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Philosophy East and West
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.249
Number of Followers: 15  
 
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ISSN (Print) 0031-8221 - ISSN (Online) 1529-1898
Published by Project MUSE Homepage  [305 journals]
  • Enabling and Constraining Classical Confucian Political Philosophy

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      Abstract: It is always a delight to see contemporary engagement with the rich insights of Mencius and Xunzi. In the case of Sungmoon Kim’s thoughtful and ambitious book, this delight is further accompanied by a feeling of confidence about future possibilities. Indeed, the analytic style and the conceptual devices Kim adopts in his discussion and reconstruction of these two thinkers’ ideas provide us with a more focused and structured way to notice and appreciate their commonalities and differences. Moreover, he attends to the differences in the social and political contexts these two thinkers were embedded in, as well as their different views regarding human nature and moral psychology. This attention is then followed by his ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Elements of Confucian Virtue Politics

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      Abstract: As Sungmoon Kim points out, contemporary Confucian studies has been disproportionately focused on the ethical side of the tradition. In this regard, Kim’s book, Theorizing Confucian Virtue Politics: The Political Philosophy of Mencius and Xunzi, makes an enormous contribution to the field of Confucian political thought. What makes his project even more valuable is that he goes beyond the textual analysis of political concepts and ideas in classical Confucian writings and builds them into a coherent and systematic political theory.In what follows, I will examine Kim’s reconstruction of the Confucian political theories of Mencius and Xunzi. However, rather than taking issue with whether his reconstructions are true ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Confucian Constitutionalism without Remedies

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      Abstract: In his splendid and provocative book Theorizing Confucian Virtue Politics: The Political Philosophy of Mencius and Xunzi, Sungmoon Kim proposes that we read the great classical Confucian philosophers Mencius (Mengzi 孟子, fourth century b.c.e.) and Xunzi 荀子 (third century b.c.e.) as constitutionalists. As I read Kim, he understands constitutionalism as something like a commitment to creating durable institutions, one of whose primary aims is to constrain the exercise of legitimate political authority and facilitate its good and proper uses. Mencius’ constitutionalism appears primarily in his arguments for making it customary to appoint virtuous ministers or advisors. Insofar as a non-ideal ruler might be tempted or ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • “A Leg is not the Same as Walking”: Riding my Hobby-horse on
           Interpretive Context

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      Abstract: In his Introduction to The Encyclopaedia Logic, G.W.F. Hegel reflects at great length upon the question “Where does philosophy begin' Where does the inquiry start'” And in this reverie, he concludes that because philosophy “does not have a beginning in the sense of the other sciences” it must be the case that “the beginning only has a relation to the subject who takes the decision to philosophise.”1 For Hegel himself, it is the ultimate project of such philosophizing to bring this person—the finite spirit, the single intellect, the philosopher—into identity with God as the object of pure thinking. And it is also for Hegel that, like Confucianism, persons are not facts (like legs) but achievements (like walking) ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Political Theory and Classical Confucianism: A Reply to Wang, Back,
           Tiwald, and Ames

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      Abstract: Theorizing Confucian Virtue Politics: The Political Philosophy of Mencius and Xunzi aims to provide a holistic account of Mencius’ and Xunzi’s political thought by reconstructing their political ideas into coherent political theories in a way that is intelligible and interesting to contemporary readers, while paying close attention to the Warring States circumstances in which Mencius and Xunzi found themselves. As a political theorist, part of my motivation in writing this book was to initiate a vigorous philosophical conversation with the students of Chinese philosophy (narrowly defined), to whom I owe tremendous intellectual debt, by encouraging them to revisit Mencius’ and Xunzi’s political thought in light of ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • The Indian Context for Buddhist Reductionism

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      Abstract: In 1984, Derek Parfit, in his book Reasons and Persons, argued in favor of the reductionist view about persons, which at that time aroused a great deal of controversy. Although Parfit’s views were not accepted by the majority of the exponents of Western analytic philosophy, in Personal Identity and Buddhist Philosophy Mark Siderits observes that Parfit did not abandon the view that “the existence of a person just consists in the existence of a brain and a body and the occurrence of a series of physical and psychological events” (pp. 19–20). While Parfit was aware of the fact that the Buddha also maintained a similar view, neither he nor his critics were aware of the fact that “in the Classical Indian controversy ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Persons, Eliminativism, and Context

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      Abstract: Mark Siderits’ Personal Identity and Buddhist Philosophy is a rich and wide-ranging volume. It is an exercise in what Siderits calls “fusion philosophy,” where the theoretical resources invented by one philosophical tradition are used to solve problems for another. The aim of this book, therefore, is to show how innovations in Buddhist philosophy in Sanskrit can help us make progress in contemporary debates about the nature of persons and personal identity. Here, I think, the book is a success. Not only has it opened up new possibilities within the theoretical space where these debates take place, but also it persuasively explains why these possibilities are worth taking seriously.In a nutshell, the argument of the ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Reductionism Redux

