Western philosophy has been deﬁned through the exclusion of non-Western forms of thought as non-philo-sophical. In this paper, I place the notion of what is “properly” philosophy into question by contrasting the essence/appearance paradigm governing Western metaphysics and its deconstructive critics with the more ﬂuid, dynamic, and participatory forms of encountering and performatively enacting the world that are articulated in Chinese thinking and made apparent in Chinese painting. In this hermeneutical contrast, Western and Chinese thinking themselves are (...) interpeted as co-relational rather than as discrete, mutually indifferent or ethnocentrically nativist traditions. (shrink)
The idea of the present sixth volume in the Boston Col lege Studies in Philosophy entitled "Contemporary Chinese Philosophy" was conceived by the editor several years ago, before the current resumption of Chinese American political and economic amity occurred offi cially. Several preceding volumes in this series had studied various aspects of Marxism especially Soviet Marxism. Possibilities for dialogue between Christians and Marxists were discussed not only in the series but elsewhere too in various philosophical journals and books (...) through the sixties and seventies. It was only a natural outcome then to wonder about the same possi bilities in regard to Chinese Marxism. Hence I sent off to many potential contributors - scholars in the field - the following proposal seeking papers for a volume on Contemporary Chinese Philosophy. The themes that should constitute the content of the articles were as follows: 1. How rigidly do contemporary Chinese adhere to Marxism-Leninism? Naturally this means principally the educated persons, but it might include the non-academic segment of the peop. le. By Marxism-Leninism here, J mean the contemporary Soviet brand. Hence, I do not. mean Marx's early writings or the developments of people like Kolakowski. 2 . Are they constrained to think in a kind of hori zontal materialism or are they open to a species of transcendence that might include the God problem or a belief in another life after this one on earth? 3. (shrink)
Presenting a comprehensive portrayal of the reading of Chinese and Buddhist philosophy in early 20th-century German thought, Chinese and Buddhist Philosophy in early Twentieth-Century German Thought examines the implications of these readings for contemporary issues in comparative and intercultural philosophy. Through a series of case studies from the late 19th-century and early 20th-century, Eric Nelson focuses on the reception and uses of Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism in German philosophy, covering figures as diverse as Buber, Heidegger, and Misch. He (...) argues that the growing intertextuality between traditions cannot be appropriately interpreted through notions of exclusive identities, closed horizons, or unitary traditions. Providing an account of the context, motivations, and hermeneutical strategies of early twentieth-century European thinkers' interpretation of Asian philosophy, Nelson also throws new light on the question of the relation between Heidegger and Asian philosophy. Reflecting the growing interest in the possibility of intercultural and global philosophy, Chinese and Buddhist Philosophy in early Twentieth-Century German Thought opens up the possibility of a more inclusive intercultural conception of philosophy. - See more at: http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/chinese-and-buddhist-philosophy-in-early-twentieth-century-german-thought-9781350002562/#sthash.1lY6OTYj.dp uf. (shrink)
Did Chinese mysticism vanish after its first appearance in ancient Taoist philosophy, to surface only after a thousand years had passed, when the Chinese had adapted Buddhism to their own culture? This first integrated survey of the mystical dimension of Taoism disputes the commonly accepted idea of such a hiatus. Covering the period from the Daode jing to the end of the Tang, Livia Kohn reveals an often misunderstood Chinese mystical tradition that continued through the ages. Influenced (...) by but ultimately independent of Buddhism, it took forms more various than the quietistic withdrawal of Laozi or the sudden enlightenment of the Chan Buddhists. On the basis of a new theoretical evaluation of mysticism, this study analyzes the relationship between philosophical and religious Taoism and between Buddhism and the native Chinese tradition. Kohn shows how the quietistic and socially oriented Daode jing was combined with the ecstatic and individualistic mysticism of the Zhuangzi, with immortality beliefs and practices, and with Buddhist insight meditation, mind analysis, and doctrines of karma and retribution. She goes on to demonstrate that Chinese mysticism, a complex synthesis by the late Six Dynasties, reached its zenith in the Tang, laying the foundations for later developments in the Song traditions of Inner Alchemy, Chan Buddhism, and Neo-Confucianism. (shrink)
In contemporary academic philosophy, Chinese Philosophy remains a niche. This has a lot to do with its presentation, which often creates an impression of alienness and allegory, making its contribution, especially to analytical questions, not obvious. This paper examines how a change in presentation eases the inclusion of Chinese Philosophy into the mainstream. On the assumption that there has been an “activist turn” in the discipline in general, philosophical interest in a tradition that ranges from conceptual analysis, to (...) ethics and politics, but that is ultimately focused on motivating actions, becomes more relevant and pressing. Since, in much of Chinese Philosophy, the philosopher is an activist, if the wider discipline is indeed undergoing an “activist turn”, then there is a connection here that should be made. In this paper, the connection is explained using two examples, Mozi and Xu Fuguan. (shrink)
