We usually think about language and pain as opposites, the one being about expression and connection, the other destructive, "beyond words" so to speak, and isolating. Language Pangs challenges these familiar conceptions and offers a radical reconsideration of the relationship between pain and language in terms of an essential interconnectedness. Ilit Ferber's premise is that we cannot probe the experience of pain without taking account its inherent relation to language; and vice versa, that our understanding of the nature of language (...) essentially depends on how we take account of its correspondence with pain. Language Pangs brings together discussions of philosophical as well as literary texts, an intersection that is especially productive in considering the phenomenology of pain and its bearing on language. Ferber explores a phenomenology of pain and its relation to language, before providing a unique close reading of Johann Gottfried Herder's Treatise on the Origin of Language, the first modern philosophical text to consider language and pain, establishing the cry of pain as the origin of language. Herder also raises important claims regarding the relationship between human and animal, questions of sympathy and the role of hearing in the expression of pain. Beyond Herder, the book grapples with the work of other profound thinkers, including Martin Heidegger, Stanley Cavell, and André Gide, and finally, Sophocles, from them weaving new insights on the experience of pain, expression, sympathy, and hearing. (shrink)
Augustine of Hippo is often regarded as the champion of the doctrine of weakness of the will. John M. Rist in his 1994 'Augustine: Ancient Thought Baptized' draws an interesting analogy between Aristotle's 'akrasia' and Augustine's 'concupiscentia'. However, such an analogy without further qualification is defective and misleading because it implies that Augustine commits himself to the notion that since everyone is perpetually akratic and, thus, always morally blameworthy. I argue that, for Augustine, weakness of the will has equivocal meanings (...) and is manifested in four kinds of case--their scope goes far beyond Aristotle's discussion of 'akrasia' in Book Seven of the 'Nicomachean Ethics'. There are, therefore, considerable differences between Aristotle's and Augustine's account of weakness of the will. Consequently, for Augustine, moral responsibility for the moral agent also varies in each of the four cases. (shrink)
This article analyzes a popular meme that has spread rapidly among Chinese internet users in the last few years, ‘garlic chives’ ( jiucai), as a self-mockery of the bio-economic subject in contemporary China. This metaphor refers to those ordinary Chinese people who are constantly lured to participate in all kinds of economic activities, but whose investments are destined to be consumed by the establishment. Through a close study of this popular meme and the social conditions from which it arises, this (...) article demonstrates two main features of the Chinese economic subject that supports the state’s economic sovereignty: the thriving of self-sufficient and rule-abiding individuals, and the quality of these individuals as hard working and capable of producing wealth on their own. This article offers a critique of PRC’s post-socialist governmentality, and it provides insights about the relation between the biological and the political in our complicated world order. (shrink)
In Chinese philosophy’s encounter with modernity and feminist discourse, Neo-Confucianism often suffered the most brutal attacks and criticisms. In “Neo-Confucians and Zhu Xi on Family and Woman: Challenges and Potentials,” Ann A. Pang-White investigates Song Neo-Confucians’ views (in particular, that of Zhu Xi) on women by examining the Classifi ed Conversations of Zhu Xi (Zhuzi Yulei), the Reflections on Things at Hand (Jinsi Lu), Further Reflections on Things at Hand (Xu Jinsi Lu), and other texts. Pang-White also takes (...) a close look at the Song law regarding women’s property rights and the Song educational system. Surprisingly,Zhu exhibited a level of flexibility, though still limited, on these subjects. He was particularly adamant about the importance of women’s education. In addition, even though he opposed the social practice and women’s ownership of dowry (seeing it as a form of commercializing marriage), he did not absolutely oppose women’s property rights. However, his normative and philosophical view on the male/yang and female/yin relationship was less satisfactory. At one place, he used it to illustrate gender equity; at another place, he defended female subordination. Zhu’s social-political teaching on women’s role could benefit from a more consistent development of his metaphysics of li-qi and yin-yang, which can bring new insight to the contemporary feminist “essentialist versus non-essentialist” debate on sex and gender. (shrink)
Among the many silk manuscripts excavated from Changsha Mawangdui Tomb 3 in Hunan province in the winter of 1973, one text was named Wu xing [by contemporary scholars]. Twenty years later, in the winter of 1993, there was a text [of itself] titled Wu xing among the many bamboo slip texts excavated from Jingmen Guodian Tomb 1 in Hubei.
In October 1993, a cache of bamboo slips written in the Chu script was excavated from a Warring States period tomb in the village of Guodian in the city of Jingmen in the province of Hubei. After separation and arrangement by experts, the photo plates of the Chu slips and their annotations were published this May by Wenwu Press in the book called Guodian Chu mu zhujian.
