The New Chinese philosophy should face the main issues in traditional philosophy and modern philosophy. The biggest issue in traditional Chinese philosophy during the last 800 years is Xing (Nature) is Li 性即理 or Xin (Mind) is Li 心即理. The biggest issue in modern Western philosophy is how to fortify value in thisera of knowledge explosion. This paper tries to do some exploration on these issues through reconstruction the Chinese metaphysics. It puts forward a theory of Four Substances 四體說. The (...) so called Four Substances include Yi Ti 易體 or the substance of Yi, Xing Ti 性體 or the substance of Nature, Xin Ti 心體 or the substance of Mind, and Dao Ti 道體 or the substance of the Way. The sphere of Yi 易 is the origin of the universe and the root of the world. The substance of Yiis formed by three fundamental cosmic ideas or energies, namely Zhi 恉 or meaning, Li 理 or reason or principle, and Qi 氣 or matter. Zhi 恉 is the being of Value and meaning. Li 理is the being of knowledge. Zhi 恉 and Li 理 are forms, and Qi 氣 is matter. Yi Ti 易體 or the substance of Yi is an inexhaustible value source. Just like Confucianism has developed its Dao or the Way and Orthodoxy, other value systems in the world have also developed their own Dao or the Way and Orthodoxy. (shrink)
This book is a translation of a key commentary on the Book of Changes, or Yijing, perhaps the most broadly influential text of classical China. The Yijing first appeared as a divination text in Zhou-dynasty China and later became a work of cosmology, philosophy, and political theory as commentators supplied it with new meanings. While many English translations of the Yijing itself exist, none are paired with a historical commentary as thorough and methodical as that written by the Confucian scholar (...) Cheng Yi, who turned the original text into a coherent work of political theory. (shrink)
Here I respond to Anthony Brueckner and John Martin Fischer’s “The Evil of Death: A Reply to Yi.” They developed an influential strategy in defense of the deprivation account of death’s badness against the Lucretian symmetry problem. The core of their argument consists in the claim that it is rational for us to welcome future intrinsic goods while being indifferent to past intrinsic goods. Previously, I argued that their approach is compatible with the evil of late birth insofar as an (...) earlier birth would have generated more goods in the future. In reply, Brueckner and Fischer argue that my critique fails to appreciate an important aspect of their thought experiment, which aims only to show that the deprivation of past goods per se is not bad for us. Thus, purportedly, my critique poses no threat to their view. Here I argue that since the deprivation account explains the evil of death with recourse to how one’s life would have fared had one lived longer, it ought to respond to the symmetry problem with reference to how one’s life would have fared had one been born earlier. However, it is not generally true that the life one would have had with an earlier birth is not preferable to one’s actual life, because in many cases such a life would contain more future goods. (shrink)
Editor'sIn one of the very first reactions to Li Minghui’s criticism of Mainland New Confucianism, Zeng Yi emphasizes the ties between MNC and Han-dynasty “Classical Learning”, as opposed to the basis of Mou Zongsan-style New Confucianism in Song-dynasty Neo-Confucian “Way learning”. He further connects the MNC approach with an institutional, “concrete continuation” of the Confucian tradition, as opposed to the abstract, philosophical approach of Mou Zongsan.This short essay, another of the immediate reactions to Li Minghui's criticism of Mainland New Confucianism, (...) focuses on the distinction between “old” and “new” Confucianism, and their differing relations to liberal democracy. Fang identifies a tension in Li Minghui's attitude toward the “old,” since Li seems to want to have a connection with the tradition but also not to be bound by it. (shrink)
Jonathan Edwards has most often been considered in the context of the Puritanism of New England. However, in many ways he was closer to the thinkers of the European Enlightenment. Leon Chai explores the connection, analysing Edwards's thought in light of a number of the issues that preoccupied such Enlightenment figures as Locke, Descartes, Malebranche, and Leibniz.
Wang Yi’s article deals with the role of house churches, that is, unregistered churches. In his evaluation of the different branches of house churches Wang Yi touches upon issues of identity and the future of China, and he also harshly criticizes the Chinese party-state, claiming that “China is becoming a tumor in the world.”.
Liu, Xiaogan 劉笑敢 et. al., eds., Chinese Philosophy and Culture : Confucian Studies of Ming-Qing Period 中國哲學與文化: 明清儒學研究 Content Type Journal Article Pages 117-121 DOI 10.1007/s11712-010-9203-0 Authors Shaojin Chai, Department of Political Science, University of Notre Dame, 217 O’Shaughnessay Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA Journal Dao Online ISSN 1569-7274 Print ISSN 1540-3009 Journal Volume Volume 10 Journal Issue Volume 10, Number 1.
