"China has 'arrived,' and RonnieLittlejohn helps us know this antique culture better. In his entirely accessible introduction, Littlejohn has done the academy the timely service of resourcing the best contemporary research in sinology to tell the compelling story of a living Confucianism as it has meandered through the dynasties to flow down to our present time." -- Roger T. Ames, Professor of Philosophy, University of Hawai’i "Although basically intended as an introductory text for undergraduates, this book (...) is equally a very useful one for everyone with a serious interest in things sinological to have on their bookshelves. Littlejohn has surveyed well the modern Western scholarship on the manifold dimensions of the Confucian persuasion from its earliest beginnings to the present, and proffers it to the reader in a clearly written and commendably balanced narrative, complete with notes, references, and a working bibliography for further studies of this ancient but still vibrant philosophical and religious tradition we know as 'Confucianism'." —Henry Rosemont, Jr, George B & Wilma Reeves Distinguished Professor of the Liberal Arts Emeritus, St Mary’s College of Maryland, and Visiting Professor of Religious Studies, Brown University . (shrink)
"Littlejohn organizes his introduction around the central metaphor of a spreading kudzu vine, whose roots, trunk, stalks, branches, and leaves grow beneath, in, around, and over the vast and complex terrain of Chinese culture. He does a marvellous job exploring the origins, developments, and transformations of Daoism by guiding readers through canonical texts, across historical contexts, and around expressions of Daoism in fine art, popular symbols, literature, ritual, and other forms of material culture. The result is a masterful and (...) comprehensive introduction to this protean, venerable, and vital tradition that will engage and enlighten novices and experts alike and delight anyone interested in Chinese religion, philosophy, or culture."--Philip J. Ivanhoe, Reader-Professor of Philosophy, City University of Hong Kong . (shrink)
Experimental Essays on Zhuangzi is a classic in the field. Originally published in 1983, this edition makes it available again in an expanded version, with four additional contributions, and in an updated format, with pinyin transcription, Chinese characters embedded in the text, and reference-style notes. The work is a well-respected textbook and essential reader in Daoist thought. It continues to constitute an essential contribution to the study of Daoism and Chinese philosophy. Show More Show Less.
The Liezi is the forgotten classic of Daoism. Along with the Laozi (Daodejing) and the Zhuangzi, it's been considered a Daoist masterwork since the mid-eighth century, yet unlike those well-read works, the Liezi is little known and receives scant scholarly attention. Nevertheless, the Liezi is an important text that sheds valuable light on the early history of Daoism, particularly the formative period of sectarian Daoism. We do not know exactly what shape the original text took, but what remains is replete (...) with fantastic characters, whimsical tales, paradoxical aphorisms, and philosophically sophisticated reflection on the nature of the world and humanity's place within it. Ultimately, the Liezi sees the world as one of change and indeterminacy. Arguing for the Liezi's historical, philosophical, and literary significance, the contributors to this volume offer a fresh look at this text, using contemporary approaches and providing novel insights. The volume is unique in its attention to both philosophical and religious perspectives. (shrink)
As is well known, the Dao Companions to Chinese Philosophy series is offered as a comprehensive and up-to-date introduction to various aspects of Chinese philosophy. The series is quite expensive, but should belong at a minimum in all libraries where Chinese studies, Chinese philosophy, and Comparative Philosophy are in the schedule of course offerings. This volume, Dao Companion to Classical Confucian Philosophy, edited by the University of Toronto’s Vincent Shen is divided into two general sections: “Historical Background” and “Philosophical Issues.” (...) The span of study is “Classical Confucianism,” demarcated as the period from Confucius to Xunzi, and... (shrink)
Chinese Philosophy: Overview of Topics If Chinese philosophy may be said to have begun around 2000 B.C.E., then it represents the longest continuous heritage of philosophical reflection. Trying to mention each philosopher or every significant thinker is not possible. This article is highly selective by choosing philosophers according to two basic principles: Those who … Continue reading Chinese Philosophy: Overview of Topics →.
Fan Ruiping is engaged in a wide-ranging project to reconstruct Confucianism for the contemporary period. It includes his sustained attack on John Rawls’ theory of distributive justice, various Chinese policies and practices on the delivery of health and elder care, and global business ethics. This paper describes his revised Confucian understanding of environmental morality under the metaphor of nature as garden and man as gardener. I argue the current state of this effort is in need of a more robust appropriation (...) of Chinese sources and a greater attention to comparative analogues using the garden metaphor. I conclude with some suggestions that might advance this specific aspect of his project. (shrink)
This essay is an overview of the role of Heaven in Daoist religious thought prior to the Tang Dynasty. Lao-Zhuang teachings portray Heaven as helper of the perfected person, who has parted with the human and thereby evinces a heavenly light. The Huainanzi compares possessing Heaven’s Heart to leaning on an unbudgeable pillar and drawing on an inexhaustible storehouse, enabling one to shed mere humanity as a snake discards its skin. The Heguanzi homologizes Heaven and Taiyi and by the Six (...) Dynasties period some Daoist canonical sources give the face of Laojun to Heaven/Taiyi, increasing the anthropomorphization of Heaven. (shrink)
Kasm does not offer any concept of proof which is regulative for all metaphysics, for he is convinced that each metaphysical approach requires its own proper logic and methodology. Within this pluralistic framework he seeks to discern the structure of formal truth as expressed in the concept of proof inherent in various metaphysical approaches.--L. S. F.
