As one of the three systems of China's traditional culture, Daoism has an important place in the history of Chinese philosophy. Based on the ideas of inaction performing all, the Way modeling spontaneity, and the dialectic of you [having, being] and wu [lacking, nonbeing], this article is a systematic exploration of Laozi's philosophy of denial, spontaneity, and atheism, as well as of the deep and lasting influence of his metaphysical principles on all schools of traditional Chinese philosophy.
The formation of the discourse of Neo-Confucianism 1 in the Song period was a result of the interactions between many social and cultural trends. In the development of the Neo-Confucian discourse, the Cheng brothers (Cheng Hao and Cheng Yi) played key roles with their charismatic thoughts and impelling personalities, while Zhu Xi pushed Neo-Confucian thought and discourse to a pinnacle with his broad knowledge and precise reasoning. In the warm discussions and debates between different schools and thoughts, the Neo-Confucian discourse (...) proceeded towards completion and perfection, and evolved as contemporary topics and thinking modes changed. The essay argues that “ ding xing 定性 (stilling the nature)” was an important Neo-Confucian topic during the Song period. The doctrine of “stilling the nature” involves much central Neo-Confucian discourse such as the definition of xing 性 (human nature), the interior and exterior aspects of human nature, nature and qing 情 (feelings, sentiments), nature and xin 心 (mind, heart), nature and ren 仁 (benevolence, humanity, humaneness) and yi 义 (righteousness), nature and shi 事 (affair) or wu 物 (thing, object), the practice of preservation and cultivation, etc. Therefore, an examination of the formation, development and evolution of Neo-Confucianism is of great importance to the study of its early history. (shrink)
Despite the fact that Chan, especially koan Chan is highly unconventional and perplexing, there are still some principles with which to interpret and appreciate the practice. Each of the five houses or lineages of Chan has its idiosyncratic hermeneutic rules. The Linji House has Linji si liao jian, si bin zhu and si zhao yong among others while the Yunmen House follows Yumen san ju as one of its house rules. Moreover, there is a general inner logic that seems to (...) apply to understanding Chan encounters across lineages. The opportune moment (Chan Ji) of responding swiftly and skillfully and yet always grounding oneself in the openness and flow of the mind highlights the inner logic of the cognition and behavior of Chan Buddhists. This paper attempts to read koans from The Blue Cliff Record in the light of Chan Buddhist hermeneutics. Some aspects and patterns of Chan encounters may appear as rituals that serve either as a provisional means for common people or as an embodiment of enlightened behaviors. Routinized ritualization of Chan life, however, runs counter to the fundamental spirit of freedom and spontaneity of Chan way of life. Much can and needs to be elucidated about the mystified koan Chan experience before we finally resort to the transpersonal experience of noble silence. (shrink)
Although the composition of the board of directors has important implications for different aspects of firm performance, prior studies tend to focus on financial performance. The effects of board composition on corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance remain an under-researched area, particularly in the period following the enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX). This article specifically examines two important aspects of board composition (i.e., the presence of outside directors and the presence of women directors) and their relationship with CSR (...) performance in the Post-SOX era. With data covering over 500 of the largest companies listed on the U.S. stock exchanges and spanning 64 different industries, we find empirical evidence showing that greater presence of outside and women directors is linked to better CSR performance within a firm’s industry. Treating CSR performance as the reflection of a firm’s moral legitimacy, our study suggests that deliberate structuring of corporate boards may be an effective approach to enhance a firm’s moral legitimacy. (shrink)
The study aims to help characterize the sort of structures about which people can acquire unconscious knowledge. It is already well established that people can implicitly learn n-grams and also repetition patterns. We explore the acquisition of unconscious structural knowledge of symmetry. Chinese Tang poetry uses a specific sort of mirror symmetry, an inversion rule with respect to the tones of characters in successive lines of verse. We show, using artificial poetry to control both n-gram structure and repetition patterns, that (...) people can implicitly learn to discriminate inversions from non-inversions, presenting a challenge to existing models of implicit learning. (shrink)
We investigated the implicit learning of a linguistically relevant variable in a natural language context . Trial by trial subjective measures indicated that exposure to a form–animacy regularity led to unconscious knowledge of that regularity. Under the same conditions, people did not learn about another form–meaning regularity when a linguistically arbitrary variable was used instead of animacy . Implicit learning is constrained to acquire unconscious knowledge about features with high prior probabilities of being relevant in that domain.