At the heart of China's remarkable economic growth is a new economic system, which has emerged out of radical reforms in virtually all areas of economic activity. Understanding this system is the key to understanding the Chinese economy. This book, the culmination of many years of research in Hong Kong and China, is a comprehensive account of these systemic reforms, as well as of their transferability to other economies in transition. The starting-point of Dr Chai's analysis is a careful (...) examination of the structural elements of China's new economic system, focusing particularly on the decentralization of property rights in both the agricultural and industrial sectors. There follows a detailed analysis of changes in the functional elements of the system: its price and financial mechanisms. An assessment of the open-door policy also considers the twin impact of the liberalization of China's foreign trade and foreign investment regimes. Finally, China: Transition to a Market Economy highlights the increasingly important role of the non-state sector in facilitating economic growth and structural transformation. It will be essential reading for any student or researcher concerned with the Chinese economy, or with transition economies in general. (shrink)
In this sequel to "The logic and meaning of plurals. Part I", I continue to present an account of logic and language that acknowledges limitations of singular constructions of natural languages and recognizes plural constructions as their peers. To this end, I present a non-reductive account of plural constructions that results from the conception of plurals as devices for talking about the many. In this paper, I give an informal semantics of plurals, formulate a formal characterization of truth for the (...) regimented languages that results from augmenting elementary languages with refinements of basic plural constructions of natural languages, and account for the logic of plural constructions by characterizing the logic of those regimented languages. (shrink)
The existing literature on the development of recombinant DNA technology and genetic engineering tends to focus on Stanley Cohen and Herbert Boyer's recombinant DNA cloning technology and its commercialization starting in the mid-1970s. Historians of science, however, have pointedly noted that experimental procedures for making recombinant DNA molecules were initially developed by Stanford biochemist Paul Berg and his colleagues, Peter Lobban and A. Dale Kaiser in the early 1970s. This paper, recognizing the uneasy disjuncture between scientific authorship and legal invention (...) in the history of recombinant DNA technology, investigates the development of recombinant DNA technology in its full scientific context. I do so by focusing on Stanford biochemist Berg's research on the genetic regulation of higher organisms. As I hope to demonstrate, Berg's new venture reflected a mass migration of biomedical researchers as they shifted from studying prokaryotic organisms like bacteria to studying eukaryotic organisms like mammalian and human cells. It was out of this boundary crossing from prokaryotic to eukaryotic systems through virus model systems that recombinant DNA technology and other significant new research techniques and agendas emerged. Indeed, in their attempt to reconstitute 'life' as a research technology, Stanford biochemists' recombinant DNA research recast genes as a sequence that could be rewritten thorough biochemical operations. The last part of this paper shifts focus from recombinant DNA technology's academic origins to its transformation into a genetic engineering technology by examining the wide range of experimental hybridizations which occurred as techniques and knowledge circulated between Stanford biochemists and the Bay Area's experimentalists. Situating their interchange in a dense research network based at Stanford's biochemistry department, this paper helps to revise the canonized history of genetic engineering's origins that emerged during the patenting of Cohen-Boyer's recombinant DNA cloning procedures. (shrink)
The paper studies the nature of understanding in condensed matter physics (CMP), mediated by the successful employment of its models. I first consider two obvious candidates for the criteria of model-based understanding, Van Fraassen's sense of empirical adequacy and Hacking's instrumental utility , and conclude that both are unsatisfactory. Inspired by Hasok Chang's recent proposal to reformulate realism as the pursuit of ontological plausibility in our system of knowledge, we may require the model under consideration to be understood (or intelligible) (...) before claiming model-based understanding. Here the understanding of a model typically consists of the following: figuring out at least one plausible (preferably realistic) physical mechanism for the model, determining the theoretical consequences of the model by mathematically probing it and developing our physical intuitions about the model. I consider the q-state Potts model to illustrate. After having understood a model, we may employ the model to understand its target phenomena in the world. This is done by matching one of the interpretative models of the model with the central features of the phenomena. The matching should be motivated (ideally both theoretically and empirically) in the sense that we have good reason to believe that the central features of the phenomena can be thought of as having more or less the same structure as postulated by the interpretative model. In conclusion, I propose a two-stage account of model-based understanding in CMP: (1) understanding of a model and (2) matching a target phenomenon with a well-motivated interpretative model of the model. Empirical success and instrumental utility both play their roles in the evaluation of how successful the model is, but are not the essential part of model-based understanding. (shrink)
In this paper we give a full account of the work of William Thomson on absolute temperature, which to this day provides the theoretical underpinnings for the most rigorous measurements of temperature. When Thomson fashioned his concepts of ‘absolute’ temperature, his main concern was to make the definition of temperature independent of the properties of particular thermometric substances . He tried out a succession of definitions based on the thermodynamics of ideal heat engines; most notably, in 1854 he gave the (...) ratio of two temperatures as the ratio of quantities of heat taken in and given out at those temperatures in a Carnot cycle. But there were difficulties with using such definitions for experimental work, since it was not possible even to approximate an ideal Carnot engine in reality. More generally, it is not trivial to connect an abstract concept with concrete operations in order to make physical measurements possible. In the end, Thomson argued that an ideal gas thermometer would indicate his absolute temperature, and that the deviation of actual gas thermometers from the ideal could be estimated by means of the Joule‐Thomson effect. However, the measurement of the Joule‐Thomson effect itself required measurements of temperature, so there was a problem of circularity. (shrink)
