_An Introduction to Chinese Philosophy_ unlocks the mystery of ancient Chinese philosophy and unravels the complexity of Chinese Buddhism by placing them in the contemporary context of discourse. Elucidates the central issues and debates in Chinese philosophy, its different schools of thought, and its major philosophers. Covers eight major philosophers in the ancient period, among them Confucius, Laozi, and Zhuangzi. Illuminates the links between different schools of philosophy. Opens the door to further study of the relationship between Chinese and Western (...) philosophy. (shrink)
Solidly grounded in Chinese primary sources, Neo Confucianism: Metaphysics, Mind, and Morality engages the latest global scholarship to provide an innovative, rigorous, and clear articulation of neo-Confucianism and its application to Western philosophy. -/- Contextualizes neo-Confucianism for contemporary analytic philosophy by engaging with today’s philosophical questions and debates Based on the most recent and influential scholarship on neo-Confucianism, and supported by primary texts in Chinese and cross-cultural secondary literature Presents a cohesive analysis of neo-Confucianism by investigating the metaphysical foundations of (...) neo-Confucian perspectives on the relationship between human nature, human mind, and morality Offers innovative interpretations of neo-Confucian terminology and examines the ideas of eight major philosophers, from Zhou Dunyi and Cheng-Zhu to Zhang Zai and Wang Fuzhi Approaches neo-Confucian concepts in an penetrating yet accessible way. (shrink)
In this paper I construct Confucian moral realism as a metaethical theory that is compatible with, or even derivable from, traditional Confucianism. The paper is at once interpretative and constructive. In my analysis, Confucians can establish the realist's claims on moral properties because they embrace the view of a moralistic universe. Moral properties in Confucian ethics not only are presented as objective, naturalistic properties, but also are seen as 'causally efficacious'. There are several theses commonly endorsed by contemporary moral realists. (...) I will explain how many of the remarks by Confucius, Mencius, in Yijing, The Great Learning and The Doctrine of the Mean can be understood as implicit endorsements of these theses. I will also analyze the theses specific to Confucian moral realism. The paper will end with a brief defense of this form of realism. (shrink)
This paper calls for a reconstruction of Chinese metaphysics that recognizes the distinct features of Chinese worldview, while at the same time explores the speculative thinking behind the dominant ethical concerns in Chinese philosophy. It suggests some research topics for constructing a Chinese moral metaphysics, without turning it into a metaphysical ethics – the difference between the two is that the former is fundamentally “truth-pursuing” while the latter is “good-pursuing.” This paper argues that even though Chinese metaphysics is deeply connected (...) with concerns for human flourishing, it is not just a study of nature for the sake of practical living. Furthermore, although Chinese metaphysics is different from traditional Western metaphysics, it is not incommensurable with it. There are many interesting metaphysical topics that can be investigated within Chinese philosophical texts. This is a project that looks in to the future of the development of Chinese metaphysics, not a backward-looking study into the history of Chinese cosmological thinking. (shrink)
Putnam and Burge have been viewed as launching a joint attack on individualism, the view that the content of one's psychological state is determined by what is in the head . Putnam argues that meanings are not in the head while Burge argues that beliefs are not in the head either, and both have come up with convincing arguments against individualism. It is generally conceived that Putnam's view is a version of physical externalism, which argues that factors in the physical (...) environment play a role in determining the meanings of natural kind terms. Burge, on the other hand, is regarded as following up Putnam's argument to bring in factors in the social environment for the determination of belief. Burge's view has been commonly referred to as 'social externalism.' The general consensus in the field is that physical externalism and social externalism are compatible views. Furthermore, both Putnam and Burge seem to endorse each other’s position for the most part. In this paper, however, I shall argue against this general view to show that the two theories are deep down incompatible. (shrink)
'I never can catch myself at any time without a perception, and never can observe any thing but the perception.' These famous words of David Hume, on his inability to perceive the self, set the stage for JeeLoo Liu and John Perry's collection of essays on self-awareness and self-knowledge. This volume connects recent scientific studies on consciousness with the traditional issues about the self explored by Descartes, Locke and Hume. Experts in the field offer contrasting perspectives on matters such as (...) the relation between consciousness and self-awareness, the notion of personhood and the epistemic access to one's own thoughts, desires or attitudes. The volume will be of interest to philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists, cognitive scientists and others working on the central topics of consciousness and the self. (shrink)
