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David Chai
Chinese University of Hong Kong
  1.  1
    Zhuangzi and the becoming of nothingness.David Chai - 2019 - Albany: State University of New York Press.
    Explores the cosmological and metaphysical thought in the Zhuangzi from the perspective of nothingness. Zhuangzi and the Becoming of Nothingness offers a radical rereading of the Daoist classic Zhuangzi by bringing to light the role of nothingness in grounding the cosmological and metaphysical aspects of its thought. Through a careful analysis of the text and its appended commentaries, David Chai reveals not only how nothingness physically enriches the myriad things of the world, but also why the Zhuangzi prefers nothingness over (...)
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  2. Meontological Generativity: A Daoist Reading of the Thing.David Chai - 2014 - Philosophy East and West 64 (2):303-318.
    This paper relocates the philosophical discourse on the Thing (das Ding) to the world of classical Daoism. In doing so, it explores the bond between the One, the Thing and its signifier before discussing how the Thing unveils itself to the world while receiving the gift of nothingness from Dao. It furthermore contends that the two most prominent discussions of the Thing in the Western tradition--those by Heidegger and Lacan--while philosophically valuable in their own right, fail to provide the degree (...)
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  3.  62
    Daoism and Wu.David Chai - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (10):663-671.
    This paper introduces the concept of nothingness as used in classical Daoist philosophy, building upon contemporary scholarship by offering a uniquely phenomenological reading of the term. It will be argued that the Chinese word wu bears upon two planes of reality concurrently: as ontological nothingness and as ontic nonbeing. Presenting wu in this dyadic manner is essential if we wish to avoid equating it with Dao itself, as many have been wont to do; rather, wu is the mystery that perpetually (...)
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  4.  11
    Wuwei in the Lüshi Chunqiu.David Chai - 2023 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 22 (3):437-455.
    Given wuwei 無為 describes the life praxis of the sage and statecraft of the enlightened ruler while also denoting the comportment of the Dao 道—an alternating state of quiet dormancy and creative activity—are the standard translations of wuwei as “nonaction” or “effortless action” up to the task? They are not, it will be argued, in that they fail to convey the true profundity of wuwei. The objective of this essay is twofold: to show that wuwei is better understood as “abiding (...)
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  5.  87
    Nothingness and the Clearing: Heidegger, Daoism and the Quest for Primal Clarity.David Chai - 2014 - Review of Metaphysics 67 (3): 583 - 601.
    Martin Heidegger has made uncovering the truth of being his life’s work. He ultimately came to locate this truth at the site of the clearing (lichtung), which allowed him to sweep away the traditional formulation of the question of being and begin anew with beyng. This second beginning, as Heidegger called it, stood apart from the original in that he saw fit to cloak beyng in nothingness. This paper explores Heidegger’s use of nothingness and his claim that in order to (...)
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  6.  91
    Meontology in early xuanxue thought.David Chai - 2010 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 37 (1):90-101.
  7. The temporal life of fish : Zhuangzi on perfection in time.David Chai - 2021 - In Livia Kohn (ed.), Dao and time: classical philosophy. [Saint Petersburg]: Three Pines Press.
     
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  8. Dao compainon to Xuanxue.David Chai (ed.) - 2020
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  9.  48
    Zhuangzi’s Meontological Notion of Time.David Chai - 2014 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 13 (3):361-377.
    This article investigates the concept of time as it is laid forth in the Daoist text, the Zhuangzi 莊子. Arguing that authentic time lies with cosmogony and not reality as envisioned by humanity, the Zhuangzi casts off the ontology of the present-now in favor of the existentially creative negativity of Dao 道. As the pivot of Dao, nothingness not only allows us to side-step the issue of temporal directionality, it reflects the meontological nature of Daoist cosmology in general. Framing time (...)
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  10.  70
    Musical naturalism in the thought of Ji Kang.David Chai - 2009 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 8 (2):151-171.
    Wei-Jin period is characterized by neo-Daoism ( xuanxue 玄學), and J I Kang lived in the midst of this philosophical exploration. Adopting the naturalism of the Zhuangzi , J i Kang expressed his socio-political concerns through the medium of music, which was previously regarded as having moral bearing and rectitude. Denying such rectitude became central for J i Kang, who claimed that music was incapable of possessing human emotion, releasing it from the chains of Confucian ritualism. His investigation into the (...)