In Chinese philosophy’s encounter with modernity and feminist discourse, Neo-Confucianism often suffered the most brutal attacks and criticisms. In “Neo-Confucians and Zhu Xi on Family and Woman: Challenges and Potentials,” Ann A. Pang-White investigates Song Neo-Confucians’ views (in particular, that of Zhu Xi) on women by examining the Classified Conversations of Zhu Xi (Zhuzi Yulei),the Reflections on Things at Hand (Jinsi Lu), Further Reflections on Things at Hand (Xu Jinsi Lu), and other texts. Pang-White also takes a close (...) look at the Song law regarding women’s property rights and the Song educational system. Surprisingly, Zhu exhibited a level of flexibility, though still limited, on these subjects. He was particularly adamant about the importance of women’s education. In addition,even though he opposed the social practice and women’s ownership of dowry (seeing it as a form of commercializing marriage), he did not absolutely oppose women’s property rights. However, his normative and philosophical view on the male/yang and female/yin relationship was less satisfactory. At one place, he used it to illustrate gender equity; at another place, he defended female subordination. Zhu’s social-political teaching on women’s role could benefit from a more consistent development of his metaphysics of li-qi and yin-yang , which can bring new insight to the contemporary feminist “essentialist versus non-essentialist” debate on sex and gender. (shrink)
This article reports a survey of nurses in different cultural settings to reveal their perceptions of ethical role responsibilities relevant to nursing practice. Drawing on the Confucian theory of ethics, the first section attempts to understand nursing ethics in the context of multiple role relationships. The second section reports the administration of the Role Responsibilities Questionnaire to a sample of nurses in China, the USA, and Japan. Multidimensional preference analysis revealed the patterns of rankings given by the nurses to the (...) statements they considered as important ethical responsibilities. The Chinese nurses were more virtue based in their perception of ethical responsibilities, the American nurses were more principle based, and the Japanese nurses were more care based. The findings indicate that the RRQ is a sensitive instrument for outlining the embedded sociocultural factors that influence nurses’ perceptions of ethical responsibilities in the realities of nursing practice. This study could be important in the fostering of partnerships in international nursing ethics. (shrink)
Thinking with, against, and after Ernst Käsemann’s appropriation of the biblical metaphor of eschatological birth pangs, this article seeks to reassess our understanding of what it means to be a theologian of the cross. It does so by way of a depiction of Paul’s apostolic practice as a social and embodied—and yet cruciform—mode of epiphanic manifestation. Thinking with Käsemann, it brings to the fore the significance of this apocalyptic understanding of apostolic practice for contemporary theological reflection at the interface of (...) biblical studies, philosophy, and ethics. Thinking against Käsemann, it demonstrates ways in which this reading of Paul enables us to address more effectively major criticisms of a theology of the cross and Pauline theology in general. Finally, thinking after Käsemann, it discusses the ways that this portrayal of Paul’s practice funds resources for reconfiguring theological education ‘after whiteness’. (shrink)
At the heart of Plato’s theory of erōs is the ‘ascent’ of love for an individual body, through several stages, to love of Beauty itself (Symposium 210a-212b). I argue that our understanding of the psychology of this transformation would benefit especially from bringing in Plato’s views on pain from the Republic. For erōs is presented in the Symposium as including sexual desire (207b) as well as love of wisdom (210d), but the Republic takes the former to be a painful desire, (...) whereas the latter is apparently treated as painless. The ‘ascent’ of love, then, seems to involve the transformation of a painful desire into a painless one. I conclude that this transformation is best understood as a rechanneling of desire within the tripartite soul. (shrink)
In “Non-self, Agency, and Women: Buddhism’s Modern Transformation,” Ann A. Pang-White argues that “non-self (anātman 無我)” and “emptiness (śūnyatā 空)” necessarily entail nonduality. Buddha nature is neither male nor female. Nonetheless, conflicting teachings are found in various Theravada and Mahayana texts. The more conservative texts have historically resulted in long-standing patriarchal practices: Buddhist nuns receive much less respect and financial support than monks, often facing the possibility of extinction. In Taiwan, however, in a complete reversal, Buddhist nuns outnumber male (...) monks in an astonishing 75 percent to 25 percent ratio, with the largest number of Buddhist nuns in the world. Many Taiwanese nuns are highly educated and socially engaged activists. Nonetheless, to assert one’s autonomy to become a nun is extremely difficult in a Confucian society. How do Taiwanese women, society, and Buddhism mutually transform each other? In addition to an analysis of selected essential Buddhist texts, Pang-White investigates two Buddhist communities of women to shed light on Buddhism’s modern transformation. She concludes that to reform Buddhism from within is not only theoretically possible but also practically achievable. (shrink)