In traditional Chinese cosmology, this pattern could be very well explained in terms of the fluctuation of yin and yang, or as the natural order of Heaven. This cosmological explanation fits natural history well. There are natural phenomena such as floods, draughts, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, etc., that are beyond human control. These events have their determining factors. Once those factors are present, a natural disaster, however unfavorably viewed by humans, is doomed to take place. The view that natural history is (...) determined by factors outside the human world can be accepted without much controversy. However, when applied to human history, the role of man in human history becomes problematic under this kind of cosmology. How much of our success or failure is due to our larger cosmological environment -- the ongoing development of the chi'? Can a single individual reverse the flow of yin and yang or the emergence of good times and bad times? On a larger scale, is human history predestined? If there is a necessary rotation of prosperity and chaos, then it can be argued that.. (shrink)
This paper begins with Thomas Nagel's (1970) investigation of the possibility of altruism to further examine how to motivate altruism. When the pursuit of the gratification of one's own desires generally has an immediate causal efficacy, how can one also be motivated to care for others and to act towards the well-being of others? A successful motivational theory of altruism must explain how altruism is possible under all these motivational interferences. The paper will begin with an exposition of Nagel's proposal, (...) and see where it is insufficient with regard to this further issue. It will then introduce the views of Zhang Zai and Wang Fuzhi, and see which one could offer a better motivational theory of altruism. All three philosophers offer different insights on the role of human reason/reflection and human sentiments in moral motivation. The paper will end with a proposal for a socioethical moral program that incorporates both moral reason and moral sentiments as motivation. (shrink)
A variety of crucial and still most relevant ideas about nothingness or emptiness have gained profound philosophical prominence in the history and development of a number of South and East Asian traditions--including in Buddhism, Daoism, Neo-Confucianism, Hinduism, Korean philosophy, and the Japanese Kyoto School. These traditions share the insight that in order to explain both the great mysteries and mundane facts about our experience, ideas of "nothingness" must play a primary role. This collection of essays brings together the work of (...) twenty of the world's prominent scholars of Hindu, Buddhist, Daoist, Neo-Confucian, Japanese and Korean thought to illuminate fascinating philosophical conceptualizations of "nothingness" in both classical and modern Asian traditions. The unique collection offers new work from accomplished scholars and provides a coherent, panoramic view of the most significant ways that "nothingness" plays crucial roles in Asian philosophy. It includes both traditional and contemporary formulations, sometimes putting Asian traditions into dialogue with one another and sometimes with classical and modern Western thought. The result is a book of immense value for students and researchers in Asian and comparative philosophy. (shrink)
A variety of crucial and still most relevant ideas about nothingness or emptiness have gained profound philosophical prominence in the history and development of a number of South and East Asian traditions—including in Buddhism, Daoism, Neo-Confucianism, Hinduism, Korean philosophy, and the Japanese Kyoto School. These traditions share the insight that in order to explain both the great mysteries and mundane facts about our experience, ideas of "nothingness" must play a primary role. This collection of essays brings together the work of (...) twenty of the world’s prominent scholars of Hindu, Buddhist, Daoist, Neo-Confucian, Japanese and Korean thought to illuminate fascinating philosophical conceptualizations of "nothingness" in both classical and modern Asian traditions. The unique collection offers new work from accomplished scholars and provides a coherent, panoramic view of the most significant ways that "nothingness" plays crucial roles in Asian philosophy. It includes both traditional and contemporary formulations, sometimes putting Asian traditions into dialogue with one another and sometimes with classical and modern Western thought. The result is a book of immense value for students and researchers in Asian and comparative philosophy. (shrink)
___ (i) There is a difference between hearing Clyde play the piano and seeing him play the piano. ___ (ii) A perceptual belief that he is playing the piano must also be distinguished from a perceptual experience of this same event.
