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.
Design research has been positioned as an important methodological contribution of the learning sciences. Despite the publication of a handbook on the subject, the practice of design research in education remains an eclectic collection of specific approaches implemented by different researchers and research groups. In this paper, I examine the learning sciences as a design science to identify its fundamental goals, methods, affiliations, and assumptions. I argue that inherent tensions arise when attempting to practice design research as an analytic science. (...) Drawing inspiration and insight from Chinese philosophy and the practice of Chinese medicine, I propose that the learning sciences may better attain its claims to science through greater reliance on inductive synthesis rather than linear causal analysis. In so doing, I reposition the endeavor of science making within the metaphysics of process philosophy instead of classical Western philosophy. I suggest that theory building will be strengthened empirically and pragmatically by more careful observation and systematic generalization of the stability patterns of design related phenomena. It also needs to be more situated in its orientation. (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)
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)
_An Introduction to Chinese Philosophy_ unlocks the mystery of ancient Chinese philosophy and unravels the complexity of Chinese Buddhism by placing them in the contemporary context of discourse. Elucidates the central issues and debates in Chinese philosophy, its different schools of thought, and its major philosophers. Covers eight major philosophers in the ancient period, among them Confucius, Laozi, and Zhuangzi. Illuminates the links between different schools of philosophy. Opens the door to further study of the relationship (...) between Chinese and Western philosophy. (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)
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.
Th is paper is the second part of a general study on the relationship between Nishida and Chinese philosophy. In the fi rst, I explored the extent to which Nishida’s philosophy was infl uenced, directly and indirectly, explicitly and implicitly, historically and conceptually, by materials coming from the intellectual horizon of Chinese thought. I concentrate here on Nishida’s own position toward what he understood by “Chinese philosophy.” Is this philosophy, so suggestive for Nishida, promoted to a central (...) place in his work or not, and if so, in what sense might we take this idea of “centrality” as specifi cally Chinese? In setting forth several archetypes of Chinese thought present in Nishida’s philosophy, the focus of this article falls on the methodological, logical and metaphysical contrasts we can identify between the Japanese philosopher and Chinese philosophy as his underground intellectual sources. (shrink)
In 300 BCE, the tutor of the heir-apparent to the Chu throne was laid to rest in a tomb at Jingmen, Hubei province in central China. A corpus of bamboo-strip texts that recorded the philosophical teachings of an era was buried with him. The tomb was sealed, and China quickly became the theater of the Qin conquest, an event that proved to be one of the most significant in ancient history. For over two millennia, the texts were forgotten. But in (...) October 1993, they were unearthed. The discovery of the Guodian texts, together with other recently discovered Warring States manuscripts, has revolutionized the study of early Chinese intellectual history. Kenneth Holloway argues that the Guodian corpus puts forth a political philosophy based on the harmonious interconnection of individuals engaged in moral self-cultivation. This unique worldview, says Holloway, cannot meaningfully be categorized as "Confucian" or "Daoist," because it shares important concepts and vocabulary with a number of different textual traditions that have anachronistically been characterized as competing or incompatible "schools" of thought. He finds that within the Guodian corpus familiar philosophical concepts and texts are applied in distinctive ways, presenting a worldview that is quite different from the received textual traditions. In the corpus, the most important function of government is to assist in the harmonization of state and family relations. It sees the relationship between these two entities - the family and the collection of families that ultimately constitute the state - as being inherently conflicting social groupings. The texts posit an interesting solution: State and family disharmony can be overcome by developing a hybrid government that employs both meritocratic and aristocratic methods. Without knowledge of the emphasis on hybridization found in the Guodian texts, however, scholars were unable to understand the interrelationships between these two methods of government. This new understanding illuminates central issues of government, religion, and philosophy in early China that were overlooked in received texts. As part of the contribution to our understanding of this particular body of texts, Holloway proposes a methodology for assessing a corpus of texts without relying on assumptions and definitions that derive from two thousand years of scholarship. The Guodian corpus, and Holloway's analysis of it, are now absolutely indispensable to any student or scholar of ancient Chinese intellectual history. (shrink)