The research programme of the philosophy of information (PI) proposed in 2002 made it an independent area or discipline in philosophical research. The scientific concept of ‘information’ is formally accepted in philosophical inquiry. Hence a new and tool-driven philosophical discipline of PI with its interdisciplinary nature has been established. Philosophy of information is an ‘orientative’ rather than ‘cognitive’ philosophy. When PI is under consideration in the history of Western philosophy, it can be regarded as a shift of large tradition. There (...) are three large traditions at large, known as Platonic, Kantian and Leibniz-Russellian. In the discussion of the position of the possible worlds, we have modal Platonism and modal realism, but both of the theories are made in the framework of Western philosophy. In this essay, it is argued that possible worlds could be seen as worlds in information, which is then an interpretation of modal information theory (MIT). Our interpretation is made on the basis of Leibniz’s lifelong connection with China, a fact often overlooked by the Western philosophers. Possible world theory was influenced by the Neo-Confucianism flourishing since the Song Dynasty of China, the foundation of which is Yijing. It could be argued that Leibniz’s possible world theory was formulated in respect to the impact of the thoughts reflected in Yijing, in that one of the prominent features is the model-theoretic construction of theories. There are two approaches to theory construction, i.e., axiom-theoretic and model-theoretic. The origin of the former is from ancient Greece and the latter from ancient China. And they determined the different features of theoretic structures between the oriental and occidental traditions of science and technology. The tendency of the future development of science and technology is changing from the axiom-theoretic to the model-theoretic orientation, at least the two approaches being complementary each other. To some extent, this means the retrospective of tradition in the turning point of history, and some of the China’s cultural traditions might become the starting points in formulating the future Chinese philosophy of science and technology. (shrink)
A concise alphabetic guide to the main concepts, figures, topics and important movements of thought that have shaped Chinese philosophy over the last three thousand years. The entries are concisely written, terms are cross-referenced and transcriptions are typically given in the pinyin system while the Chinese originals for important concepts are also provided. Chinese Philosophy A-Z stresses philosophical relevance in choosing entries while paying due attention to historical links between relevant ideas and movements of thought. The volume (...) also shows how some of the central ideas under discussion contribute to the philosophical enterprise as a whole. The book is aimed at students, teachers of philosophy, and educated non-specialists who are interested in Chinese philosophy, particularly those readers new to Chinese philosophy. (shrink)
This comprehensive introductory textbook to early Chinese philosophy covers a range of philosophical traditions which arose during the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods in China, including Confucianism, Mohism, Daoism, and Legalism. It considers concepts, themes and argumentative methods of early Chinese philosophy and follows the development of some ideas in subsequent periods, including the introduction of Buddhism into China. The book examines key issues and debates in early Chinese philosophy, cross-influences between its traditions and interpretations (...) by scholars up to the present day. The discussion draws upon both primary texts and secondary sources, and there are suggestions for further reading. This will be an invaluable guide for all who are interested in the foundations of Chinese philosophy and its richness and continuing relevance. (shrink)
Featuring contributions from the world's most highly esteemed Asian philosophy scholars, this important new encyclopedia covers the complex and increasingly influential field of Chinese thought, from earliest recorded times to the present day. Including coverage on the subject previously unavailable to English speakers, the _Encyclopedia_ sheds light on the extensive range of concepts, movements, philosophical works, and thinkers that populate the field. It includes a thorough survey of the history of Chinese philosophy; entries on all major thinkers from (...) Confucius to Mou Zongsan; essential topics such as aesthetics, moral philosophy, philosophy of government, and philosophy of literature; surveys of Confucianism in all historical periods and in key regions outside China; schools of thought such as Mohism, Legalism, and Chinese Buddhism; trends in contemporary Chinese philosophy, and more. (shrink)
Drawing on several issues and methods in Western philosophy, from analytical philosophy to semiotics and hermeneutics, the author throws new light on the ancient Zhuangzi text. Engaging Daoism and contemporary Western philosophical logic, and drawing on new developments in our understanding of early Chinese culture, Coutinho challenges the interpretation of Zhuangzi as either a skeptic or a relativist, and instead seeks to explore his philosophy as emphasizing the ineradicable vagueness of language, thought and reality. This new interpretation of the (...) Zhuangzi offers an important development in the understanding of Daoist philosophy, describing a world in flux in which things themselves are vague and inconsistent, and tries to show us a Way (a Dao) to negotiate through the shadows of a "chaotic" world. (shrink)
In this chapter, we outline the methods and aims of experimental philosophy as a methodological movement within philosophy, and suggest ways in which it may be employed in the study of Chinese philosophy.