This article examines whether the charitable giving amount and likelihood of firm response to catastrophic events relate to firms' ownership type using a unique dataset of listed firms in China, where state ownership is still prevalent. Based on the data of Chinese firms' response to the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, we find that the extent of corporate contributions for state-owned firms following this disaster is less than that for private firms. State-owned firms are also less likely to respond in this disaster (...) compared to private firms. The results also reveal that firm size, profitability, geography, cash resource available, and leverage affect firms' philanthropic disaster response behavior in China. (shrink)
An experiment explored the acquisition of conscious and unconscious knowledge of semantic prosody in a second language under incidental and intentional learning conditions. Semantic prosody is the conotational coloring of the semantics of a word, largely uncaptured by dictionary definitions. Contrary to some claims in the literature, we revealed that both conscious and unconscious knowledge were involved in the acquisition of semantic prosody. Intentional learning resulted in similar unconscious but more conscious knowledge than incidental learning. The results are discussed in (...) terms of second language learning and the nature of unconscious knowledge. (shrink)
Social science, as a social and intellectual institution, inherent in modernity, as well as the modern social systems and orders, is the prerequisite and manifestation of the reflexivity in the modern world. There are, however, some fundamental problems in modern social science, in terms of its specialized system and methodological paradigms and conceptions.
The moral principle of fairness or fair play is widely believed to be a solid ground for political obligation, i.e., a general prima facie moral duty to obey the law qua law. In this article, I advance a new and, more importantly, principled objection to fairness theories of political obligation by revealing and defending a justificatory gap between the principle of fairness and political obligation: the duty of fairness on its own is incapable of preempting the citizen‟s liberty to reciprocate (...) fairly in ways other than obeying the law. This justificatory gap is unaffected by the ongoing debate between the voluntarist and the nonvoluntarist accounts of fairness, and it cannot be bridged by the two arguments that are perhaps implicit in Klosko‟s account, namely the presumptive benefits argument and the democratic procedure argument. (shrink)
Based on his experimental studies, Libet claims that voluntary actions are initiated by unconscious brain activities well before intentions or decisions to act are consciously experienced by people. This account conflicts with our common-sense conception of human agency, in which people consciously and intentionally exert volitions or acts of will to initiate voluntary actions. This paper offers an alternative interpretation of Libet's experiment. The cause of the intentional acts performed by the subjects in Libet's experiment should not be exclusively attributed (...) to special cerebral processes; conscious intentions formed at the beginning of the experiment, when the subjects received experimental instructions, must be taken into account. In addition, what the subjects were required to report was not a conscious intention or decision to act that conventionally figures in the etiology of voluntary action, but rather a perceived effective urge to move induced by specific experimental instructions. According to the alternative interpretation, the most suitable mental term correlated with the specific brain activity that precedes conscious, self-initiated voluntary bodily movements is volition. This account is supported by recent theories of function of the supplementary motor area . Therefore, the notion that we are the authors or originators of our own actions, which is fundamental to our common understanding of free will, moral responsibility and human dignity, can be preserved. (shrink)
Cognitive scientists distinguish between automatic and controlled mental processes. Automatic processes are either innately involuntary or become automatized through extensive practice. For example, reading words is a purportedly automatic process for proficient readers and the Stroop effect is consequently considered the “gold standard” of automated performance. Although the question of whether it is possible to regain control over an automatic process is mostly unasked, we provide compelling data showing that posthypnotic suggestion reduced and even removed Stroop interference in highly hypnotizable (...) individuals. Drawing on a large sample of highly hypnotizable participants, we examined the effects of suggestion on Stroop performance both with and without a posthypnotic suggestion to perceive the input stream as meaningless symbols. We show that suggestion administered to highly hypnotizable persons significantly reduced Stroop interference and derailed a seemingly automatic process. (shrink)
We demonstrated unconscious learning of task-irrelevant perceptual regularities in a Serial Reaction Time task in both visual and auditory domains. Participants were required to respond to different letters or syllables which occurred in random order. Unbeknownst to participants, the color of the two letters or the tone of the syllables varied according to certain rules. Reaction times indicated that people indeed learnt both the color and tonal regularities indicating that task-irrelevant sequence structure can be learned perceptually. In a subsequent prediction (...) test of knowledge of the color or tonal cues using subjective measures, we showed that people could acquire task irrelevant knowledge unconsciously. (shrink)