To explore the development of contemporary Chinese philosophy, fundamentally, is to explore the development of Marxist philosophy in contemporary China. The disputes over philosophical views in Chinese academic circles during the first half of the twentieth century have been focused on understanding Marxist philosophy from such aspects as "what kind of philosophy Chinese society needs," "the relation of philosophy to science," and "philosophy as an idea to reflect on one's life." These explorations have provided us a significant (...) ideological insight into the development of Marxist philosophy and contemporary Chinese philosophy; that is, in contemporary China, Marxist philosophy, as a doctrine of the liberation and all-round development of human beings, exists not only as a kind of"doctrine" or "academy" but also as a kind of widely accepted "xueyuan (academic cultivations)" among people. (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)
In this paper, I first address two facets that can play a role in initiating a paradigm shift in comparative studies of Heidegger and Chinese philosophy: One is the necessity of renovating methodology in studies of Chinese philosophy and comparative philosophy. The other is an adequate understanding of Heidegger’s own comportment toward East-West dialogue. In this connection I briefly respond to some criticisms of my book Heidegger on East-West Dialogue: Anticipating the Event. Then I stake out three directions (...) of re-configuration or reorientation entailed in such a paradigm shift. The first direction is concerned with a deconstruction of the notion of philosophy. The second direction is related to a critical and intercultural approach to Heidegger’s thinking. The third direction is connected with the overcoming of the unilateral direction in comparative studies. (shrink)
Modern-contemporary transformation of western philosophy -- Postmodernism and tendencies of contemporary philosophy -- Present philosophical tendencies : a comparative study of Marxist and contemporary Western philosophy -- Modern-contemporary transformation of Western philosophy and changes of ideas in morality and value -- Modern-contemporary transformation of Western philosophy and changes of Western religion and its philosophy -- A reflection on "humanism" and "philosophical trend in humanism" -- Market economy and moral theory of pragmatism -- The sixty-year samsara of studies on pragmatism and (...) the road of cultural development in China : the state of studies on Western philosophy in China -- Researches in contemporary Western philosophy under winds and rains : philosophy and modernization -- Western philosophical trends and Chinese modernization -- Market economy, civil society, individuality, and modernization : moral predicament and reconstruction in contemporary China -- Globalization and fusion of )rient-Western philosophy and culture. (shrink)
The History of Chinese Philosophy is a comprehensive and authoritative examination of the movements and thinkers that have shaped Chinese philosophy over the last three thousand years. An outstanding team of international contributors provide seventeen accessible entries organised into five clear parts: Identity of Chinese Philosophy Classical Chinese Philosophy : Pre-Han Period Classical Chinese Philosophy : From Han Through Tang Classical Chinese Philosophy : From Song Through Early Qing Modern Chinese Philosophy: From Late (...) Qing Through 21st Century This outstanding collection is essential reading for students of Chinese philosophy, and will be of interest to those seeking to explore the lasting significance this rich and complex philosophical tradition. (shrink)
This volume is devoted to studying the emergence and flourishing of new humanistically informed developments in philosophical hermeneutics within contemporary Chinese philosophy. By means of some articles published previously in the Journal of Chinese Philosophy in the 1970s and 1980s, questions about the nature of philosophical understanding and the diversity of hermeneutic options in Chinese indigenous teachings – including Ruist (“Confucian”), Daoist, and Chinese Buddhist realms of exploration – are reintroduced. Following these seminal essays, a number (...) of new pieces written by philosophers and sinologists active in evaluating basic orientations toward philosophical understanding in China are presented. Some offer new insights into the confluence of Gadamerian and Ruist approaches to philosophy, while others employ more critical methods to indicate why serious hermeneutic inquiries into these indigenous traditions and their most representative texts reveal significant challenges for the informed reader. The focus of this volume centers on issues arising in early Ruist and Daoist texts – the Analects and the Zhuangzi – and then moves to examine hermeneutic claims asserted in the synthetic philosophical efforts of Zhu Xi (1130-1200). A sequel dealing with modern and contemporary themes in Chinese hermeneutics will appear in the March 2007 issue of the Journal of Chinese Philosophy. (shrink)
Intended as a guide to the main schools of thought in Chinese philosophy, this book introduces the reader to basic concepts and problems which have fascinated and challenged Chinese philosophers over a period of three thousand years.