Contemporary Chinese Philosophy features discussion of sixteen major twentieth-century Chinese philosophers. Leading scholars in the field describe and critically assess the works of these significant figures. Critically assesses the work of major comtemporary Chinese philosophers that have rarely been discussed in English. Features essays by leading scholars in the field. Includes a glossary of Chinese characters and definitions.
The question of whether or not early Chinese philosophers had a concept of truth has been the topic of some scholarly debate over the past few decades. The present essay offers a novel assessment of the debate, and suggests that no answer is fully satisfactory, as the plausibility of each turns in no small part on difficult and unsettled philosophical issues prior to the interpretation of any ancient Chinese philosophical texts—particularly the issues of what it means to “have (...) a concept” and how we understand the concept of truth itself. This essay summarizes prominent views within the debate over truth and Chinese philosophy and offers conditional assessments of each answer with respect to contemporary theories of concepts and theories of truth. The essay concludes with an appeal to methodological and interpretive pluralism, within reasonable constraints, in discussions of this topic. (shrink)
Comparative philosophy is a relatively new field of study, research, achievement in understanding and teaching. The purpose of this work is to help clarify the nature of comparative philosophy; to survey views about the kinds of standards that may be used as bases for comparisons; and the propose an hypothesis comparing pervasive traits of the philosophies of Western, Indian, and Chinese civilizations.
It is commonly supposed that people of Asia, particularly the ethnic Chinese, subscribe to values which are not conducive to economic progress. The gap between the capitalist West and Asia is often attributed to the 'cultural' factor. Behind such perception is the supposition that capitalism is wholly a product of the West, alien to Asia and cannot be successfully embraced without doing violence to its cultural traditions. Against this position, I argue that classical capitalism is perfectly compatible with the (...) key elements of Chinese philosophy. Whether or not there is anything in the suggestion of some historians that Quesnay borrowed from Confucianism, I argue that his economic doctrine could have developed from the fundamentals of Chinese philosophy. If I am right, the economic gap between the West and Asia has to be explained in terms other than the 'cultural' factor, such as, perhaps, colonialism and post-colonialist ideologies. (shrink)
Despite consistent student interest in Chinese philosophy, the author reports that American students tend to demonstrate a sense of distance from Chinese authors and texts, often exoticizing or romanticizing them. This paper describes one pedagogical strategy that proved highly effective for overcoming this cultural distance which can hinder students’ ability to engage critically or deeply with the material. The author recounts her experience of teaching a six week Chinese philosophy course to illustrate how becoming acquainted with the (...) place and culture that gave rise to a philosophy help to render that philosophy more concrete. By being able to speak and interact with people in China , the study of Chinese philosophical texts was brought to life, nuanced, and inflected by familiarization with the cultural, geographical, and political contexts of the philosophy being studied. Included in this paper are the course syllabus and one course assignment. (shrink)
The article considers the relation between Chinese philosophy as an academic discipline and Western philosophy. In the academy there are three ways Chinese philosophy can relate to Western philosophy: Chinese philosophy may see itself as the other of Western philosophy, Chinese philosophy may seek recognition from Western philosophy, and Chinese philosophy may refuse to see Western philosophy as the measure for what is philosophy. I consider scholars from each of these three positions as well as (...) the debate between them. Through this review it becomes clear that the relation between Chinese and Western philosophy is an uneasy one. In conclusion I suggest that the relation between Chinese and Western philosophy is not a relation between two separate entities; the rise of Chinese philosophy is rather a symptom of the decline of Western learning. (shrink)
The problem of whether "Chinese philosophy" exists and deserves a place in Philosophy departments has not only remained unsolved but has even hardly led to any meaningful debate. The fact that repeated appeals to universality and fairness have largely remained unanswered indicates the limits of rationality in this matter. I have argued in the past that the futility of rational arguments is related to our emotional attachment to entities that fall beyond our control, such as the institutions where we (...) are trained, and that, like a family, shape our views on a subconscious level.1 This essay is not yet another argument in favor of Chinese philosophy, but turns to the institutional level, more specifically the European... (shrink)