In this paper, I criticize John Bigelow's account of number and present my own account that results from the criticism. In doing so, I argue that proper understanding of the nature of number requires a radical departure from the standard conception of language and reality and outline the alternative conception that underlies my account of number. I argue that Bigelow's account of number rests on an incorrect analysis of the plural constructions underlying the talk of number and propound an analysis (...) of numerical sentences, such as "Quine and Goodman are two", that conforms to the natural understanding of the plural constructions. The analysis leads to the account of number according to which natural numbers are properties, i.e., one-place relations: the number two, for example, is the property indicated by "to be two", which, I argue, is a one-place predicate that can combine with plural terms like "Quine and Goodman". (shrink)
A primary argument against the badness of death (known as the Symmetry Argument) appeals to an alleged symmetry between prenatal and posthumous nonexistence. The Symmetry Argument has posed a serious threat to those who hold that death is bad because it deprives us of life’s goods that would have been available had we died later. Anthony Brueckner and John Martin Fischer develop an influential strategy to cope with the Symmetry Argument. In their attempt to break the symmetry, they claim that (...) due to our preference of future experiential goods over past ones, posthumous nonexistence is bad for us, whereas prenatal nonexistence is not. Granting their presumption about our preference, however, it is questionable that prenatal nonexistence is not bad. This consideration does not necessarily indicate their defeat against the Symmetry Argument. I present a better response to the Symmetry Argument: the symmetry is broken, not because posthumous nonexistence is bad while prenatal nonexistence is not, but because (regardless as to whether prenatal nonexistence is bad) posthumous nonexistence is even worse. (shrink)
The “wisdom of the crowd” phenomenon refers to the finding that the aggregate of a set of proposed solutions from a group of individuals performs better than the majority of individual solutions. Most often, wisdom of the crowd effects have been investigated for problems that require single numerical estimates. We investigate whether the effect can also be observed for problems where the answer requires the coordination of multiple pieces of information. We focus on combinatorial problems such as the planar Euclidean (...) traveling salesperson problem, minimum spanning tree problem, and a spanning tree memory task. We develop aggregation methods that combine common solution fragments into a global solution and demonstrate that these aggregate solutions outperform the majority of individual solutions. These case studies suggest that the wisdom of the crowd phenomenon might be broadly applicable to problem-solving and decision-making situations that go beyond the estimation of single numbers. (shrink)
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 (...) name and reality of musical expression gave music an “aesthetic turn” lacking in Qin and early Han thought, and by making use of concepts such as natural harmony and spontaneity, J i Kang was able to turn away from the negative aesthetics of earlier thinkers such as H e Yan and W ang Bi to one cherishing the naturalism espoused by Zhuangzi. (shrink)
The central claim of the Parfitian psychological approach to personal identity is that the fact about personal identity is underpinned by a non-branching psychological continuity relation. Hence, for the advocates of the Parfitian view, it is important to understand what it is for a relation to take or not take a branching form. Nonetheless, very few attempts have been made in the literature of personal identity to define the non-branching clause. This paper undertakes this task. Drawing upon a recent debate (...) between Anthony Brueckner and Harold Noonan on the issue, I present three candidates for the non-branching clause. (shrink)
Lawrence Sklar in his book, Physics and Chance (1993), proposes a sophisticated account of reduction of thermodynamics (TD) by statistical mechanics (SM). I argue that Sklar's analysis of the alleged reduction of TD by SM is problematic in several respects. I consider a few counterexamples to show that none of what Sklar takes to be the central features of successful reduction in science (unification and identification) holds in the case of TD and SM. I suggest the broader conclusion that a (...) more useful way of understanding the relationship between TD and SM is as collaboration and competition among alternative methodologies rather than reduction of one theory to another. (shrink)
This paper aims: (1) to show that Lawrence Sklar`s recent attempt to reduce thermodynamics(TD) to statistical mechanics(SM) is fallacious in several respects; and (2) to suggest a broader conclusion that a more useful way of understanding the relationship between TD and SM is as collaboration and competition among alternative methodologies rather than reduction of one theory to another. To argue for (1), I discuss two cases (the distinction of intensive/extensive variables in TD and the existence of phase transitions) where TD (...) is more accurate than statistical mechnaics and thus corrects SM. I also discuss the case of temperature in order to argue for both (1) and (2). (shrink)
In this paper, I revisit W. V. Quine’s thesis of indeterminacy of translation. I think Quine’s arguments for the thesis are marred by his controversial assumptions about language that amount to a kind of linguistic behaviorism. I hope to cast a new light on the thesis by presenting a strong argument for the thesis that does not rest on those assumptions. The argument that I present in the paper results from adapting Benson Mates’s objection to Rudolph Carnap’s analysis ofsynonymy as (...) intensional isomorphism. (shrink)
Plausible principles on truth seem to yield contradictory conclusions about paradoxical sentences such as the Strengthened Liar. Those who take the contextualist approach, such as Parsons and Burge, attempt to justify the seemingly contradictory conclusions by arguing that the natural reasoning that leads to them involves some kind of contextual shift that makes them compatible. This paper argues that one cannot take this approach to give a proper treatment of infinite descending chains of semantic attributions. It also examines a related (...) approach taken by Gaifman and argues that it has the same problem. (shrink)