At the confluence of the philosophy of education and social/political philosophy lies the question of how we should educate the next generation of philosophy professors. Part of the question involves how broad such an education should be in order to educate teachers with the ability to, themselves, educate citizens competent to function in a diverse, globalized world. As traditional Western education systems from elementary schools through universities have embraced multicultural sources over the last few decades, philosophy Ph.D. programs have bucked (...) this trend, clinging tightly to traditional Western sources and problems. While this claim will come as no surprise to those working in the field, there is little published evidence or discussion of the tacit rejection of multiculturalism by philosophy Ph.D. programs, and few people outside the field realize how Eurocentric these programs remain. This article provides evidence and discussion of this fact, focusing on the case of Chinese philosophy in American Ph.D. programs. (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)
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)
Unlike traditional Western philosophy, which places no special emphasis on the importance of family structure, traditional Chinese philosophy represented by Confucianism is a set of theories that give family a primary position. With family as the foundation, a complete framework of “human body → two genders → family and clan” is formed. Therefore, family in Chinese philosophy is existent, gender-interactive and diachronic. It should also be noted that family also plays a fundamental role in Chinese theories on (...) cosmology, religion, and many other subjects. In other words, Chinese culture as a whole is imprinted with reflections on family. Nowadays, as the value of family becomes less prominent, re-examining ancient Chinese philosophy will undoubtedly bear theoretical significance. Meanwhile, traditional Chinese philosophy can also offer an ideological framework for the re-construction of family values in the contemporary world. (shrink)
The concept of Nothingness—Japanese mu or Chinese wú 無—is central both to the Kyoto School and to important strands of Chinese philosophy. The Kyoto School, which has been active since the 1930s, is arguably modern Japan’s most philosophically sophisticated challenge to Western thought. Further, as contemporary East Asia continues to rise in importance, East Asians and Westerners alike are beginning to consider anew the contemporary philosophical relevance of Confucianism, Daoism, and East-Asian Buddhism. These originally Chinese traditions were (...) certainly important influences directly and indirectly on Kyoto School philosophy itself. At the very least, Kyoto thought and Chinese thought share foundational structural resemblances, especially regarding the concept of Nothingness. This study summarizes the concept of Nothingness in the Kyoto School and in Chinese philosophy, and then offers an evaluation of the contemporary relevance and general coherence of this concept. (shrink)
The debate on the yan-yi relation was carried out by Chinese philosophers collectively, and the principles and methods in the debate still belong to a living tradition of Chinese philosophy. From Yijing (Book of Changes), Lunyu (Analects), Laozi and Zhuangzi to Wang Bi, "yi" which cannot be expressed fully by yan (language), is not only "idea" or "meaning" in the human mind, but is also some kind of ontological existence, which is beyond yan and emblematic symbols, and unspeakable. (...) Thus, the debate on the yan-yi relation refers firstly to metaphysics, secondly to moral philosophy, and then to epistemology and philosophy of language. Guided by this view, this paper recalls the source of the debate on the yan-yi relation to Yijing and Lunyu, distinguishes four meanings of "yi" in Chinese philosophy, and reconstructs three arguments. These arguments are the "yan cannot express yi fully" argument, "forget yan once you get yi" argument, and "yan can express yi fully" argument. Finally, this paper exposes and comments on those principles, methods and the general tendency shown in the debate from the following five aspects: starting point, value-preference, methodology, texts (papers and books), and influences. (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 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)
Since the "Conference on Foreign Philosophy" held in Wuhu in October 1978, the study of foreign philosophy in China has undergone a prosperous stage. This article discusses the significance of the study of foreign philosophy in the context of renovation, transformation and remolding of Chinese contemporary culture, explores the role of the discipline in the context of Chinese cultural construction, and anticipates the future of this discipline. A cross-cultural perspective is needed for a proper understanding of the significance (...) of the learning and study of foreign philosophy in Chinese cultural construction; otherwise we might fall into cultural conservationism. Secondly, to make philosophy and social sciences prosperous is also a task for foreign philosophy studies, and whether or not foreign philosophy can be well studied should be a mark of the prosperousness of the construction of Chinese culture. Finally, philosophy is a product of human beings and should eventually serve human beings. Chinese culture should open itself up to the world and so should foreign philosophy studies in China. (shrink)
Chinese philosophy was transmitted to Europe in the 18th century through Deism, organic philosophy, pure reason, absolute idea, etc., and was absorbed by modern European philosophers. Chinese philosophy has also, via German classical philosophy, directly as well as indirectly influenced Marx and been absorbed into his philosophy. There is a cultural-psychological reason for the Chinese acceptance of Marxism. However, due to the influence of Occidentalism, this period of history has long been neglected.
