New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press (2021)

Authors
Tao Jiang
Rutgers University - New Brunswick
Abstract
This book rewrites the story of classical Chinese philosophy, which has always been considered the single most creative and vibrant chapter in the history of Chinese philosophy. Works attributed to Confucius, Mozi, Mencius, Laozi, Zhuangzi, Xunzi, Han Feizi and many others represent the very origins of moral and political thinking in China. As testimony to their enduring stature, in recent decades many Chinese intellectuals, and even leading politicians, have turned to those classics, especially Confucian texts, for alternative or complementary sources of moral authority and political legitimacy. Therefore, philosophical inquiries into core normative values embedded in those classical texts are crucial to the ongoing scholarly discussion about China as China turns more culturally inward. It can also contribute to the spirited contemporary debate about the nature of philosophical reasoning, especially in the non-Western traditions. This book offers a new narrative and interpretative framework about the origins of moral-political philosophy that tracks how the three normative values, humaneness, justice, and personal freedom, were formulated, reformulated, and contested by early Chinese philosophers in their effort to negotiate the relationship among three distinct domains, the personal, the familial, and the political. Such efforts took place as those thinkers were reimagining a new moral-political order, debating its guiding norms, and exploring possible sources within the context of an evolving understanding of Heaven and its relationship with the humans. Tao Jiang argues that the competing visions in that debate can be characterized as a contestation between partialist humaneness and impartialist justice as the guiding norm for the newly imagined moral-political order, with the Confucians, the Mohists, the Laoists, and the so-called fajia thinkers being the major participants, constituting the mainstream philosophical project during this period. Thinkers lined up differently along the justice-humaneness spectrum with earlier ones maintaining some continuity between the two normative values (or at least trying to accommodate both to some extent) while later ones leaning more toward their exclusivity in the political/public domain. Zhuangzi and the Zhuangists were the outliers of the mainstream moral-political debate who rejected the very parameter of humaneness versus justice in that discourse. They were a lone voice advocating personal freedom, but the Zhuangist expressions of freedom were self-restricted to the margins of the political world and the interiority of one's heartmind. Such a take can shed new light on how the Zhuangist approach to personal freedom would profoundly impact the development of this idea in pre-modern Chinese political and intellectual history.
Keywords Chinese philosophy  moral philosophy  political philosophy  Confucianism  Mohism  Legalism  Laozi  Zhuangzi
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy this book $98.22 used (21% off)   $117.84 new (6% off)   $125.00 from Amazon    Amazon page
ISBN(s) 0197611362   0197603475
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 65,587
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Free Will and Zhuangzi: An Introduction.Christian Wenzel - forthcoming - In John Perry, Michael Bratman & John Martin Fischer (eds.), Introduction to Philosophy: Classical and Contemporary Readings, Ninth Edition. Oxford University Press. pp. 460-473.
Achievements, Predicaments and Trend of Moral Confucianism.Song Zhiming - 2007 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 2 (4):503-516.
Political Thought in Early Confucianism.Liang Tao - 2010 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 5 (2):212-236.
What Is Political Philosophy?Charles Larmore - 2013 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 10 (3):276-306.
Comments on Durante’s Account of Multiculturalism.Tom L. Beauchamp - 2018 - Journal of Medical Ethics 44 (2):84-85.
Zhuangzi’s Ironic Detachment and Political Commitment.Bryan Van Norden - 2016 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 15 (1):1-17.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2021-10-26

Total views
2 ( #1,422,129 of 2,461,927 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #298,784 of 2,461,927 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes