Fifteen years after the publication of my assessment of comparative philosophy in the inaugural issue of Dao, this article comments on some of the major changes that have taken place in the field since Dao began. One of the most significant is the improvement in the conditions for Chinese philosophy in mainland China and the return of many of the original participants in Dao’s audience to positions in East Asia from earlier careers in the West. The article also surveys advances (...) in various forms of objective and normative comparison and in the development of metaphysics based on Chinese models. (shrink)
The author constructs a philosophy of nature dealing with being, identity, value, space, time, motion, and causality, and uses that as a basis for a theory of hermeneutics to address contemporary problems of interpretation.
Both individually and collectively, the five essays in this groups are brilliant. Each of the authors has worked with extraordinary care and success to represent my position, and they all succeed. The essays work to expound my thought in a progressive order. Bin Song's lays out my approach to comparison, setting it within the larger whole of my philosophy. David Rohr's explores in depth my epistemology and shows its relevance to my philosophy as a whole and also to its application (...) to Christian sermons. Michael Raposa's works through my specific claims about how "praying the ultimate" is its real meaning. Andrew Irvine's carries that thought through to religionless religion, asking: What if that is really... (shrink)
From the standpoint that both modernism and postmodernism look like nothing more than two late modern movements, too preoccupied with themselves and their historical place to engage a swiftly changing world containing more than the Western ...
This paper identifies five dimensions of cosmopolitanism, though doubtless there are many more: cosmopolitanism in decision making, engaging others, attaining personal wholeness, the ultimate value-identity of life, and religious sensibility. These are discussed in terms of the Confucian ideas of the “Four Beginnings,” ritual, life as cultivated education, sagehood, public versus private life, Principle, heart-mind, harmony, value, humaneness, “love with differences,” “roots and branches,” and filiality, among others. In all, it presents Confucianism as a living tradition that is facing up (...) to how it might extend itself in light of the need for cosmopolitanism. (shrink)
"Racism and Anti-Blackness" in America is very bad.1 What has pragmatism had to say about this? Charles S. Peirce was a racist and thought that blacks are inferior.2 Much as most readers of this journal love him for other things, Peirce's pragmatism needs to change in this regard insofar as it bears on his racist views. A significant part of Peirce's racism came from his appreciation of science. Louis Agassiz strongly opposed Darwinian evolution and upheld racist views regarding Africans; he (...) was a close friend of Peirce's father, Benjamin Peirce, who long defended Agassiz. After the Civil War, many scientists added Mexicans and Native Americans to the list of inferior peoples who needed to be controlled by the... (shrink)
Let me begin by giving preliminary definition to the two kinds of contingency named in my title, although I shall argue that the distinction between them gets too complicated to sustain in the long run. Cosmological contingency is the contingency of things within the world upon other things within the world, plus perhaps their own spontaneous creativity. Ontological contingency is the contingency of everything in the world that is determinate in any way upon an ontological ground. That ontological ground cannot (...) itself be determinate, and you can recollect Plotinus's One, Thomas Aquinas's Pure Act of To Be, Brahman without qualities, or the Ultimate of Non-Being in Zhou Dunyi's philosophy for sample conceptions of... (shrink)
The chief problematic for contemporary systematic metaphysics is to develop categories for understanding the world as having value at the same time that it is explicable by science. Western philosophical thinking, with major exceptions, has tracked science by understanding the world to be factual but not intrinsically valuable. Chinese philosophy in all periods has understood human beings to be embedded within society which in turn is embedded within nature, all of which bear values of appropriate types. Themes in Chinese philosophy (...) contribute to this problematic of systematic metaphysics in important ways, explored in this article. (shrink)
The Renaissance development of science fulfilled the ancient ideal of integrating quantitative and qualitative thinking, but failed to recognize valuational thinking and thus deprived moral, aesthetic, and political thought of cognitive status. The task of this book is to reconstruct the concept of thinking in order to exhibit valuation, not reason, as the foundation for thinking and to integrate valuational with quantitative and qualitative modes. Part I explains the broad thesis, interpreting the problem of the foundations for thinking and providing (...) a general theory of value. Part II explains the role of valuation at the imaginative level of thinking with discussions of synthesis, perception, form, and art. The method of reconstruction requires a cosmology that is generated in successive waves. (shrink)
The general thesis of this article is that contemporary Chinese philosophy needs to be more creative than it is.1 It proposes eight new projects for Chinese philosophy to undertake that involve creativity. But first it asks what the term "Chinese philosophy" means in the current philosophical context.To some people, it means the tradition of philosophy in China from the ancient world of the Zhou texts, the Confucians, Daoists, and other schools, through its development up to the point where Western intellectual (...) influences became prominent in the nineteenth century.2 An appendix to this conception is the attempt to recover the vitality of the historical Chinese schools after the onslaught of Western thought (and .. (shrink)
Ignorance has its advantages. When philosophy has a comparative dimension, for instance, and a philosopher from one culture considers a philosophy from another, the philosophy attains a life of its own somewhat freed from its cultural context. In this circumstance the philosopher's ignorance of the cultural ground and consequences of the ideas allows an unusual freedom for appropriating the ideas to new contexts.