This volume presents the first English translation of the complete set of Confucian classic, Four Books for Women, with extensive commentary by the 17th century literati Wang Xiang, and introductions and annotations by translator Ann A. Pang-White. Written by women for women's education, the Confucian Four Books for Women spanned the 1st to the 16th centuries, and encompass Ban Zhao's Lessons for Women, Song Ruoxin's and Song Ruozhao's Analects for Women, Empress Renxiaowen's Teachings for the Inner Court, and Madame (...) Liu's (Chaste Widow Wang's) Short Records of Models for Women. A female counterpart to the famous Sishu (Four Books) compiled by Zhu Xi, Wang Xiang's Nü sishu provides an invaluable look at the long-standing history and evolution of Chinese women's writing, education, identity, and philosophical discourse, along with their struggles and triumphs, across the millennia and numerous Chinese dynasties. Pang-White's new translation brings the authors of the Four Books for Women to life as real, living people, and illustrates why they wrote and how their work empowered women. This volume reveals the history and evolution of Chinese women's writing, education, identity, and philosophical discourse over a span of 1,600 years. (shrink)
The Introductory chapter explains the purpose of the book. To this aim, the chapter contains four subsections: (1)Bring the Past Into the Present, (2)Multiculturalism and Liberal Feminism: Is the Rift Between Them Necessary?, (3)Development of Gender Discourse in Chinese Culture and Thought, (4)Purpose of This Volume and Its Four Main Parts, and (5) What's Next? A Way Forward. Excerpt: "Chinese philosophy, broadly construed, in its varied roots and forms has approximately three thousand years of history, and it continues to exert (...) immense influence on the lives of Chinese people as well as on the world community. Nonetheless, if traditions are not simply to remain as antiquated ideas, they must be able to converse with contemporary readers and address their deepest concerns and longings (Pang-White, 2009b, 2009c, 2011). Premised on the undeniable facts that (1) all persons are embodied and cultural beings and that (2) traditions constitute an essential element of individual identity, it would be a mistake to attempt to eradicate traditions altogether, as certain types of liberal feminists have recommended. Instead, it would be more meaningful to ask: Can we, and how do we, re-read, re-imagine, and reconstruct canonical texts so as to find their new significance in the contemporary world? It is generally agreed that Chinese traditions have had a troubled history in dealing with gender relations—well-known examples include concubinage, foot binding,female infanticide, and so on. For various reasons, Chinese traditions and societies have generally been less enthusiastic in confronting, dialoguing about, and resolving problems of gender disparity. Even though gender studies and feminist theories have populated academic discourse in the West since the 1960s, these topics remain relatively marginalized, often as an afterthought, in Chinese philosophical and cultural discourse. Furthermore, as the growing body of research and our deepened knowledge informs and expands our conception of gender, informed persons must ask themselves how Chinese philosophical traditions would and should engage the LGBT community and their concerns. Gender studies is not and should not be perceived simply as a subject in vogue. Rather, for humanity to flourish in this incredibly interdependent network of reality, it is imperative that we have a better understanding of all members of the human community so as to relate to one another in more inclusive, caring, and just ways. Surely, many of our contemporary concerns and vocabularies are anachronistic in the historical settings of classical texts. However, even within the framework of Western traditions, phrases such as “feminism,” “gender,” and “homosexual” were not part of the existing apparatus of vocabulary until the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries (Jenainati and Groves, 2010). Moreover, with the advancement of . . . ". (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-97814 72569851/#sthash.vFg3oUPk.dpuf. (shrink)
Cross-cultural scholarship in ritual studies on women's laments provides us with a fresh vantage point from which to consider the function of women and women's complaining voices in the epic poems of William Blake. In this essay, I interpret Thel, Oothoon, and Enitharmon as strong voices of experience that unleash some of Blake's most profound meditations on social, sexual, individual, and institutional forms of violence and injustice, offering what might aptly be called an ethics of witness. Tracing the performative function (...) of Enion, Jerusalem, Vala, and Erin in Blake's later epics, The Four Zoas and Jerusalem , I argue for the close connection between the female laments and the possibility of redemption, though in Blake such "redemption" comes at the cost of the very voices of witness themselves. (shrink)
Among the most influential and well-known experiments of the 19th century was the generation and detection of electromagnetic radiation by Heinrich Hertz in 1887–1888, work that bears favorable comparison for experimental ingenuity and influence with that by Michael Faraday in the 1830s and 1840s. In what follows, we pursue issues raised by what Hertz did in his experimental space to produce and to detect what proved to be an extraordinarily subtle effect. Though he did provide evidence for the existence of (...) such radiation that other investigators found compelling, nevertheless Hertz’s data and the conclusions he drew from it ran counter to the claim of Maxwell’s electrodynamics that electric waves in air and wires travel at the same speed. Since subsequent experiments eventually suggested otherwise, the question arises of just what took place in Hertz’s. The difficulties attendant on designing, deploying, and interpreting novel apparatus go far in explaining his results, which were nevertheless sufficiently convincing that other investigators, and Hertz himself, soon took up the challenge of further investigation based on his initial designs. (shrink)