Graham addresses several fundamental problems in classical Chinese philosophy, and in the nature and structure of the classical Chinese language. These inquiries and reflections are both broad based and detailed. Two sources of continuity bring these seemingly disparate parts into a coherent and intelligible whole. First, Graham addresses that set of fundamental philosophical questions that have been the focus of dispute in the tradition, and that have defined its character: What is the nature of human nature? What can we through linguistic and philosophical scrutiny discover about the date and composition of some of the major texts? What sense can we make of the Kung-sun Lung sophistries? A second source of coherence is Graham's identification and articulation of those basic and often unconscious presuppositions that ground our own tradition. By so doing, he enables readers to break free from the limits of their own conceptual universe and to explore in the Chinese experience a profoundly different world view.
After Confucius is a collection of eight studies of Chinese philosophy from the time of Confucius to the formation of the empire in the second and third centuries B.C.E. As detailed in a masterful introduction, each essay serves as a concrete example of “thick description”—an approach invented by philosopher Gilbert Ryle—which aims to reveal the logic that informs an observable exchange among members of a community or society. To grasp the significance of such exchanges, it is necessary to investigate the networks of meaning on which they rely. Paul R. Goldin argues that the character of ancient Chinese philosophy can be appreciated only if we recognize the cultural codes underlying the circulation of ideas in that world. Thick description is the best preliminary method to determine how Chinese thinkers conceived of their own enterprise. Who were the ancient Chinese philosophers? What was their intended audience? What were they arguing about? How did they respond to earlier thinkers, and to each other? Why did those in power wish to hear from them, and what did they claim to offer in return for patronage? Goldin addresses these questions as he looks at several topics, including rhetorical conventions of Chinese philosophical literature; the value of recently excavated manuscripts for the interpretation of the more familiar, received literature; and the duty of translators to convey the world of concerns of the original texts. Each of the cases investigated in this wide-ranging volume exemplifies the central conviction behind Goldin’s plea for thick description: We do not do justice to classical Chinese philosophy unless we engage squarely the complex and ancient culture that engendered it. An electronic version of this book is freely available thanks to the support of libraries working with Knowledge Unlatched, a collaborative initiative designed to make high-quality books open access for the public good. The open-access version of this book is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which means that the work may be freely downloaded and shared for non-commercial purposes, provided credit is given to the author. Derivative works and commercial uses require permission from the publisher.
Contemporary scholars of Chinese philosophy often presuppose that early China possessed a naturalistic worldview, devoid of any non-natural concepts, such as transcendence. Challenging this presupposition head-on, Joshua R. Brown and Alexus McLeod argue that non-naturalism and transcendence have a robust and significant place in early Chinese thought. This book reveals that non-naturalist positions can be found in early Chinese texts, in topics including conceptions of the divine, cosmogony, and apophatic philosophy. Moreover, by closely examining a range of early Chinese texts, and providing comparative readings of a number of Western texts and thinkers, the book offers a way of reading early Chinese Philosophy as consistent with the religious philosophy of the East and West, including the Abrahamic and the Brahmanistic religions. Co-written by a philosopher and theologian, this book draws out unique insights into early Chinese thought, highlighting in particular new ways to consider a range of Chinese concepts, including tian, dao, li, and you/wu.
This collection of essays, by Reding, in the emergent field of Sino-Hellenic studies, explores the neglected inchoative strains of rational thought in ancient China and compares them to similar themes in ancient Greek thought, right at the beginnings of philosophy in both cultures. Reding develops and defends the bold hypothesis that Greek and Chinese rational thinking are one and the same phenomenon. Rather than stressing the extreme differences between these two cultures - as most other writings on these subjects - Reding looks for the parameters that have to be restored to see the similarities. Reding maintains that philosophy is like an unknown continent discovered simultaneously in both China and Greece, but from different starting-points. The book comprises seven essays moving thematically from conceptual analysis, logic and categories to epistemology and ontology, with an incursion in the field of comparative metaphorology. One of the book's main concerns is a systematic examination of the problem of linguistic relativism through many detailed examples.
Chinese philosophy has been shaped over the last 3000 years by various movements, schools of philosophical thought, philosophical ways of thinking and their thinkers. The rich resources of Chinese philosophy and their value and significance to the common philosophical enterprise, especially to the development of contemporary philosophy and contemporary society, have been recognized, captured and elaborated through contemporary philosophical scholarship in studied of Chinese philosophy. Through a comprehensive survey of relevant substantial writings in this scholarship, this collection will provide a systematic, in-depth but accessible, and up-to-date examination of major resources of Chinese philosophy in view of how they can substantially contribute to various topics and issues in philosophy. The collection will be organized into four distinct but complementary volumes which as a whole give a synoptic view of the major issues, conceptions, approaches, and current engaging exploration in studies of Chinese philosophy. With an introduction, newly written by the editor, which places the collected material in its historical and intellectual context, Chinese Philosophy provides everything a scholar needs to break into the field, and is an invaluable reference work for the expert.