With the internationalisation of the Chinese market, Confucian ethics began to draw researchers' attention. However, little research has been conducted in the specific application of Confucian ethics in marketing communication. This article fills in the research gap by examining how Confucian ethics underpins the discourse of Chinese Expo invitations. Chinese sales managers' views are incorporated into the analysis as substantiation of findings. Confucian ethics embraces both qing (emotion) and li (reason) and relevant ethical values such as guanxi (connections), qing, and (...) mianzi (face) play an important role for advertising Expos and trade fairs. The study also highlights the complexities of Chinese Expo advertising that is embedded in inviting behaviour. These findings shed light on understanding Confucian ethics in marketing communications in general and have implications for ethical international marketing and advertising practices. (shrink)
The intellectual debates on wise entrepreneurship behavior such as decision making tend to focus on the relationship between economic rationality and morality, while overlooking the important role affect plays. To fill in this gap, this paper proposes a theoretical framework based on the Confucian concepts of ren and yi and studies their practical manifestation in qing and li 1 for decision making. Drawing from 32 in-depth interviews and 52 vignettes with Chinese SME entrepreneurs, this study has found that qing plays (...) an essential role in decision making. Chinese entrepreneurs had to deal with the dilemma relating to qing and li 1 holistically to reach a balanced outcome in their everyday business practices. As a major contribution, this study extends the study of Confucian ethics by highlighting ren-yi as an important perspective for understanding Chinese entrepreneurial decision making and also for promoting the affective dimensions for entrepreneurial ethical decision making in general. (shrink)
In this paper, it is examined how neuroscience can help to understand the nature of volition by addressing the question whether volitions can be localized in the brain. Volitions, as acts of the will, are special mental events or activities by which an agent consciously and actively exercises her agency to voluntarily direct her thoughts and actions. If we can pinpoint when and where volitional events or activities occur in the brain and find out their neural underpinnings, this can substantively (...) aid to demystify the concept of volition. After first discussing some methodological issues regarding whether it is possible to locate volition in the brain, various approaches by which neuroscientists and psychologists explore the neural correlates and substrates of volition are examined. Although different psychological conceptualizations of volition shape different perspectives toward understanding the functions of volition, the explorations of the neural basis of volition converge on certain common brain areas and structures. A unifying conception of volition that helps to make better sense of recent empirical findings is then suggested. (shrink)
Does a board with greater gender diversity make better investment decisions? Drawing on Austrian economic cycle theory and work groups theory, we argue that such board openness will help male board members to overcome gender biases, discrimination, and conflicts; integrate different perspectives under the economic cycle and crisis; and foster an environment in which better decisions are made. The results of an empirical study of 14,609 firm-quarter observations from 1,555 listed firms in China between 2007 and 2009 strongly support our (...) arguments. We find that a Chinese board is more likely to accept female directorship during an economic crisis than during an economic prosperity stage. Boards with greater gender diversity are more likely to make tough, counter-cyclical investments to improve firm performance during a crisis. Our study enriches the board decision-making literature by exploring the impacts of board gender diversity on firm performance within the context of an economic crisis. The results of our study also carry significant managerial implications for overcoming gender stereotypes, biases, and prejudices on a board. (shrink)
In the recent debate on political legitimacy, we have seen the emergence of a revisionist camp, advocating the idea of ‘legitimacy without political obligation,’ as opposed to the traditional view that political obligation is necessary for state legitimacy. The revisionist idea of legitimacy is appealing because if it stands, the widespread skepticism about the existence of political obligation will not lead us to conclude that the state is illegitimate. Unfortunately, existing conceptions of ‘legitimacy without political obligation’ are subject to serious (...) objections. In this article, I propose a new conception of ‘legitimacy without political obligation,’ and defend it against various objections that the revisionist idea of legitimacy is either conceptually or morally mistaken. This new conception of legitimacy promises to advance the debates between anarchists and statists by making the task of philosophical anarchists significantly more difficult. (shrink)