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      Abstract: I must begin by expressing my deep appreciation to Nilanjan Das and P. K. Sen for the care they have clearly taken in their thorough examinations of Empty Persons.1 There is quite a lot going on in the work, and even after the revisions made in preparing the second edition, what I wish to say is not always as clear as it might be. The penetrating questions raised in Das’s and Sen’s reviews are just the sort that any author of a philosophical work would welcome.Before coming to these questions, though, I should say a word about my stance toward the matters I discuss in the book. The work divides roughly into two parts. Chapters 1–5 discuss the reductionist view of persons that I think can be developed out of debates ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Der gute Weg des Handelns: Versuch einer Ethik für die heutige Zeit
           by Iso Kern (review)

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      Abstract: As the subtitle of Iso Kern’s newest monograph Der gute Weg des Handelns (“The Good Way of Acting”) indicates, the author attempts to develop an “ethics for the present time” (Ethik für die heutige Zeit). For Kern, such a project implies more than just addressing today’s most pressing ethical problems. An “ethics for the present time” that deserves the name concurrently has to take seriously a trend that is noticeably gaining momentum. In the last decade or so, mainstream Anglo-European philosophy has increasingly come under the pressure to diversify and integrate hitherto neglected philosophical resources from other traditions into its fields of inquiry. Within this movement towards deparochializing philosophy ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Confucian Concord: Reform, Utopia and Global Teleology in Kang Youwei's
           Datong Shu by Federico Brusadelli (review)

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      Abstract: Confucian Concord: Reform, Utopia and Global Teleology in Kang Youwei's Datong Shu analyses the thought of the late Qing reformer Kang Youwei 康有為 (1858– 1927). His well-known Datongshu 大同書 (Great Concord), conceived in 1884 and finally published in 1935, functions as a prism. The research interest of Federico Brusadelli, Lecturer in Chinese History at the University of Naples L'Orientale, reaches beyond Kang’s thought to the production of histories and their political relevance in the two last centuries. The author presents the Great Concord as an early “global history” in which Kang developed his vision of the whole world’s past, present and future. That future would ultimately lead to the Age of Great Concord ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Illuminating the Mind: An Introduction to Buddhist Epistemology by
           Jonathan Stoltz (review)

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      Abstract: Jonathan Stoltz’s Illuminating the Mind: An Introduction to Buddhist Epistemology is an excellent book that will be valuable to those familiar with analytic epistemology but unfamiliar with, and curious about, Indian philosophical traditions. It is also a valuable book for those seeking to teach Buddhist epistemology to advanced philosophy students. Philosophers interested in cross-cultural philosophical methodology will also find this book an interesting case study.With respect to cross-cultural methodology, Stoltz aims to demonstrate the philosophical legitimacy of Buddhist epistemology to a “Western” audience by presenting the epistemological themes and arguments of various Buddhist thinkers in terms he thinks ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • François Jullien’s Unexceptional Thought: A Critical Introduction by
           Arne De Boever (review)

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      Abstract: François Jullien is a master of repetition. Over his more than thirty books, he introduces a carefully defined set of concepts--such as “blandness” and “efficacy”--and then pairs them, opposes them, and sets them in different contexts, returning to them repeatedly without ever saying quite the same thing. One can imagine an introduction to Jullien’s work that traces each of his concepts through its development from book to book, noting explicit and implicit connections to the traditional Chinese thought that gave rise to it. In François Jullien’s Unexceptional Thought, Arne De Boever takes a different tack. As he puts it in his introduction: “I focus on certain books and topics that stood out to me within Jullien’s ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Chinese Émigré Intellectuals and Their Quest for Liberal Values in the
           Cold War, 1949–69 by Kenneth Kai-chung Yung (review)

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      Abstract: Kenneth Kai-chung Yung’s Chinese Émigré Intellectuals and Their Quest for Liberal Values in the Cold War presents the philosophical and political development of Chinese intellectuals who fled the mainland after the Communist takeover in 1949. Focusing on Yin Haiguang 殷海光 (1919–1969), Zhang Junmai 張君勱(1887–1969), and Xu Fuguan 徐復觀 (1904–1982), the author provides a comparative account and comprehensive overview of the many facets of intellectual discourse among Chinese post-war philosophers and public intellectuals.Yung’s book is structured into five chapters. While the first two chapters introduce the reader to the general trends and historical circumstances of the post-war intellectual sphere, the ensuing chapters ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Daoism and Environmental Philosophy: Nourishing Life by Eric S. Nelson
           (review)