This rejoinder focuses on a few points of disagreement that I have with Li Chenyang, RonnieLittlejohn, and Lauren Pfister regarding their critical comments on my book Reconstructionist Confucianism. In response to Pfister’s concerns, I point out that my book attempts to base on classical, rather than other, Confucian sources in order to reconstruct the Confucian virtue-based, ritual-guided, and family-oriented view of life for contemporary society. In appreciating Littlejohn’s suggestion on Confucian environmentalism, I contend that a kind (...) of Grand View Garden as we find in the Dream of Red Mansion would be a typical Confucian garden, manifesting the Confucian ideal of a family-oriented way of life that holds in harmonious relations with the rest of nature under the direction of the cosmic principles. Finally, I offer detailed replies to Li’s series of challenges to my view on li 禮, arguing for the essential constitutive nature of the Confucian rituals. (shrink)
This article presents a critical reevaluation of the thesis—closely associated with H. L. A. Hart, and central to the views of most recent legal philosophers—that the idea of state coercion is not logically essential to the definition of law. The author argues that even laws governing contracts must ultimately be understood as “commands of the sovereign, backed by force.” This follows in part from recognition that the “sovereign,” defined rigorously, at the highest level of abstraction, is that person or entity (...) identified by reference to game theory and the philosophical idea of “convention” as the source of signals with which the subject population has become effectively locked, as a group, into conformity. (shrink)
The content of this paper is an elaboration of Hubert L. Dreyfus’s philosophical critique of Artificial Intelligence (AI), computers and the internet. Hubert L. Dreyfus (1929-2017) is Ua SA philosopher and alumni of Harvard University who teach at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and University of California, Berkeley. He is a phenomenological philosopher who criticize computer researchers and the artificial intelligence community. In 1965, Dreyfus wrote an article for Rand Corporation titled “Alchemy and Artificial Intelligence” which criticizes the masterminds (...) of Artificial Intelligence. Dreyfus also criticized the order of computers via two books: (1) What Computers Can’t Do (1972) and (2) What Computers Stills Can’t Do (1992). He favored human intuition rather than the computer logic in his book Mind over Machine: The Power of Human Intuition and Expertise in the Era of the Computer (1986). In 2001, Dreyfus wrote a book On the Internet, which considers the prominent phenomenon in the recent Industry 4.0. By elaborating on Dreyfus’s philosophy on the computer, artificial intelligence, and the internet, we will know the philosophical debate on the result of industry 3.0 (computer and artificial intelligence) and 4.0 (artificial intelligence and internet). Moreover, we will know the relation between humans and those industrial products. (shrink)
Alice Crary has recently developed a radical reading of J. L. Austin's philosophy of language. The central contention of Crary's reading is that Austin gives convincing reasons to reject the idea that sentences have context-invariant literal meaning. While I am in sympathy with Crary about the continuing importance of Austin's work, and I think Crary's reading is deep and interesting, I do not think literal sentence meaning is one of Austin's targets, and the arguments that Crary attributes to Austin or (...) finds Austinian in spirit do not provide convincing reasons to reject literal sentence meaning. In this paper, I challenge Crary's reading of Austin and defend the idea of literal sentence meaning. (shrink)
J. L. Schellenberg’s Philosophy of Religion argues for a specific brand of sceptical religion that takes ‘Ultimism’ – the proposition that there is a metaphysically, axiologically, and soteriologically ultimate reality – to be the object to which the sceptical religionist should assent. In this article I shall argue that Ietsism – the proposition that there is merely something transcendental worth committing ourselves to religiously – is a preferable object of assent. This is for two primary reasons. First, Ietsism is far (...) more modest than Ultimism; Ietsism, in fact, is open to the truth of Ultimism, while the converse does not hold. Second, Ietsism can fulfil the same criteria that compel Schellenberg to argue for Ultimism. (shrink)
Continuing Franz Boas' work to establish anthropology as an academic discipline in the US at the turn of the twentieth century, Alfred L. Kroeber re-defined culture as a phenomenon sui generis. To achieve this he asked geneticists to enter into a coalition against hereditarian thoughts prevalent at that time in the US. The goal was to create space for anthropology as a separate discipline within academia, distinct from other disciplines. To this end he crossed the boundary separating anthropology from biology (...) in order to secure the boundary. His notion of culture, closely bound to the concept of heredity, saw it as independent of biological heredity (culture as superorganic) but at the same time as a heredity of another sort. The paper intends to summarise the shifting boundaries of anthropology at the beginning of the twentieth century, and to present Kroeber?s ideas on culture, with a focus on how the changing landscape of concepts of heredity influenced his views. The historical case serves to illustrate two general conclusions: that the concept of culture played and plays different roles in explaining human existence; that genetics and the concept of Weismannian hard inheritance did not have an unambiguous unidirectional historical effect on the vogue for hereditarianism at that time; on the contrary, it helped to establish culture in Kroeber's sense, culture as independent of heredity. (shrink)