The first half of this paper is an attemptto conceptualize and understand the paradoxicalnotion of ``passive action''''. The strategy is toconstrue passive action in the context ofemotional behavior, with the purpose toestablish it as a conceivable and conceptuallycoherent category. In the second half of thispaper, the implications of passive action forcausal theories of action are examined. I arguethat Alfred Mele''s defense of causalism isunsuccessful and that causalism may lack theresource to account for passive action.Following Harry Frankfurt, I suggest analternative way (...) of understanding the nature ofaction that can accommodate passive action. (shrink)
The concept of volition has a long history in Western thought, but is looked upon unfavorably in contemporary philosophy and psychology. This paper proposes and elaborates a unifying conception of volition, which views volition as a mediating executive mental process that bridges the gaps between an agent's deliberation, decision and voluntary bodily action. Then the paper critically examines three major skeptical arguments against volition: volition is a mystery, volition is an illusion, and volition is a fundamentally flawed conception that leads (...) to infinite regress. It is shown that all these charges are untenable and the arguments are far from decisive to dismiss the concept of volition. In addition, it is suggested that a naturalistic approach, which takes philosophical inquiry as continuous with the scientific study of volition, is a promising way to demystify volition. (shrink)
Most empirical work in human categorization has studied learning in either fully supervised or fully unsupervised scenarios. Most real-world learning scenarios, however, are semi-supervised: Learners receive a great deal of unlabeled information from the world, coupled with occasional experiences in which items are directly labeled by a knowledgeable source. A large body of work in machine learning has investigated how learning can exploit both labeled and unlabeled data provided to a learner. Using equivalences between models found in human categorization and (...) machine learning research, we explain how these semi-supervised techniques can be applied to human learning. A series of experiments are described which show that semi-supervised learning models prove useful for explaining human behavior when exposed to both labeled and unlabeled data. We then discuss some machine learning models that do not have familiar human categorization counterparts. Finally, we discuss some challenges yet to be addressed in the use of semi-supervised models for modeling human categorization. (shrink)
The role of emotion in human action has long been neglected in the philosophy of action. Some prevalent misconceptions of the nature of emotion are responsible for this neglect: emotions are irrational; emotions are passive; and emotions have only an insignificant impact on actions. In this paper we argue that these assumptions about the nature of emotion are problematic and that the neglect of emotion's place in theories of action is untenable. More positively, we argue on the basis of recent (...) research in cognitive neuroscience that emotions may significantly affect action generation as well as action execution and control. Moreover, emotions also play a crucial role in people's explanation of action. We conclude that the concept of emotion deserves a more distinctive and central place in philosophical theories of action. (shrink)
Three experiments with 88 college-aged participants explored how unlabeled experiences—learning episodes in which people encounter objects without information about their category membership—influence beliefs about category structure. Participants performed a simple one-dimensional categorization task in a brief supervised learning phase, then made a large number of unsupervised categorization decisions about new items. In all three experiments, the unsupervised experience altered participants’ implicit and explicit mental category boundaries, their explicit beliefs about the most representative members of each category, and even their memory (...) for the items encountered during the supervised learning phase. These changes were influenced by both the range and frequency distribution of the unlabeled stimuli: mental category boundaries shifted toward the middle of the range and toward the trough of the bimodal distribution of unlabeled items, whereas beliefs about the most representative category members shifted toward the modes of the unlabeled distribution. One consequence of this shift in representations is a false-consensus effect (Experiment 3) where participants, despite receiving very disparate training experiences, show strong agreement in judgments about representativeness and boundary location following unsupervised category judgments. (shrink)
We reply to Andrew Sneddon’s recent criticism of the causal theory of action (CTA) and critically examine Sneddon’s preferred alternative, minimal causalism. We show that Sneddon’s criticism of CTA is problematic in several respects, and therefore his conclusion that “the prospects for CTA look poor” is unjustified. Moreover, we show that the minimal causalism that Sneddon advocates looks rather unpromising and its merits that Sneddon mentions are untenable.
Previous research has shown that people can implicitly acquire mappings between word forms and literal meanings . We argue, from the metaphor-representation and embodiment perspectives, that people can unconsciously establish mappings between word forms and not only literal but also metaphorical meanings. Using Williams’ paradigm, we found that transfer of form-meaning connections from a concrete domain to an abstract domain was achieved in a metaphor-consistent way without awareness. Our results support the view that unconscious knowledge can be flexibly deployed in (...) an abstract way not previously explored in the implicit learning literature. (shrink)