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      Abstract: In a time when the signs of a looming climate crisis have become increasingly evident, Eric Nelson’s work is a timely and relevant book. While dealing with theoretical questions, the book is also grounded in the empirical happenings of a global world order intertwined with human-induced climate change. Yet what is perhaps more significant is that it examines the way humans perceive nature, not as an atomic individualized activity but rather as envisioned and enacted through relations with the environment.In his Introduction, Nelson contextualizes the theoretical basis of the book. He rejects the bifurcations oppose the contemplative to the purposive and the philosophical to the religious nature of Daoism. A new ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • The Ethics of Oneness: Emerson, Whitman, and the Bhagavad Gita by Jeremy
           Engels (review)

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      Abstract: In his deeply personal yet academically rigorous book, The Ethics of Oneness: Emerson, Whitman, and the Bhagavad Gita, Jeremy Engels takes up the task of describing and critiquing the quintessential U.S. American philosophies of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman. Though much ink has been spilled over these two philosophers, there are two features of Engels approach to their description and critique that make it unique when compared with other books that delve into the history of Indian philosophy’s influence on these American philosophers. Engels’ purpose is not simply to recount the history, but rather to explicate Emerson and Whitman’s philosophies in light of that history in a way that makes them relevant to ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • History of Chinese Philosophy Through its Key Terms ed. by Yueqing Wang,
           Qinggang Bao, and Guoxing Guan (review)

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      Abstract: Recent anglophone scholarship on Chinese philosophy provides students and scholars with a great variety of introductory materials, especially when it comes to encyclopedias and manuals on the history of Chinese philosophical traditions. It is therefore increasingly difficult for scholars to produce innovative studies on the subject that can provide a significant and original contribution to the field, especially when addressing both specialists and enthusiasts. In this context, The History of Chinese Philosophy Through its Key Terms by Nanjing University’s Wang Yueqing 王月清, Bao Qinggang 暴庆刚, and Guan Guoxing 管国兴 certainly represents a valuable and innovative contribution. Instead of presenting the history of ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • An Account and Analysis of Metempsychosis in the Views of Āzar Kayvān as
           a Commentator on Illuminationist Philosophy

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      Abstract: Āzar Kayvān (1533–1618) was a Zoroastrian gnostic from Fars Province in Iran to whom the later-developed Āzarī or Āzarkayvānī School owes its origins. In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, Āzar Kayvān and his pupils emigrated from Iran to India, where he remained until his death in the city of Patna. Almost all scholars who study the work of Āzar Kayvān believe he was a follower of the Illuminationist School of Shaykh al-Ishrāq Suhrawardī (the Master of Illumination). Henry Corbin, an eminent scholar of Suhrawardī, believes that Āzar Kayvān was a Zoroastrian commentator on Suhrawardī’s works. The work written and compiled by Kayvān and his followers is, in Corbin’s view, based on a rereading and ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Bhāviveka’s Inclusivism: Discriminating the Feces, Jewels, and
           Fake Jewels of the Veda

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      Abstract: The doxographical literatures of Indian philosophy are expressions of the inclusivistic pattern of thinking that was ingrained among classical Indian intellectuals.1 An Indian doxography enumerates discrete intellectual traditions and arranges them in a particular order. By enumerating them, that is, by collecting the views of philosophical schools in one place and juxtaposing each tradition, it not only presents itself as an all-inclusive compendium of Indian intellectual tradition as a whole, but it also establishes each school as comparable to the others. By arranging them, that is, by presenting them in a certain sequence, and especially by placing the affiliated school of an author at the end of the work, the ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Buddhist Ethics as a Path: A Defense of Normative Gradualism

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      Abstract: The Buddha presents his teachings as a path. First of all, he offers a diagnosis of a problem. This is the problem of unsatisfactoriness or suffering (duḥkha). We experience pervasive suffering in our lives. But the Buddha offers a message of hope. He suggests a solution to the problem of suffering. This solution is the Eightfold Path. The Eightfold Path is a therapeutic regime that aims to transform our beliefs, attitudes, and dispositions. By walking the Eightfold Path, the aspirant can extinguish the ignorance and confusion that generates suffering. One of the most important sources of suffering and confusion is the belief that we are substantial selves that persist through changes in properties and experiences. ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Mencius and Isaiah Berlin on Freedom

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      Abstract: This article explores the idea of liberty implicated in Mencius’ thought in light of Isaiah Berlin’s negative/positive liberty distinction and attempts to defend Mencius’ thought from Berlin’s criticism of positive liberty. In his “Two Concepts of Liberty” (Berlin 2002, pp. 169–178), Berlin distinguishes two kinds of liberty: negative and positive. Negative liberty is concerned with the area within which the subject can act without outside interference. Accordingly, one is free if one’s actions are free from interference by others. Positive liberty is concerned with the sources of control of one’s actions. The aspiration of positive liberty is self-mastery or self-government, instead of being controlled by external ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • For Glory and for Sport: Jonathan Edwards and the Vedanta School on
           God’s Motive for Creating the World