In recent years, universities throughout the People’s Republic of China have begun actively seeking foreign professors to work full-time in their philosophy departments. This, coupled with the decrease in the number of job openings in philosophy across western Europe and North America, might very well lead to a sharp rise in the number of foreign faculty members in philosophy departments across mainland China. In this article I will outline three of the major difficulties facing philosophy teachers who have little or (...) no experience in the Chinese education system, and provide suggestions for dealing with them. The first two are general and apply to a broad range of courses; namely, initiating class discussion and teaching students how to understand philosophical arguments. The third is specifically related to those who teach or engage with Chinese thought. These professors should be prepared to encounter a surmountable but pronounced skepticism among many Chinese students against the ability of foreigners to truly comprehend Chinese philosophy. (shrink)
Is a reconciliation possible between Chinese philosophy and woman when taking into account infamous gender-oppressive cultural practices such as foot-binding, concubinage, etc., in premodern Chinese societies? The article tackles the complexity of the subject by calling the readers' attention to texts from Confucian classics that indeed support intellectual equality of the sexes and classless access to education, while noting diverging historical cultural evidences of women's education and their social status in premodern, modern, and postmodern Chinese societies. The (...) article challenges the belief that Confucian philosophy is unequivocally a sexist ideology to be a foregone conclusion. While not intending to exonerate Confucian philosophy from its opponents' charges, the article questions the adequateness of Western liberal feminism as the means to reappropriate Confucian philosophy. It suggests that a more culturally sensitive approach coupling with better historical and contextual analysis would prove to be both helpful and necessary. (shrink)
Since its original publication in Chinese in the 1930s, this work has been accepted by Chinese scholars as the most important contribution to the study of their country's philosophy. In 1952 the book was published by Princeton University Press in an English translation by the distinguished scholar of Chinese history, Derk Bodde, "the dedicated translator of Fung Yu-lan's huge history of Chinese philosophy" (New York Times Book Review). Available for the first time in paperback, it remains (...) the most complete work on the subject in any language. Volume I covers the period of the philosophers, from the beginnings to around 100 B.C., a philosophical period as remarkable as that of ancient Greece. Volume II discusses a period lesser known in the West--the period of classical learning, from the second century B.C. to the twentieth century. (shrink)
"This book examines various issues concerning philosophical methodology, ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language, and logic, and investigates both the living-spring source of Chinese philosophy and its contemporary implications and development through contemporary resources." -- Half t.p.
This new edition offers expanded selections from the works of Kongzi, Mengzi, Zhuangzi, and Xunzi ; two new works, the dialogues _Robber Zhi_ and _White Horse_; a concise general introduction; brief introductions to, and selective bibliographies for, each work; and four appendices that shed light on important figures, periods, texts, and terms in Chinese thought.
The work explains a unifying pluralist account of truth that combines representative truth-concern approaches in Chinese philosophy to posit one foundation of the various movements of thought in Chinese philosophy that pursue “how things are.” Mou contributes a unique, Eastern view to contemporary exploration of the philosophical issue of truth.
This anthology investigates how Searle’s philosophy and Chinese philosophy can jointly contribute to the common philosophical enterprise and shows how such comparative methodology of constructive engagement is important in philosophical inquiry. Searle contributes his keynote essay and his engaging replies to the other contributions.
This anthology investigates how, through critical engagement, Davidson's philosophy and Chinese philosophy can jointly contribute to the common philosophical enterprise and shows how such comparative methodology of constructive engagement is important or even indispensable in general philosophical inquiry.