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  11.  6
    The Way of Awareness in Daoist Philosophy.David Chai - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
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  12.  54
    On Pillowing One’s Skull: Zhuangzi and Heidegger on Death.David Chai - 2016 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 11 (3):483-500.
  13.  22
    Rethinking the Daoist Concept of Nature.David Chai - 2016 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 43 (3-4):259-274.
    Recent years have seen an increased turning to the “wisdom of the East” when addressing issues on the environment. The risk of misappropriating its tenets in order to make them conform to the Western system is extremely high however. This paper will lay bare the early texts of Daoism so as to disprove claims that Nature is mystical, antithetical to technology, and subservient to human consciousness. It shall argue that Nature not only arises from a non-anthropocentric source in Dao but (...)
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  14.  26
    Daoist Encounters with Phenomenology.David Chai (ed.) - 2020 - Bloomsbury.
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  15.  26
    Chinese and Buddhist Philosophy in Early Twentieth-Century German Thought by Eric S. Nelson.David Chai - 2018 - Philosophy East and West 68 (3):1-5.
    Eric Nelson's Chinese and Buddhist Philosophy in Early Twentieth-Century German Thought opens with the following: "The work before you is an interpretive journey through the historical reception of Chinese and Buddhist philosophy in modern German thought, focusing in particular--albeit not exclusively--on the early twentieth century. Its intent is to describe and analyze the intertextual nexus of intersecting sources for the sake of elucidating implications and critical models for intercultural hermeneutics and intercultural philosophy. The possibility of such a philosophy is confronted (...)
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  16.  3
    Daoism and the Meontological Imagination.David Chai - 2019 - Social Imaginaries 5 (2):59-73.
    Of the things needing to be forgotten if we are to partake in the oneness of Dao, language is perhaps the hardest. Since the purpose of words is to delimit things, words create an artificial division between things and their image qua form. While humanity views images as distinct entities, Dao leaves them in their jumbled collectivity; while humanity feels compelled to act upon our thoughts and feelings, Dao remains silent and empty. This leads to the following question: Will modelling (...)
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  17. Dao Companion to Neo-Daoism (Xuanxue).David Chai (ed.) - forthcoming - Springer.
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  18.  8
    Daoist resonances in Heidegger: exploring a forgotten debt.David Chai (ed.) - 2022 - New York: Bloomsbury Academic.
    East Asian imagery resonates throughout Martin Heidegger's writings. In this exploration of the connections between Daoism and his thought, an international team of scholars consider why the Daodejing and Zhuangzi were texts he returned to repeatedly and the extent Heidegger adhered to Daoism's core doctrines. They discuss how Daoist thought provided him with a new perspective, equipping him with images, concepts, and meanings that enabled him to continue his questioning of the nature of being. Exploring the environment, language, death, temporality, (...)
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  19.  3
    Herder and Daoism on Touching the Spirit of Sculpture.David Chai - 2022 - In Gregory S. Moss (ed.), The Being of Negation in Post-Kantian Philosophy. Springer Verlag. pp. 181-190.
    This chapter examines the sculptural aesthetics of Johann Herder and Chinese Daoism. Herder’s thesis that sculpture presents “forms in which the living soul animates the entire body” might have changed the way Europeans viewed the plastic arts, but Daoism had already discovered this “truth” two millennia earlier. What is common to both Herder and Daoism is the argument that sight inherently falls short when it comes to knowing the possibility of human experience. As sight lacks the tactile sensation of touch, (...)
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  20. Ji Kang on Nourishing Life.David Chai - 2017 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 12 (1):38-53.
    Ji Kang’s “An Essay on Nourishing Life” has, for much of its history, been overshadowed by his more famous work “Sound is without Grief or Joy.” Be that as it may, “An Essay on Nourishing Life” is also an important text in that it delves into the interdependence of the heart-mind, spirit, and vital breath, and into how harmony between them is the key to ensuring physical longevity. In addition to investigating this aspect of his thought, this paper will also (...)
     
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  21. Nature and Dao in Huanglao Boshu.David Chai - 2022 - In Hiroshi Abe, Matthias Fritsch & Mario Wenning (eds.), Environmental Philosophy and East Asia: Nature, Time, Responsibility. London: Routledge.
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  22.  8
    Philosophical Influences of Mao Zedong, written by Robert E. Allinson.David Chai - 2022 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 49 (4):424-426.
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  23.  20
    Paul Tillich, Zhuangzi, and the Creational Role of Nonbeing.David Chai - 2019 - Philosophy East and West 69 (2):337-356.