In this paper I examine the foundations of physical externalism and social externalism and argue that these foundations are incompatible. Physical externalism is based on a direct reference theory of natural-kind terms, while social externalism is based on a description theory of natural-kind terms. Thus, physical externalism and social externalism are incompatible just in the same way that the direct reference theory of proper names is incompatible with the description theory of proper names. My argument will proceed as follows. In (...) Section One, I shall explain what the two theses say and spell out my suspicion. In Section Two, I shall take a look at the initial setups for physical externalism and social externalism by examining Putnam’s and Burge’s original arguments. Finally in Section Three, I shall explain that the real incompatibility comes to lie in the different assumptions on which the two theories are based. I will present some thought experiments to highlight this incompatibility. (shrink)
Chinese philosophy has its roots in religion, and has spread to the general Chinese public as a mixture of attitudes in life, cultural spirit, as well as religious practices. However, Chinese philosophy is not just a collection of wisdom on life or a religious discourse on how to lead a good life; it is also a form of philosophy. And yet its philosophical import has often been slighted in the Western philosophical world. Two hundred years ago, Hegel remarked that there (...) is no separation between philosophy and religion in the East: “That which we call Eastern Philosophy is more properly the religious mode of thought and the conception of the world belonging generally to the Orientals and approximates very closely to Philosophy.” (Hegel, Lectures on the History of Philosophy, Vol. 1) Under this conception, Hegel’s attitude with Chinese philosophy was completely dismissive. He described Confucius as “only a man who has a certain amount of practical and worldly wisdom — one with whom there is no speculative philosophy,” and “it would have been better had [his works] never been translated.” With Laozi’s conception of ‘dao,’ Hegel commented: “to the Chinese what is highest and the origin of things is nothing, emptiness, the altogether undetermined, the abstract universal,” and “if.. (shrink)
Tian-tai Buddhism and Hua-yan Buddhism can be viewed as the two most philosophically important schools in Chinese Buddhism. The Tian-tai school was founded by Zhi-yi (Chih-i) (538-597 A.D.). The major Buddhist text endorsed by this school is the Lotus Sutra, short for “the Sutra of the Lotus Blossom of the Subtle Dharma.” Hua-yan Buddhism derived its name from the Hua-yan Sutra, translated as “The Flower Ornament Scripture” or as “The Flowery Splendor Scripture.”1 The founder of the Hua-yan school was a (...) Chinese monk named Du-shun (557-640 A.D.). The second patriarch of Hua-yan is Zhi-yan (602-668 A.D.), who studied with Du-shun. However, it is generally acknowledged that the real founder of Hua-yan Buddhism is its third patriarch, Fa-zang (643-712 A.D.). He introduced the division of “the Realm of Principle” and “the Realm of Things,”2 which was developed by Hua-yan’s fourth patriarch Cheng-guan (738-839? A.D.) into the defining thesis for Hua-yan Buddhism – the “four dharma realms”: the Realm of Principle, the Realm of Things,3 the Realm of the Noninterference between Principle and Things, and the Realm of the Noninterference of All Things. (shrink)
In this paper, I shall present a comparative study of two leading Daoists’ different conceptions of truth in the context of modern metaphysical debate on realism and antirealism. My basic contention in this paper is that both Laozi and Zhuangzi embrace the realist's thesis that the world is largely independent of us and the way we are; it has its own objective nature.
The mental: [I] The unconscious: A totally unconscious man has a mind and the mind is in various states. ___ He does not lack knowledge and beliefs. ___ He may be credited with memories and skills. ___ He may be credited with likes and dislikes, attitudes and emotions, current desires and current aims and purposes. He may be said to have certain traits of character and temperament. He may be said to be in certain moods..... [The mental states of a (...) totally unconscious person are thus "causally quiescent": ___ knowledge and beliefs may be said to be causally quiescent while they are not producing any mental effect in the person.]. (shrink)
*[Intertheoretic Reduction]: ___ When a new and very powerful theory turns out to entail a set of propositions and principles that mirror perfectly the propositions of some older theory or conceptual framework, we can conclude that the old terms and the new terms refer to the very same thing, or express the very same properties. (e.g. heat = high average molecular kinetic energy) The old theory is then said to be "reducible" to the new theory.
