Tu Wei-Ming and Charles Taylor on Embodied Moral Reasoning

Philosophy, Culture, and Traditions 9:199-216 (2013)
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Abstract

This paper compares the idea of embodied reasoning by Confucian Tu Wei-Ming and Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor. They have similar concerns about the problems of secular modernity, that is, the domination of instrumental reason and disembodied rationality. Both of them suggest that we have to explore a kind of embodied moral reasoning. I show that their theories of embodiment have many similarities: the body is an instrument for our moral knowledge and self-understanding; such knowledge is inevitably a kind of bodily knowledge. I will also demonstrate how the differences between their theories can be mutually enriched. While Taylor has provided a philosophical account of the foundation of moral epistemology, Tu’s emphasis of ritual practice and the integration of knowing, doing and being seems to offer a more fully embodied understanding of the moral self.

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Embodied agency.Charles Taylor - 1989 - In Henry Pietersma (ed.), Merleau-Ponty: Critical Essays. University Press of America. pp. 1--22.
The creative tension between jên and li.Wei-Ming Tu - 1968 - Philosophy East and West 18 (1/2):29-39.

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