This book is both a critique of the concept of the rights-holding, free, autonomous individual and attendant ideology dominant in the contemporary West, and an account of an alternative view, that of the role-bearing, interrelated responsible person of classical Confucianism, suitably modified for addressing the manifold problems of today.
Few if any philosophical schools have championed family values as persistently as the early Confucians, and a great deal can be learned by attending to what they had to say on the subject. In the Confucian tradition, human morality and the personal realization it inspires are grounded in the cultivation of family feeling. One may even go so far as to say that, for China, family reverence was a necessary condition for developing any of the other human qualities of excellence. (...) On the basis of the present translation of the Xiaojing (Classic of Family Reverence) and supplemental passages found in other early philosophical writings, Professors Rosemont and Ames articulate a specifically Confucian conception of "role ethics" that, in its emphasis on a relational conception of the person, is markedly different from most early and contemporary dominant Western moral theories. This Confucian role ethics takes as its inspiration the perceived necessity of family feeling as the entry point in the development of moral competence and as a guide to the religious life as well. In the lengthy introduction, two senior scholars offer their perspective on the historical, philosophical, and religious dimensions of the Xiaojing. Together with this introduction, a lexicon of key terms presents a context for the Xiaojing and provides guidelines for interpreting the text historically in China as well as suggesting its contemporary significance for all societies. The inclusion of the Chinese text adds yet another dimension to this important study. The Chinese Classic of Family Reverence is sure to appeal to specialists of comparative and Chinese philosophy and to all readers interested in the enduring importance of the family. (shrink)
Scholars of early Chinese philosophy frequently point to the nontranscendent, organismic conception of the cosmos in early China as the source of China's unique perspective and distinctive values. One would expect recent works in Confucian ethics to capitalize on this idea. Reviewing recent works in Confucian ethics by P. J. Ivanhoe, David Nivison, R. P. Peerenboom, Henry Rosemont, and Tu Wei-Ming, the author analyzes these new studies in terms of the extent to which their representation of Confucian ethics reflects and (...) is consistent with the view that in early China the cosmos was conceived to be organismic, nontranscendent, and nondualistic. (shrink)
"Henry Rosemont raises hard questions, commonly overlooked, and does so with sensitivity, compassion, and broad understanding. The questions focus on modern China, but extend far beyond, to general problems of development, the moral foundations of civilization, and the nature of a just society. It is a challenging and thoughtful enquiry." --Noam Chomsky.
Interpreting the graph ren 仁 has been the subject of much philological and philosophical study and speculation over the centuries among scholars both Chinese and Western, perhaps more than any other single graph. One major reason for the attention paid to the term is the general agreement that Confucius gave ren—a little-known term at the time—an ethical orientation in the Analects that it did not have earlier, an understanding of which seems to be a prerequisite for understanding his entire philosophy (...) as reflected in that venerable little book. In this essay we want to suggest a reading for ren in the Analects unlike others proffered by Western translators, who, in keeping with the dominant... (shrink)
This work, edited by Henry Rosemount, Jr, is Volume I in the series of "Critics and Their Critics". Angus C. Graham is the leading translator and interpreter of Chinese philosophical texts; he has written philosophical works of his own, he has written at length and in detail on early Chinese grammar and philology, he has translated Chinese poetry, and he has published some of his own poetry. Graham's polymathic achievement explains the polygenous nature of his collection, which has some essays (...) ranging broadly over aesthetics, ethics, religion, and epistemology; others providing concentrated discussion of specific problems in early Chinese syntax, semantics, etymology, and paleography; and yet others being admixtures, moving by turns through etymology, epistemology, and problems of the translation, interpretation, and dating of Chinese texts. (shrink)
Readers of the Analects of Confucius tend to approach the text asking what Confucius believed; what were the views that comprise the 'ism' appended to his name in English? A Reader's Companion to the Confucian Analects suggests a different approach: he basically taught his students not doctrines, but ways for each of them to find meaning and purpose in their lives, and how best to serve their society. Because his students were not alike, his instruction could not be uniform; hence (...) the large number of incompatible readings that have been given to what he said. By providing brief essays, finding lists, background and comparative materials, and historical context, this Companion is not intended as another interpretation of the ancient text, but rather as an aid for contemporary students to develop their own interpretive reading of it, in the hope of thereby aiding them in the search for meaning, purpose, and service in their own lives - as seventy-three generations of Chinese have done. (shrink)
This issue of Contemporary Chinese Thought presents selected addresses and papers from the first symposium hosted by the newly established Discussion Forum of Confucianism at the Sage's Birthplace, at Nishan, in Sishui county of Shandong province, which took place June 22-26, 2009. The "Symposium Celebrating Roger T. Ames's Scholarship on Confucianism" honored the University of Hawai'i professor of Chinese philosophy as a distinguished scholar and an extraordinary teacher and mentor.
Following the lead of daisetz t. Suzuki, The authors of almost all english-Language commentaries on zen buddhism are in general agreement that zen is not a philosophy. The primary purpose of this paper is to show how and why this view is fundamentally mistaken and that the continued espousal of it is counterproductive for furthering an understanding of any facet of zen, Philosophical or otherwise.
One of the basic ways of distinguishing the several “schools” of Chinese thought, especially during the classical period (sixth to third centuries bce), is by their differing views of the ideal state or society. No formidable cultural barriers need to be breached in order to understand these several views, but they do not have close Western philosophical analogues. They are put forth within a conception of the universe that is uniquely Chinese, and both the grammar and the style(s) of discourse (...) describing these views are similarly unique. Some preliminary comments are therefore in order. (shrink)