Style, Substance, and Philosophical Methodology: A Cross-Cultural Case Study

Dialogue 57 (2):217-250 (2018)
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Abstract

One challenge involved in integrating so-called ‘non-Western’ philosophies into ‘Western’ philosophical discourse concerns the fact that non-Western philosophical texts frequently differ significantly in style and approach from Western ones, especially those in contemporary analytic philosophy. But how might one bring texts that are written, for example, in a literary, non-expository style, and which do not clearly advance philosophical positions or arguments, into constructive dialogue with those that do? Also, why might one seek to do this in the first place? This paper addresses these questions by means of a case study involving the Daoist classic, theZhuangzi.L’un des défis posés par l’inclusion des soi-disant philosophies «non-occidentales» dans le discours de la philosophie «occidentale» a trait au fait que plusieurs textes philosophiques non-occidentaux diffèrent de façon significative, en termes de style et d’approche, des textes occidentaux, principalement ceux issus de la philosophie analytique contemporaine. Comment établir un dialogue constructif entre des textes écrits de façon littéraire, qui n’ont pas l’allure d’un exposé et qui n’avancent pas clairement des positions ou des arguments philosophiques et des textes qui, au contraire, prennent la forme d’un exposé avançant des positions ou des arguments? Pourquoi, de prime abord, voudrait-on ouvrir un tel dialogue? Cet article pose ces questions par le biais de l’étude du cas du classique taoïste, leZhuāngzǐ.

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Julianne Chung
York University

Citations of this work

Moral Cultivation: Japanese Gardens, Personal Ideals, and Ecological Citizenship.Julianne Chung - 2018 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 76 (4):507-518.
Teaching Ancient Women Philosophers: A Case Study.Sara Protasi - 2020 - Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 6 (3).

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The wheel of virtue: Art, literature, and moral knowledge.Noel Carroll - 2002 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 60 (1):3–26.
Contextualism, metaphor, and what is said.Elisabeth Camp - 2006 - Mind and Language 21 (3):280–309.
The moral psychology of fiction.Gregory Currie - 1995 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 73 (2):250 – 259.
Cognitivism and the arts.John Gibson - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (4):573-589.

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