At its January 2017 meeting, the Executive Committee of the Peirce Society decided to plan a panel on "Charles S. Peirce and the Study of Religion" for the American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting in November, 2017, in Boston. The AAR accepted our proposal as a special meeting and I had the privilege of organizing and chairing it. We are pleased that the panel of papers will be published as a group in The Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society.Michael (...) L. Raposa's paper, "On Reading God's Great Poem: A Delayed Response to Christopher Hookway," picks up a long debate about the extent to which Peirce's late "Neglected Argument for the Reality of God" is continuous or discontinuous with his early work.Brandon... (shrink)
One enduring legacy of the twentieth century will be the slow, certain transformation of the world from insular civilizations to interactive societies enmeshed in global systems of electronic communication, economics, and politics. Financial news from Thailand or Brazil is often more important globally than political events in the old centers of power. Some bemoan the uncertainty and flux of all this. However, the mutual definition of the world’s societies presents an extraordinary opportunity to humanize a situation that all too quickly (...) could degenerate into a Weberian ‘iron cage’ of truly global proportions. What contribution can the world’s great philosophical traditions make toward humanity’s common task of civilizing the rise of globalization? Here the ancient concept of paideia walks upon the stage of the twenty-first century. (shrink)
With this book, Wang Yang-ming has been the subject of three full-scale volumes in English since 1976, the others being Julia Ching's To Acquire Wisdom and Wei-ming Tu's Neo-Confucian Thought in Action. Although there are a few older books and many articles on Wang, the recent surge of interest is long overdue for a philosopher whose influence in East Asia has been comparable roughly to that of Descartes in the West. Wang Yang-ming was a government official, a missionary of Chinese (...) high culture to barbarian tribesmen when exiled by the government, an exceptional general and military strategist, and above all a philosopher concerned to follow and teach the path to sageliness. Raised in a traditional Confucian home, Wang seriously pursued both taoism and Buddhism before returning to Confucianism as a path to sageliness that requires addressing dense social obligation. Because of his first-hand encounter with those other "taos," Wang made a fresh approach to Neo-Confucianism, which supplements the Confucian social orientation with taoist interests in nature and in something like metaphysics and also with a Buddhist interest in personal self-cultivation. (shrink)
A key existential problem for paideia in the modern Western world—and perhaps for much elsewhere—is to build up the continuum of engagement from the subtle signs of contemporary scientific, artistic, and imaginative society down through the depths of nature. That continuum has been prevented by the modern creation of a fake culture of artificial self-sufficiency within which nature appears only tamed and cooked, and which deflects interpretive engagements of deeper nature except where leakages occur. What can be done about learning (...) for humanity and the natural world? In what follows, I put forth three suggestions. (shrink)
This is a systematic theology focusing on what makes Jesus important in Christianity. It studies six families of symbols about Jesus, showing how they are true for some people, not true for others, and not meaningful for a third group. Divine creation is analysed in metaphysical and symbolic terms, and religious symbolism is shown to be wholly compatible with a late-modern scientific world view. Robert Cummings Neville, a leading philosophical theologian, presents and illustrates an elaborate theory of religious symbols according (...) to which God is directly engaged in symbolically shaped thinking and practice. Symbols are not distancing substitutes for God. Theology of symbolic engagement is defended as an alternative to doctrinal or descriptive theology. This major work re-shapes the way we think about Jesus, and will be of value to students, academics, clergy with theological training, and others grappling with the meaning and importance of religious symbols in our age. (shrink)
Unlike John Cobb, Jr., and others, I argue that the problems of pluralism cannot even be formulated accurately without a far more complicated thoery of religions than usually functions in the pluralism discussions. A thory of religious worldviews is sketched that shows that religious symbols need to the proximate, from the sophisticated to folk religion, from explicit values to implicit functioning values, from tight determination of the life to loose determination, from deep commitment to light commitment.
David R. Griffin’s new Whitehead’s Radically Different Postmodern Philosophy: An Argument for Its Contemporary Relevance contains a chapterlong Whiteheadian response to several criticisms I have leveled against process theology. While encouraging his attempt to promote Whitehead as a preferred alternative to foundationalist modernism and postmodernism, I undertake to rebut Griffin’s arguments through discussions of the following topics: the one and the many, the finite versus infinite character of God, creation ex nihilo, the nature of determinateness and the need for every (...) determinate thing to have a creator, the applicability of the Ontological Principle to explaining a complex of first principles, the inclusion of time within ontological eternity, the goodness versus wildness of God, the nature of religious experience, and the uses of religious language. (shrink)
LEADERSHIP, I SHALL ARGUE, is a role obligated by social conditions, deriving from the reality of value, and demanding the exercise of courage. Plato, Confucius, and the author of the Books of Samuel enunciated these interlocked themes early in the axial age, and they require fresh reflection in every age. That the bearing of value and courage on leadership is a metaphysical theme, and not merely a topic for political philosophy or Weberian sociology, is a promissory note at this stage (...) in my remarks, to be paid up by their conclusion. (shrink)
Part of the recent neglect of eternity comes from a poor definition of it as static abstraction, as mere form, or even robust form that is not so mere. This, of course, could not be what the ancients such as Origin or Plotinus must have meant when they claimed that God is eternal, and thus more real than things that change. Therefore, my first task here is to develop a contemporary theory of eternity that is worth being an orientation point (...) for time in education. I argue that the importance of eternity for education lies in the fact that true human identity—and the identity of such human affairs as might exhibit the obligations of responsibility—are eternal as well as temporal. Temporally we live day by day, with the date of the present determining the past that is actual and fixed and the future that is open in various structured ways. The temporal structure of life as such is insufficient to account for moral identity with any sense of responsibility for acting through time. In the following, I will illustrate this point and then draw a lesson about eternity from it. (shrink)