    For Paul Tillich, the age-old question "Why is there something and not nothing?"1 is easily answerable: there is something because thought begins with being. However, being alone is insufficient to explain the causal root of reality; the world exists, Tillich says, in a dialectical relationship with nonbeing. This nonbeing is not the absolute Nothing out of which God creates things ex nihilo; on the contrary, it is a relative form of non-being that threatens to eradicate the finite being of things. (...)
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  24.  5
    Reading Ji Kang's Essays: Xuanxue in Early-Medieval China.David Chai - 2021 - New York, NY: Routledge.
    This is the first English-language book on the philosophy of Ji Kang. Moreover, it offers the first systematic treatment of his philosophy, thus filling a significant gap in English-language scholarship on early medieval Chinese literature and philosophy. David Chai brings to light Ji Kang's Neo-Daoist heritage and explores the themes in his writings that were derived from classical Daoism, most notably the need for humanity to return to a more harmonious co-existence with Nature to further our own self-understanding. His analysis (...)
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  25.  15
    Shitao and the Enlightening Experience of Painting.David Chai - 2021 - Dialogue and Universalism 31 (3):93-112.
    Having reached its zenith in the Song dynasty, Chinese landscape painting in the dynasties that followed became highly formulaic as artists simply copied the old masters to perfect their skills. This orthodox approach was not accepted by everyone however; some painters criticized it, arguing it was better to learn the ideas behind the techniques of the old masters than to blindly copy them. Shitao was one such critic and his Manual on Painting exemplifies his desire to disassociate himself from the (...)
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  26.  24
    Wandering beneath Sacred Canopies: Robert C. Neville's Systematic Theology.David Chai - 2017 - Philosophy East and West 67 (1):267-273.
    Robert Neville’s three-volume set, Philosophical Theology, is a work of considerable physical heft and remarkable intellectual scope, a magnum opus that redefines how we understand religion and its place in the interconnected world of today: “Religion is human engagement of ultimacy expressed in cognitive articulations, existential responses to ultimacy that give ultimate definition to the individual and community, and patterns of life and ritual in the face of ultimacy”. This new definition is necessitated by the fact that “the ultimate reality (...)
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  27.  29
    Zhuangzi and Musical Apophasis.David Chai - 2017 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 16 (3):355-370.
    Whether music is a catalyst for virtuous or licentious behavior, decadent or sparse thoughts, there is no doubting its importance to human civilization; but what of the sounds of Nature? For the Daoist philosopher Zhuangzi 莊子, the sounds of Nature are the epitome of what humanity calls music. Neither contrived nor laden with predispositions, they reflect the unity of things in Dao 道. Focusing on the xianchi 咸池 story in Chapter 14 of the Zhuangzi, this article argues that the true (...)
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  28.  14
    Leah Kalmanson et al., eds. Levinas and Asian Thought. [REVIEW]David Chai - 2015 - Philosophy East and West 65 (2):639-643.
  29.  74
    Liu, Xiaogan, ed., Dao Companion to Daoist Philosophy: Dordrecht: Springer, 2015, vii + 569 pages. [REVIEW]David Chai - 2015 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 14 (2):303-306.
  30.  27
    One and Many: A Comparative Study of Plato’s Philosophy and Daoism Represented. By Ji Zhang. [REVIEW]David Chai - 2014 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 41 (1-2):221-224.
  31.  69
    Philosophy and Religion in Early Medieval China. Edited by Alan K. L. Chan and Yuet-Keung Lo. (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2010. v, 375 Pp. Hardback, ISBN 978-1-4384-3187-1. Paperback, ISBN 978-1-4384-3188-8.)/ Interpretation and Literature in Early Medieval China. Edited by Alan K. L. Chan and Yuet-Keung Lo. [REVIEW]David Chai - 2012 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 39 (2):314-316.
  32. Raphals, Lisa. Divination and Prediction in Early China and Ancient Greece. [REVIEW]David Chai - 2015 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 10 (2):322-326.
  33. T.C. Kline and Justin Tiwald, eds., Ritual and Religion in the Xunzi. [REVIEW]David Chai - 2016 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 11 (2):320-323.
     
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  34.  62
    Wang, Weiwei 王威威, A Study of Hanfeizi’s Thought: Taking Huanglao as the Root 韩非思想研究: 以黄老为本: Nanjing 南京: Nanjing Daxue Chubanshe 南京大学出版社, 2012, iii + 231 pages. [REVIEW]David Chai - 2013 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 12 (1):137-139.
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