: It is argued here that Mozi's critique of warfare in the chapter "Against Offensive War" ("Fei gong") cannot be fully understood without the arguments presented in the chapter "Explaining Ghosts" ("Ming gui"). For Mozi, the problem of war can only be resolved if the existence of providential ghosts can be proven. But he indicates in his arguments concerning the existence of ghosts that it is doubtful whether such a condition can be met. Consequently, despite the apparently optimistic tenor of (...) chapters such as "Imperial Love" ("Jian ai"), Mozi's political thought reveals an implicit understanding of the rational limits of resolving fundamental problems of injustice in the world. (shrink)
According to A. C. Graham, ‘the crucial question’ for the early Chinese thinkers was ‘Where is the Way [dao]?’–‘the way to order the state and conduct personal life’ rather than ‘What is the Truth?’1 This observation is most apt when applied to the thinking of Mozi and his followers as it is exemplified in the ethical and political chapters of the eponymously named text .2 A striking feature of the Mohists’ thinking, however, is the concern they have with yan , (...) and the role they assigned to yan in their ethical project. Part I of this article will outline the nature and scope of the Mohists’ concern with yan. In the Mohists’ conception, right yan is the linguistic counterpart to proper dao. And conduct that follows dao is a matter of affirming the right yan and taking it as a model in one’s actions. The Mohists’ concern with yan is prominently exhibited in their proposing objective standards, or ‘gauges’, by means of which any yan may be assessed. Part II introduces these gauges and discusses how they function as standards for right yan and right conduct. Given the generally pragmatic outlook of their thinking, the question remains as to whether, in their conception of yan, the Mohists conceived of language exclusively in terms of its action guiding function, and whether they deployed the notion of truth at all. Part III discusses this issue, arguing that there is a minimal sense in which yan that are positively assessed by the gauges are true, and that the Mohists are not insensitive to the distinction between descriptive as opposed to action guiding uses of language. Part IV briefly discusses how the Mohists’ attitude towards yan contrasts with those of early Confucian and Daoist thinkers. (shrink)
In all three versions of the “Jian’ai” 兼愛 Chapter in the Mozi 墨子, variations of a central argument may be found. This argument proceeds by advancing a diagnosis for what causes the various evils that beset the world, and it is on this basis that the Mohists propose jian’ai as the solution. The study examines this main argument in some detail, with the aim of improving both our understanding of the Mohist ethical doctrine and also our appreciation of their argumentative (...) practices. The study shows that distinct ethical injunctions of varying degrees of stringency can be derived from the argument, though they all embody an underlying notion of impartiality. This impartiality—while in many ways recognizably attractive to us—puts Mohist jian’ai in tension with certain notions regarding the ethical significance of special relations. In addition, the paper argues that the Mohists main argument for jian’ai contains a critical flaw. (shrink)
In the first chapter of Confucius: The Secular as Sacred, Herbert Fingarette argues that in the Analects Confucius holds the essence of human virtue to be a kind of magic power and this magic can be explained in terms of J. L. Austin’s analysis of the “performative utterance.” This paper attempts to explicate what Fingarette’s claims concerning magic and the “performative” amount to. I will argue that even though there is something to the underlying spirit of Fingarette’s project, he either (...) misused or simply misunderstood Austin and, because of this misuse or misunderstanding, he has possibly misunderstood Confucius as well. (shrink)
The Tao Tê Ching is probably the world's second most translated and annotated book , yet it remains among the most enigmatic. Of its eighty-one chapters, no one denies that the most important is the first, and many scholars go further to claim that it is the key to the whole work: if it is understood fully, all the rest may be seen to be implied. Unfortunately, the first chapter also happens to be the most ambiguous. But even so, after (...) so much attention can there be anything left to say? It seems to me that an important point has been missed or at least obscured, and that the popularity of certain translations has made this obscuration more prevalent recently. To correct this, I shall offer below a line-by-line explication of this crucial passage. The following interpretation first demonstrates the parallel structure of the first eight lines as signifying two different ways of experiencing: lines one, three, five and seven refer to the experience of Tao, and lines two, four, six and eight to our more usual way of experiencing the world. I shall suggest that the difference between these ways is the difference between our familiar dualistic experience and a much less common nondualistic way of experiencing in which there is no bifurcation between subject and object. Second, we shall see that the parallel structure unfolds dialectically: each succeeding pair of lines elaborates upon the issues that naturally arise in response to the preceding pair. In the process of showing this, I shall take sides on the two main controversies over this chapter: first, whether it should be interpreted cosmologically or ontologically/epistemologically , and second, whether lines, five and six should be punctuated to translate yü as ‘desire/intention’. My main thesis is that the traditional understanding of yü as ‘desire’ or ‘intention’ is an essential part of the meaning of the chapter. This is by no means an original claim, but why it is so important does not seem to have been noticed before and provides the reason for this paper. Wing-tsit Chan's criticism of such translations, that ‘intention interrupts the thought of the chapter’, 1 is thus a serious misreading of the text. (shrink)
This essay revolves around a careful assessment of Hui-chieh Loy's essay ?Justification and Debate: Thoughts on Moist Moral Epistemology?. There is much to appreciate in Loy's analysis of the standard of sound doctrine in the ?Against Fatalism? chapters of the Mozi, but a close reading of Loy's essay reveals problematic aspects in his approach along both hermeneutic and logical lines. For one, he groups Mozi's tests of the standard of sound doctrine in a way that does not square well (...) with how they are grouped in the primary text. I call this the problem of alignment. Secondly, he conflates the notions of standard and test. I refer to this as the problem of implementation insofar as such conflation causes the tests to be implemented in a way that they did not seem to be intended to be by Mozi, that is, each on its own as constituting sound doctrine instead of taking them all together as the indicator of sound doctrine. (shrink)
This collection reflects the confluence of two contemporary developments: the Buddhist-Christian dialogue and the deconstruction theory of Jacques Derrida. The five essays both explore and demonstrate the relationship between postmodernism and Buddhist-Christian thought. The liberating and healing potential of de-essentialized concepts and images, language, bodies and symbols are revealed throughout. Included are essays by Roger Corless, David Loy, Philippa Berry, Morny Joy, and Robert Magliola.
