Mirroring omni-present suffering: a Chan Buddhist alternative to phronesis

British Journal for the History of Philosophy:1-19 (forthcoming)
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Abstract

In this study, I present the Chan Buddhist alternative to phronesis or ‘practical wisdom’. Instead of involving the skill or ‘know-how’ in applying moral principles to particular situations, the Chan Buddhist virtuously responds to situations because they understand how each situation is a ‘part’ of a larger whole or a ‘function’ (用) of the ‘body’ (體). Ultimately, this sensitivity to how each situation is meaningfully situated within a context of relationships is what motivates the Chan Buddhist’s spontaneous compassion towards the suffering of existence in its entirety.

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