The epistemology in Chinese philosophy remarkably emphasizes the cultivation of cognitive subjects. According to such epistemology, intelligence arises from benevolence, and thus morality should be valued to gain knowledge. In this way, epistemology is integrated with theories of values and cultivation. The cultivation of cognitive subjects in Chinese philosophy mainly involves a stance, attitudes, ways of thinking and feelings of a cognitive subject. To expatiate and develop the theory of the cultivation of cognitive subjects in Chinese philosophy (...) has much meaning for the construction of a modern Chinese-style Marxist philosophy system. (shrink)
The debate on the yan-yi relation was carried out by Chinese philosophers collectively, and the principles and methods in the debate still belong to a living tradition of Chinese philosophy. From Yijing, Lunyu, Laozi and Zhuangzi to Wang Bi, "yi" which cannot be expressed fully by yan, is not only "idea" or "meaning" in the human mind, but is also some kind of ontological existence, which is beyond yan and emblematic symbols, and unspeakable. Thus, the debate on the (...) yan-yi relation refers firstly to metaphysics, secondly to moral philosophy, and then to epistemology and philosophy of language. Guided by this view, this paper recalls the source of the debate on the yan-yi relation to Yijing and Lunyu, distinguishes four meanings of "yi" in Chinese philosophy, and reconstructs three arguments. These arguments are the "yan cannot express yi fully" argument, "forget yan once you get yi" argument, and "yan can express yi fully" argument. Finally, this paper exposes and comments on those principles, methods and the general tendency shown in the debate from the following five aspects: starting point, value-preference, methodology, texts, and influences. (shrink)
Independent narration in Chinese philosophy has gone through the process of interpretation, critical differentiation, dialogue, and original thought, and so is a creative activity that surpasses the conjunctive pattern of universality and particularity. In modern Confucian studies, there has always been a tension between philosophical and historical explanations, which suggests a tension between ecumenical and indigenous experiences. Critical differentiation itself only has methodological significance, and is not a goal in itself. China’s development and strength has encouraged China to engage (...) in philosophical dialogue with the West. It is the task and direction of future philosophical creativity to face the contemporary existence, re-construct Confucianism’s relationship with modern life, and respond in a metaphysical and positive manner to the challenges imposed by modernity. (shrink)
Covering the historical, social, political, and cultural contexts, The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Chinese Philosophy and Gender presents a comprehensive overview of the complexity of gender disparity in Chinese thought and culture. -/- Divided into four main sections, an international group of experts in Chinese Studies write on Confucian, Daoist and Buddhist approaches to gender relations. Each section includes a general introduction, a set of authoritative articles written by leading scholars and comprehensive bibliographies, designed to provide the (...) non-specialist with a practical and broad overview. Beginning with the Ancient and Medieval period before moving on to Modern and Contemporary approaches, specially commissioned chapters include Pre-Qin canonical texts, women in early Chinese ethics, the yin-yang gender dynamic and the Buddhist understanding of the conception of gender. Considering why the philosophy of women and gender dynamics in Chinese thought is rarely confronted, The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Chinese Philosophy and Gender is a pioneering cross-disciplinary introduction to Chinese philosophy's intersection with gender studies. -/- By bridging the fields of Chinese philosophy, religion, intellectual history, feminism, and gender studies, this cutting-edge volume fills a great need in the current literature on Chinese philosophy and provides student and scholars with an invaluable research resource to a growing field. - See more at: http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/the-bloomsbury-research-handbook-of-chinese-philosophy-and-gender-9781472569851/#sthash.vFg3oUPk.dpuf. (shrink)
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.
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)
_The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Chinese Philosophy Methodologies_ offers rich, productive discussion of methodological best practices in Chinese philosophy. The participants to this exchange are largely representative of the diverse methodologies currently undertaken in Chinese philosophy, and their contributions illuminate key dimensions of the nature of comparative work and its possibilities. The volume serves as a valuable introduction to the methodological perspectives of established figures in the field, rehearsing influential views and offering diverse insights. The return to (...) shared themes serves well to connect the essays and draw the reader into a rich conversation over how to approach comparative philosophy. Its diversity of methodological views is complemented by variety in the methods of discussing and understanding those methodological views. (shrink)
There is yet to be any animal welfare or protection law for domestic animals in China, one of the few countries in the world today that do not have such laws. However, in Chinese imperial law, there were legal provisions adopted more than a 1,000 years ago for the care and treatment of domestic working animals. Furthermore, in traditional Chinese philosophy, animals were regarded as constituent part of the organic whole of the cosmos by ancient Chinese philosophers (...) who saw no strict delineation between humans and non-human animals. Notwithstanding, the attitude and practice towards animals in ancient Chinese life was also ambivalent and was predicated upon the practical utility of animals for the service of humans and society. Such practice can be seen through the legal provisions in imperial China. This paper first discusses animal’s place in traditional Chinese philosophy and then in Chinese imperial law. It raises the issue of the gap discernable from the philosophical thought on animals and practice regarding animals in everyday life in China. The paper argues that given the gap in perception and attitude regarding animals, law can play an important role that moral teaching has not been able to achieve. (shrink)
In the history of Chinese and European philosophy, metaphysics has played an outstanding role: it is a theoretical framework which provides the basis for a philosophical understanding of the world and the self. A theory of the self is well integrated in a metaphysical understanding of the totality of nature as a dynamic process of continuous changes. According to this view, the purpose of existence can be conceived of as the development and realization of the full potential given to (...) the individual by its nature. In regard to human nature specifically, this idea of self-realization includes the development of all cognitive faculties as well as of the moral character. Metaphysics has, however, suffered a loss of importance in current debates, especially in ethics. As a result, we observe the emergence of such philosophical views as moral skepticism and even nihilism. The consequence of this tendency has been the renunciation of a claim to understanding and to providing a solid ground for ethics. Yet an intercultural dialogue can provide us with some hope as the consolidation of debates on crucial topics of our traditions might indeed serve as the basis for a more powerful philosophy in the future. (shrink)