In Geneva, since the beginning of pre-service secondary teacher training at university, two different types of students in teacher preparation coexist: some of them have got part-time classes, others have no teaching assignment. In an introduction to the teaching profession, students from different disciplines of the two types take a course on the same sources of professional knowledge. By analyzing the representations of the teaching profession, we find that the process of construction of their professional identity varies according to whether (...) they have a student teaching placement or not. : A Genève, depuis l’universitarisation de la formation des enseignants du secondaire, deux statuts d’étudiants en formation initiale à l’enseignement coexistent : les uns à mi-temps en responsabilité de classe, les autres sans contact avec le terrain. Dans une unité de formation d’introduction à la profession enseignante, des étudiants de disciplines différentes des deux statuts suivent un dispositif de formation identique portant sur les savoirs de référence constitutifs de la profession. En analysant les représentations du métier d’enseignant des étudiants, on constate que l’identité professionnelle en construction de ceux-ci évolue différemment selon s’ils sont sur le terrain ou non. (shrink)
Les interprétations habituelles de l’article «Éclectisme» de l’Encyclopédie mettent l’accent sur l’idée que Diderot y annonce le programme de la philosophie moderne, dont il se ferait par le fait même un illustre représentant et l’un des promoteurs. Dans cet article, j’essaie de compléter cette interprétation en montrant que l’article est également porteur d’une réflexion de premier plan sur l’histoire de la philosophie, sur les effets de continuité dans sa pratique et, conséquemment, sur ce qui est proprement constitutif du discours philosophique (...) lui-même, tant sur le plan méthodologique qu’en ce qui conc erne son positionnement politique. -/- The standard interpretation of Diderot’s article “Éclectisme” in the Encyclopédie emphasizes the idea that Diderot is setting out the program for modern philosophy, thereby making himself its illustrious representative and promoter. In thispaper, I complement this interpretation by showing that “Éclectisme” also contains an influential reflection on continuity in the history of philosophy and, consequently, on what constitutes philosophical discourse itself, both methodologically and politically. (shrink)
In “A new proof of the completeness of the Lukasiewicz axioms” Chang proved that any totally ordered MV-algebra A was isomorphic to the segment \}\) of a totally ordered l-group with strong unit A *. This was done by the simple intuitive idea of putting denumerable copies of A on top of each other. Moreover, he also show that any such group G can be recovered from its segment since \^*}\), establishing an equivalence of categories. In “Interpretation of AF C (...) *-algebras in Lukasiewicz sentential calculus” Mundici extended this result to arbitrary MV-algebras and l-groups with strong unit. He takes the representation of A as a sub-direct product of chains A i, and observes that \ where \. Then he let A * be the l-subgroup generated by A inside \. He proves that this idea works, and establish an equivalence of categories in a rather elaborate way by means of his concept of good sequences and its complicated arithmetics. In this note, essentially self-contained except for Chang’s result, we give a simple proof of this equivalence taking advantage directly of the arithmetics of the the product l-group \, avoiding entirely the notion of good sequence. (shrink)
During the 1920s and 1930s geneticist L. C. Dunn of Columbia University cautioned Americans against endorsing eugenic policies and called attention to eugenicists' less than rigorous practices. Then, from the mid-1940s to early 1950s he attacked scientific racism and Nazi Rassenhygiene by co-authoring Heredity, Race and Society with Theodosius Dobzhansky and collaborating with members of UNESCO on their international campaign against racism. Even though shaking the foundations of scientific discrimination was Dunn's primary concern during the interwar and post-World War II (...) years, his campaigns had ancillary consequences for the discipline. He contributed to the professionalization of genetics during the 1920s and 1930s and sought respectability for human genetics in the 1940s and 1950s. My article aims to elucidate the activist scientist's role in undermining scientific discrimination by exploring aspects of Dunn's scientific work and political activism from the 1920s to 1950s. Definitions are provided for scientific discrimination and activist scientist. (shrink)