The self-interest paradigm predicts that unethical behavior occurs when such behavior benefits the actor. A recent model of lying behavior, however, predicts that lying behavior results from an individual''s inability to meet conflicting role demands. The need to reconcile the self-interest and role conflict theories prompted the present study, which orthogonally manipulated the benefit from lying and the conflicting role demands. A model integrating the two theories predicts the results, which showed that both elements — self benefit and role conflict (...) — influenced lying, separately and interactively. Additionally, the relative strength of the roles in conflict affected their level of influence. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed. (shrink)
We find ourselves in a media-intensive milieu comprising networks, images, sounds, and text, which we generalize as data and metadata. How can we understand this digital milieu and make sense of these data, not only focusing on their functionalities but also reflecting on our everyday life and existence? How do these material constructions demand a new philosophical understanding? Instead of following the reductionist approaches, which understand the digital milieu as abstract entities such as information and data, this article proposes to (...) approach it from an embodied perspective: objects. The article contrasts digital objects with natural objects (e.g., apples on the table) and technical objects (e.g., hammers) in phenomenological investigations, and proposes to approach digital objects from the concept of “relations,” on the one hand the material relations that are concretized in the development of mark-up languages, such as SGML, HTML, and XML, and on the other hand, Web ontologies, the temporal relations that are produced and conditioned by the artificial memories of data. (shrink)
The healthcare crisis that has developed in the last two decades during China's economic reform has caused healthcare and hospital financing reforms to be largely experienced by patients as a crisis in the patient–healthcare professional relationship (PPR) at the bedside. The nature and magnitude of this crisis were epitomized by the "Harbin Scandal"—an incident that took place in August 2005 in a Harbin teaching hospital in which the family of an elderly patient hospitalized in the intensive care unit (ICU) for (...) 66 days paid over RMB ¥6 million. The news was publicized globally and ended in the firing of six top hospital administrators including the hospital president and the ICU director. This paper seeks to show that the Chinese healthcare crisis is ultimately linked to a conflict of interests between patients and healthcare professionals (HCPs), which is inherent in the reformed healthcare system of China. Hence the crisis is, at its core, a crisis of fidelity and confidence that must be restored to the PPR. At the "macro" level, it is simplistic to blame the crisis on the failure of the market system, and at the "micro" level, it is naïve to expect that a contractual understanding of the PPR will effectively restore the confidence of patients. This paper will show that the fiduciary relationship and medical professionalism share similar attributes, with fidelity being the core value of both. It concludes that the loss of medical fidelity implies the dissolution of the PPR and the demise of the medical profession and challenges Chinese HCPs to keep their fidelity as a means to both protect their patients’ interests and to preserve their profession's survival. (shrink)
Although cross-cultural psychology has advanced our understanding of cultural aspects of psychology, it is marred by theoretical and methodological flaws. These flaws include misunderstanding cultural issues and the manner in which they bear on psychology; obscuring the relation between biology, culture, and psychology; inadequately defining and measuring cultural factors and psychological phenomena; erroneously analysing data and drawing faulty conclusions about the cultural character of psychology. This article identifies fundamental theoretical and methodological errors that have appeared in prominent cross-cultural psychological research. (...) Suggestions for overcoming them are then outlined. (shrink)
A substantial portion of the developed world's population is increasingly dependent on machines to make their way in the everyday world. For certain privileged groups, computers, cell phones, PDAs, Blackberries, and IPODs, all permitting the faster processing of information, are commonplace. In these populations, even exercise can be automated as persons try to achieve good physical fitness by riding stationary bikes, running on treadmills, and working out on cross-trainers that send information about performance and heart rate.
