics of “following nature” is an important and current environmental ethics in forestry. Nevertheless, while academic forest scientists appear to espouse “following nature” in decision making, they also make use of numerous other values and ethics. Academic forest scientists’ moral reasoning is more akin to a pragmatic approach to decision making rather than an approach based on building (...) or advocating an internally consistent and coherent moral position. Rolston’s environmental ethics is relevant and useful to decision making in forestry if it is interpreted as one among various value theories used to guide decision making rather than an ethical theory to be accepted or rejected en bloc. (shrink)
Peter Warnek: Descent of socrates: Self-knowledge & cryptic nature in the platonic dialogues Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-5 DOI 10.1007/s11007-012-9214-0 Authors Christopher P. Long, The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA, USA Journal Continental Philosophy Review Online ISSN 1573-1103 Print ISSN 1387-2842.
(Uncorrected OCR) Abstract of thesis entitled The Debate over Human Nature in Warring States China submitted by Dan Robins for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Hong Kong in April 2001 This dissertation is an account of the most famous disagreement in early Chinese philosophy. The disagreement is usually thought to have taken place between Mencius (c. 385-303 BC) and <span class='Hi'>Xunzi</span> (c. 310-230 BC) (the two most prominent Confucians of the Warring States period), and (...) to have concerned the goodness or badness of human nature. I give a novel interpretation of the dispute, and a fully-worked out account of its history. I argue that ren zhi xing A2tt (or �eople� xing� is not a near analogue of human nature, and that the dispute unfolded over a short period between <span class='Hi'>Xunzi</span> and members of a Mencian school operating decades after Mencius� death. I try to show that if we read Mencian and Xunzian discussions of the issue as contemporary documents, we can see them interacting in surprisingly precise ways. This allows me to portray the specifically philosophical character of the dispute in much tighter focus than has previously been possible. My interpretation of the concept of xing stresses its links with nature, health, and spontaneity. A person� xing is a locus of continuity with nature that sustains normal physiological and psychological functioning, including in particular the proper functioning of her sense organs and the appropriate production of emotions and desires. This functioning might also involve certain sorts of behavior; if it is a person� xing to behave in a particular way, then she will behave that way as reliably and as thoughtlessly as she desires food when hungry. Xing is vulnerable, and can be damaged by either deprivation or over-indulgence. This damage undermines a person� spontaneity in a way that renders her unhealthy. The dispute concerned the extent to which virtue could be made to participate in the spontaneous economy sustained by xing. Mencius� followers argued that the right sort of self-cultivation could nurture a natural growth that would preserve xing while i ii developing virtue. <span class='Hi'>Xunzi</span> argued that no serious course of moral improvement could limit itself to natural development. Both parties made several attempts to incorporate a theory of xing into their moral and psychological views. By distinguishing between chronological layers of their texts, I am able to trace developments in their views and interactions between them. Though I focus on these Confucian philosophers, I suggest that the dispute was originally provoked by primitivist philosophers whose texts have been preserved in the Zhuangzi, which is usually considered a Daoist anthology. I follow scholars such as Herbert Fingarette, Robert Eno, and Chad Hansen in attributing a �erformance model�of action to early Chinese philosophers. In detailed interpretations of central statements of Mencian and Xunzian psychology, I show how they stressed ability rather than desire. I build on this conclusion to dispute accounts that make reasoning or moral intuition central to the dispute over people� xing. (shrink)
I focus on the religio-aesthetic concept of nature in Japanese Buddhism as a valuable complement to environmental philosophy in the West and develop an explicit comparison of the Japanese Buddhist concept of nature and the ecological world view of Aldo Leopold. I discuss the profound current of ecological thought running through the Kegon, Tendai, Shingon, Zen, Pure Land, and Nichiren Buddhist traditions as weIl as modem Japanese philosophy as represented by Nishida Kitarö and Watsuji Tetsurö. In this context, (...) I present the Japanese concept of nature as an aesthetic continuum of interdependent events based on a field paradigm of reality. I show how the Japanese concept of nature entails an extension of ethics to include the relation between humans and the land. I argue that in both the Japanese Buddhist concept of nature and the thought of Aldo Leopold there is a hierarchy of normative values which grounds the land ethic in aland aesthetic. I also clarify the soteric concept of nature in Japanese Buddhism by which the natural environment becomes the ultimate locus of salvation for all sentient beings. In this way, I argue that the Japanese Buddhist concept of nature represents a fundamental shift from the egocentric to an ecocentric position-i.e., a de-anthropocentric standpoint which is nature-centered as opposed to human-centered. (shrink)
This paper concerns Hegel’s much-neglected discussion of the rational observation of nature in the first part of the chapter on reason in the Phenomenology of Spirit. The paper focuses, in particular, on the themes of nature’s inexhaustibilit y, animal life’s holistic character, and the earth’s individual distinctiveness insofar as Hegel appeals to them to challenge a certain kind of self-understanding of what it means to observe nature rationally. In addition to examining the significance and trenchancy of this (...) challenge, the paper inquires whether these same themes have implications for Hegel’s own philosophical understanding of reason as spirit. (shrink)
This article draws on different bodies of knowledge in order to review the potential role of outdoor education in providing nature-based experiences that might contribute to sustainable living. A pragmatic perspective is adopted to critique what outdoor education is, and then what it might be. Phenomenology is used to challenge the belief that there is a causal relationship between activities and learning outcomes but foremost to consider what it is to be in nature in the first place. Aspects (...) of both realism and social constructionism are presented as essential to environmental philosophy and the concomitant, but contested, relationship between people and planet. Through these multiple realities the moral significance of nature emerges not only as a theoretical consideration but as a practical one too. In this way I challenge dualisms that provide stumbling blocks to practice and celebrate instead pluralistic thinking where starting points are based on real-life work settings where theory and practice can emerge together through place-specific solutions. (shrink)
Surgeons have often been portrayed in literature on one of two extremes: the cold, distant scientist or the benign, caring humanist. Two characters in American literature who illustrate those extremes, both surgeons in the military, are Herman Melville's Cadwallader Cuticle and Richard Hooker's Hawkeye Pierce. Cuticle is interested only in the science of his craft, while Pierce maintains the compassion so central to the art of healing, even in the midst of war.
In this essay, I argue that society, embodiment, and nature are crucial to J. G. Fichte’s practical philosophy, which implies responsibilities regarding the natural environment and its non-rational denizens. In section one, I summarize Fichte’s argument that self-consciousness presupposes social interaction between embodied rational beings within a sensible environment. In section two, I explain the relation between rational beings and human bodies. In section three, I discuss the relation between rational beings and nature. In section four, I describe (...) ethical duties toward rational beings. In conclusion, I examine ethical duties regarding non-rational beings. (shrink)
This paper deals with an approach to the integration of science (with technology and economics), ethics (with religion and mysticism), the arts (aesthetics) and Nature, in order to establish a world-view based on holistic, evolutionary ethics that could help with problem solving. The author suggests that this integration is possible with the aid of “Nature’s wisdom” which is mirrored in the macroscopic pattern of the ecosphere. The corresponding eco-principles represent the basis for unifying soft and hard sciences resulting (...) in “deep sciences”. Deduction and induction will remain the methodology for deep sciences and will include conventional experiments and aesthetic and sentient experiences. Perception becomes the decisive factor with the senses as operators for the building of consciousness through the subconscious. In this paper, an attempt at integrating the concepts of the “true”, the “right” and the “beautiful” with the aid of Nature’s wisdom is explained in more detail along with consequences. (shrink)