This volume offers a comprehensive philosophical study of Confucian ethics-its basic insights and its relevance to contemporary Western moral philosophy. Distinguished writer and philosopher A. S. Cua presents fourteen essays which deal with various probl.
Featuring contributions from the world's most highly esteemed Asian philosophy scholars, this important new encyclopedia covers the complex and increasingly influential field of Chinese thought, from earliest recorded times to the present day. Including coverage on the subject previously unavailable to English speakers, the _Encyclopedia_ sheds light on the extensive range of concepts, movements, philosophical works, and thinkers that populate the field. It includes a thorough survey of the history of Chinese philosophy; entries on all major thinkers from Confucius to (...) Mou Zongsan; essential topics such as aesthetics, moral philosophy, philosophy of government, and philosophy of literature; surveys of Confucianism in all historical periods and in key regions outside China; schools of thought such as Mohism, Legalism, and Chinese Buddhism; trends in contemporary Chinese philosophy, and more. (shrink)
A constructive interpretation of the Confucian conception of shame is offered here. Xunzi's discussion is considered the locus classicus of the Confucian conception of shame as contrasted with honor. In order to show his conception as an articulation and development of the more inchoate attitudes of Confucius and Mencius, and excursion is made into the Lunyu and the Mengzi. Aristotle's conception of shame is used as a sort of catalyst, an opening for appreciating Xunzi's complementary insights.
This essay deals with one basic feature of Confucian ethics as an ethics of flexibility by way of examining Confucius's concept of paradigmatic individuals (chün?tzu). Part I attempts a critical reconstruction and assessment of this concept. Part II takes up a feature of the account of chün?tzu in terms of the problem of rules and exceptions. It is suggested that the problem is best dealt with by making a distinction between normal and exigent moral situations ? a distinction that appears (...) to be implicit in the Confucian doctrine of ching?ch'üan. Viewed in this light, the flexible character of Confucian ethics can be seen to have an important bearing on a problem in moral philosophy. (shrink)
This essay is an attempt to establish the relevance of conceptual analysis and explication to the understanding of classical chinese philosophy. It is suggested that an employment of the methodology brings out problems of philosophical interest.
The focus of this informative work is "The Art of Rulership," Book 9 of the Huai Nan Tzu--an anthology of the Early Han. A complete translation of this book is given at the end of this study. Through a careful and detailed discussion of various political concepts in Pre-Ch'in philosophical literature, it is maintained that "The Art of Rulership" is a creative synthesis of some key concepts in Taoism, Confucianism, and Legalism. Ample translations of important passages supporting Ames's interpretations are (...) provided. Ames states that his book is "an exercise in conceptual reconstruction." After a preliminary chapter on philosophy of history, Ames discusses five fundamental concepts: wu-wie, shih, fa, yung chung, and li-min. Throughout, Ames traces the conceptual evolution of these notions and the way these notions are incisively used in "The Art of Rulership." The chapters on shih and fa are particularly illuminating and jointly contribute to the understanding of legalism. On the whole, Ames's interpretative remarks are sound. Indeed, the book is an important contribution to the study of ancient Chinese political thought. However, there are two rather puzzling features in this work. The first is the attribution of organismic metaphysics to both Confucianism and Taoism. Very little explanation or justification is given for this attribution. Moreover, it is doubtful that such an attribution throws light upon the key concepts studied. Actually Ames rarely invokes this metaphysical presupposition throughout his study. In addition an informed reader is likely to be disturbed by Ames's regular use of the term "consummate person" in discussing both Confucianism and Taoism. The Confucian chün-tzu may be rendered in this way; but it can hardly be used to translate Chuang Tzu's chih-jen, which may be rendered as "perfect man." To render both terms as "consummate person" misleadingly suggests that both Taoism and Confucianism have the same conception of ideal personality. In fact, we are dealing with two radically divergent conceptions of ideal person. Ames should have provided some justification for his practice.--Antonio S. Cua, The Catholic University of America. (shrink)
Students of classical Chinese philosophy are quite justly puzzled by the debates and paradoxes in the "School of Names" and the extant logico-semantic texts of the Later Mohists. The latter has received an incisive and extensive treatment in A. C. Graham's Later Mohist Logic, Ethics and Science. Thus far, no larger systematic work on Chinese logic and philosophy of language is available in English. Hansen's book is a good attempt to deal in the large scale with classical Chinese philosophy of (...) language. This book consists of five carefully written chapters. The first expounds a methodology which starts from the premise that interpretation is a theory--"an attempt to explain a text--to render it understandable. As such it is inescapably relative to the intended audience, and appropriately wedded to the critical, rational, logical evaluation procedures appropriate to other theories. The main evaluative features on which we have concentrated is the coherence of the theory." The text at issue is that ascribed to Kung-sun Lung discussed in chapter 5. In terms of its announced aim, it succeeds well in rendering a plausible though by no means uncontroversial explication of the text. The attempted explication is, however, mediated by a number of chapters which raise interesting philosophical issues that repay closer examination by students and philosophical scholars of Chinese philosophy of language. Chapter 2, for example, proposes a bold hypothesis on Chinese philosophy in terms of the logic of mass nouns. It is claimed that a "stuff-like ontology and semantics were implicitly operating as a background assumption behind pre-Han philosophy," and a negative corrollary: "an hypothesis that an abstract or mentalistic ontology and semantics of the type common to Western thinkers were not implicit assumptions behind pre-Han philosophy." For the reviewer, the negative thesis is highly plausible independently of the adequacy of the first. (shrink)
This essay offers some preliminary reflections on the systematic and non-systematic uses of basic metaphors in relation to Pepper's conception of root metaphor. It is suggested that Pepper's conception represents one sort of systematic use; and that the non- systematic use, as exemplified in Chinese thought, has an independent cognitive status and merit particularly in comparative philosophical inquiry.