Abstract In what ways was Nietzsche right, from a Buddhist perspective, and where did he go wrong? Nietzsche understood how the distinction we make between this world and a higher spiritual realm serves our need for security, and he saw the bad faith in religious values motivated by this need. He did not perceive how his alternative, more aristocratic values, also reflects the same anxiety. Nietzsche realised how the search for truth is motivated by a sublimated desire for symbolic security; (...) philosophy's attempt to create the world reflects the tyrannical will?to?power, becoming the most ?spiritualised? version of the need to impose our will. Insofar as truth is our intellectual effort to grasp being symbolically, however, Nietzsche overlooks a different reversal of perspective which could convert the ?bad infinite? of heroic will into the good infinite of disseminating play. What he considered the crown of his system?eternal recurrence?is actually its denouement. Having seen through the delusion of Being, Nietzsche still sought a Being within Becoming. Nietzsche is able to affirm the value of this moment only by making it recur eternally. Rather than the way to vanquish nihilism, will?to?power turns out to be pure nihilism, for nihilism is not the debacle of all meaning but our dread of that debacle and what we do to avoid it. (shrink)
The main objective of the study was to survey health-care practitioners' (HCPs) perception of health-care practices that are of medical–ethical importance in Hong Kong public hospitals, and to identify the moral issues that concern them most. A total of 2718 doctors, nurses, allied health and administrative workers from 14 hospitals participated. HCPs considered that communication/conflict between patients/families and HCPs was the most important issue, followed by issues concerning patients' rights and values. The ‘ethics climate’ in Hong Kong public hospitals was (...) found to be largely determined by two negative factors (inadequate communication and conflict issues) and two positive factors (high regard for patients' rights and the decline in family interference). Chinese cultural conventions were inferred to exert strong influence on the behaviours of HCPs and patients/families. Significant differences in perceptions between different categories of HCPs were also detected. The study was the first of its kind ever done in Hong Kong and signalled the need for institutional reorganization and medical–ethical education. (shrink)
Buddhism, By denying the subject, And advaita, By denying the object, Both resolve the problematic subject-Object relationship. That they are mirror-Images suggests that "nirvana" and "moksha" might amount to the same thing-Nonduality. "there is no self" equals "everything is the self." buddhism emphasizes "sunyata" because it is a phenomenological description of enlightenment. Advaita speaks of monistic "brahman" because it is a philosophical attempt to describe reality from the fictional "outside.".
In the first part of the paper, the author discusses the origin and obligation of the medical profession and argues that the duty of fidelity in the context of a patientâprofessional relationship (PPR) is the central obligation of medical professionals. The duty of fidelity entails seeking the patientâs best interests even at the expense of the professionalâs own, and refusing to treat a risk-patient infected by SARS is a breach of fidelity because the medical professional is involved in a situation (...) of conflict of interests and places his/her own health interests ahead of the patient. The author attributes the failure to the fact that professional ethical codes are not legally enforceable, and this failure at the microethical level damages the integrity of the profession at the macroethical level. The author argues that professional autonomy must be subordinated to professional fidelity for the medical profession to survive as a social institution. In the second part of the paper, the author shows that the PPR has most of the important attributes of a fiduciary relationship, and analyzes several important court cases in some common law jurisdictions to illustrate the increasing importance of fiduciary law in adjudicating disputes between patients and medical professionals, and appeals to law courts and legislatures to apply more stringent fiduciary principles on the medical profession to ensure that the professional duty of fidelity is enforced and the goal of medicine fulfilled for the interests of members of the community who has established the medical profession in the first place. (shrink)
Mechanical devices implanted in the body present implications for broad themes in religious thought and experience, including the nature and destiny of the human person, the significance of a person's embodied experience, including the experiences of pain and suffering, the person's relationship to ultimate reality, the divine or the sacred, and the vocation of medicine. Community-constituting convictions and narratives inform the method and content of reasoning about such conceptual questions as whether a moral line should be drawn between therapeutic or (...) enhancement interventions and/or between somatic and neural/cognitive interventions. By attending to these broader community-forming concepts, it is possible to identify three general orienting themes in religious perspectives on incorporated mechanical devices, which we shall designate as perspectives of “appropriation,” “ambivalence,” and “resistance.”. (shrink)
: This essay takes seriously the many Buddhist admonitions about ‘‘not settling down in things’’ and the importance of wandering freely ‘‘without a place to rest.’’ The basic thesis is that delusion is awareness trapped, and liberation is awareness freed from grasping. The familiar words ‘‘attention’’ and ‘‘awareness’’ are used to emphasize that the distinction being drawn refers not to some abstract metaphysical entity but simply to how our everyday awareness functions. This way of distinguishing between delusion and enlightenment is (...) not only consistent with basic Buddhist teachings but gives us insight into some of the more difficult ones, such as the way karma works and the Mahāyāna claim that ‘‘form is not other than emptiness, emptiness not other than form.’’ Moreover, this perspective illuminates some aspects of our contemporary life-world, including the particular challenges of modern technology and economics. It is important to see the implications for some of the social issues that concern us today. The constriction or liberation of awareness is not only a personal matter. What do societies do to encourage or discourage its emancipation? (shrink)