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      Abstract: The Vedanta school of Indian philosophy endorses a rather unusual account of God’s motives in creating the world. He created the world, the Vedantins insist, for sport (or play; the Sanskrit word is līlā). This idea might seem upon first glance to be rather bizarre—are we really to think that the creation of the world is akin to the playing of a divine game' I will offer an interpretation and initial evaluation of the view itself and the main argument the Vedantins give for it, in the hopes of showing it to be more plausible than it may at first appear. I will do this primarily by making an extended comparison to the views of a Christian philosopher, Jonathan Edwards. I will argue that the Vedantin claim that God ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Kumārila Bhaṭṭa and Pārthasārathi Miśra on First- and Higher-Order
           Knowing

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      Abstract: According to the seventh-century C.E. philosopher Kumārila Bhat.t.a, epistemic agents are warranted in taking their world-presenting experiences as veridical, if they lack defeaters. For him, these experiences are defeasibly sources of knowledge without the agent reflecting on their content or investigating their causal origins. This position is known as svataḥ prāmāṇya in Sanskrit (henceforth the SP principle).As explicated by the eleventh-century commentator, Pārthasārathi Miśra, this position entails that epistemic agents know things without simultaneously knowing that they know them, or being in a position to know that they know. In contrast, some contemporary Anglo-analytic philosophers1 argue for the ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Yan Fu as a Transmitter and a Creator: A Conceptual Perspective

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      Abstract: Yan Fu 嚴 復 (1854–1921) is regarded as a watershed figure in China’s transitional period of ferrying Chinese thought across from the traditional to the modern. His principles, namely xin 信 (faithfulness), da 達 (expressiveness), and ya 雅 (elegance), are purposed to achieve the ideal result of translation.1 These principles are in some way informative of Yan Fu’s subjectivity as a translator at the node of epochal transition. However, his subjectivity can be further surveyed through a retrospective elaboration of his hermeneutic efforts in parallel with his translation of Western works. How to locate Yan Fu’s hermeneutic historically is raised as an issue to be engaged against the overall backdrop of China’s long ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • The Political Dangers of Nishida’s View of Embodiment

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      Abstract: It is difficult to deny the influence of Nishida Kitarō 西田幾多郎 on the views of embodiment that disrupt the subject-object relationship within Japanese philosophy. What is often not discussed among the Nishidians and those shaped by his views of the body, however, are the social, political, and economic implications that can be derived therefrom. Indeed, if we return to Nishida’s view of the body, we find a shift over time, beginning from the early years, that focuses on the body in the form of pure experience, to the middle and later years of being framed in terms of a logic of poiesis expressed as a standpoint of action-intuition. But left unaccounted for throughout all of this is what other Japanese thinkers ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Is Zhuangzi a Patient Relativist': A Response to Yong Huang

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      Abstract: In his recent papers, Professor Yong Huang has been attempting to interpret the ethics of Zhuangzi from the perspective of patient moral relativism. Generally speaking, there are two sorts of moral relativism that are discussed in the contemporary philosophical literature: agent relativism and appraiser relativism. The former means that the moral judgments of rightness and wrongness of an action depend on the agent’s moral standards, while the latter considers the appraiser’s standards as the only criteria for assessing the moral appropriateness of a certain action. In contrast to agent relativism and appraiser relativism, “patient relativism” advocates that whether an action is moral or not should be evaluated in ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Patient Moral Relativism in the Zhuangzi Defended: A Reply to Jianping Hu

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      Abstract: I have been developing an ethics that I initially identified in the text of the Zhuangzi and which I have characterized in different ways under different names. First, in contrast to the moral Golden (and Silver) Rule, which asks us to do (or not do) unto others as we would (or would not) like to have done unto us, I call it the moral Copper Rule: do (or do not do) unto others as they would (or would not) like to have done unto them (see Huang 2005). Second, in contrast to the ethics of commonality, I call it ethics of difference. Ethics of Commonality is a general term I use to include the moral Golden Rule, Kantian ethics (including Kantian revisions of the Golden Rule), and even Rorty’s anti-Kantian ethics ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • A Rejoinder to Yong Huang

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      Abstract: Let me begin by expressing my sincere gratitude to Professor Huang for his great work on the theory of patient moral relativism and to the editors of Philosophy East and West for giving me this opportunity not only to discuss my thoughts with Professor Huang but also to clarify and further develop my critique. In this reply, I shall focus on two things: first, I will briefly summarize and explain my ideas in my previous comment; second, I will tackle Huang’s response in detail and discuss some points of disagreement.In “Is Zhuangzi a Patient Relativist'” I argue not only that the theory of patient relativism itself is problematic but also that it is inaccurate to interpret the Zhuangzi as espousing patient moral ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-03T00:00:00-05:00
       
 
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