The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Chinese Philosophy Methodologies presents a new understanding of the changing methods used to study Chinese philosophy. By identifying the various different approaches and discussing the role, and significance of philosophical methods in the Chinese tradition, this collection identifies difficulties and exciting developments for scholars of Asian philosophy. Divided into four parts, the nature of Chinese philosophical thought is illuminated by discussing historical developments, current concerns and methodological challenges. Surveying recent methodological trends, this research companion explores and evaluates the methodologies that have been applied to Chinese philosophy. From these diverse angles, an international team of experts reflect on the considerations that enter their methodological choices and indicate new research directions. The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Chinese Philosophy Methodologies is an important contribution to the education of the next generation of Chinese philosophers.
This book traces the evolving uses of writing to command assent and obedience in early China, an evolution that culminated in the establishment of a textual canon as the foundation of imperial authority. Its central theme is the emergence of this body of writings as the textual double of the state, and of the text-based sage as the double of the ruler. The book examines the full range of writings employed in early China, such as divinatory records, written communications with ancestors, government documents, the collective writings of philosophical and textual traditions, speeches attributed to historical figures, chronicles, verse anthologies, commentaries, and encyclopedic compendia. Lewis shows how these writings served to administer populations, control officials, form new social groups, invent new models of authority, and create an artificial language whose master generated power and whose graphs became potent objects.
Philosophers of the Warring States is an anthology of new translations of essential readings from the classic texts of early Chinese philosophy, informed by the latest scholarship. It includes the Analects of Confucius, Meng Zi (Mencius), Xun Zi, Mo Zi, Lao Zi (Dao De Jing), Zhuang Zi, and Han Fei Zi, as well as short chapters on the Da Xue and the Zhong Yong. Pedagogically organized, this book offers philosophically sophisticated annotations and commentaries as well as an extensive glossary explaining key philosophical concepts in detail. The translations aim to be true to the originals yet accessible, with the goal of opening up these rich and subtle philosophical texts to modern readers without prior training in Chinese thought.
The Daoist philosopher Zhuangzi (also known as Chuang Tzu), along with Confucius, Lao Tzu, and the Buddha, ranks among the most influential thinkers in the development of East Asian thought. His literary style is humorous and entertaining, yet the philosophical content is extraordinarily subtle and profound. This book introduces key topics in early Daoist philosophy. Drawing on several issues and methods in Western philosophy, from analytical philosophy to semiotics and hermeneutics, the author throws new light on the ancient Zhuangzi text. Engaging Daoism and contemporary Western philosophical logic, and drawing on new developments in our understanding of early Chinese culture, Coutinho challenges the interpretation of Zhuangzi as either a skeptic or a relativist, and instead seeks to explore his philosophy as emphasizing the ineradicable vagueness of language, thought and reality. This new interpretation of the Zhuangzi offers an important development in the understanding of Daoist philosophy, describing a world in flux in which things themselves are vague and inconsistent, and tries to show us a Way (a Dao) to negotiate through the shadows of a "chaotic" world.
China's Philosophical Studies: Rediscovery of Chinese Spiritual Essence collects essential research findings of China's philosophical studies conducted by the academics at East China Normal University (ECNU) in recent years. The book covers topics including thoughts in China's Spring and Autumn Period, Chinese virtue of trust, establishing morals, historical studies of Chinese philosophy, etc.This book is the fifth volume of the WSPC-ECNU Series on China. This Series showcases the significant contributions to scholarship in social sciences and humanities studies about China. It is jointly launched by World Scientific Publishing, the most reputable English academic publisher in Asia, and ECNU, a top University in China with a long history of exchanges with the international academic community.
Learning from Chinese Philosophies engages Confucian and Daoist philosophies in creative interplay, developing a theory of interdependent selfhood in the two philosophical traditions. Karyn Lai draws on the unique insights of the two philosophies to address contemporary debates on ethics, community and government. Issues discussed include questions on selfhood, attachment, moral development, government, culture and tradition, and feminist queries regarding biases and dualism in ethics. Throughout the book, Lai demonstrates that Chinese philosophies embody novel and insightful ideas for addressing contemporary issues and problems.