1. To refute this theory: consciousness is intrinsic to being an intentional or sensory mental state; one cannot understand what it is for states to have sensory or intentional character without knowing what it is for those states to be conscious.
Kripke's puzzle is an old and familiar story. It was put forward in Kripke's 'A puzzle about Belief.' But even today it still has such a charm that people are drawn to it time and time again. In this paper I shall use his puzzle as the stepping stone for developing a new description theory of proper names. Kripke tries to defend his direct reference theory against the charge that it cannot explain the role of proper names in an epistemic (...) context (such as belief, thought, etc.). There are many famous puzzles involving substitution salva veritate for different names of the same referent, and the description theory can easily dissolve them by suggesting that different names have different senses. These puzzles were considered to be defeating the direct reference theory of proper names. Kripke thus tries to demonstrate a similar puzzle that does not involve different names, and thus does not involve different senses. Using his principle of disquotation and principle of translation,1 Kripke presents a puzzle which involves a Frenchman Pierre who is attributed the following set of beliefs: (1) Pierre believes that London is pretty. (2) Pierre believes that London is not pretty. According to Kripke, the two belief reports attribute a contradiction to Pierre, even though Pierre himself cannot be interpreted as being inconsistent.2 Kripke also discusses another puzzle which invokes only the principle of disquotation and no translation is involved. This is the example of Peter’s two beliefs concerning the politician/musician Paderewski. In this case, we get a similar set of contradictory belief reports: (3) Peter believes that Paderewski has musical talent. (4) Peter believes that Paderewski has no musical talent. (shrink)
1. Recent findings in neuropsychology are forcing us to revise this notion of the relation between perception and conscious awareness. Brain-damaged people may manifest considerable knowledge of stimuli, or of particular properties of stimuli, of which they deny any conscious perceptual experience.
It has been noted in recent literature (e.g., Ross & Spurrett 2004, Kim 2006, McLaughlin 2006 and Cohen 2005) that functionalism can be separated into two varieties: one that emphasizes the role state, the other that emphasizes the realizer state. The former is called “role functionalism” while the latter has been called “realizer functionalism” (Ross & Spurrett 2004, Kim 2006, Cohen 2005) or “filler functionalism” (McLaughlin 2006). The separation between role functionalism and realizer functionalism mars the distinction traditionally made between (...) functionalism and the identity theory, because realizer functionalism can be seen as the synthesis of functionalism and the identity theory. In this paper, I begin with an analysis of the distinction between role and realizer functionalism. I shall further develop realizer functionalism as a viable, or arguably the best, explanatory model for the mind-brain relation. Finally, I will argue that under realizer functionalism, we can give an account of how mind is placed in the material world without at the same time giving up on the autonomy of psychology. The autonomy of psychology is tantamount to the thesis that mental properties are not type-identical with, nor type-reducible to, physical properties of the brain. In the philosophical debate on reductive and nonreductive physicalism, reductivism seems to be gaining the upper hand these days. In the final section of this paper, Ishall sketch my defense of nonreductive physicalism. I believe that the current enthusiasm for reductionism is misguided, and I shall show that under realizer functionalism, reductionism in the sense of reductive explanation, i.e., providing explanation of the psychological in terms of the underlying physical properties, is not a feasible project. (shrink)
Course Description: This course is designed as an upper-level seminar, with heavy emphasis on reading and writing. The reading materials are all from contemporary sources. We will cover topics such as the definitions of 'consciousness,' the neurophysiological basis of consciousness, the explanation of consciousness, and the possibility of forming a unified theory of consciousness. Student participation in class discussion is greatly encouraged.
Under [A]: Under [B]: (i) “Moses” means the same (i) ‘Moses’ refers to the “the man who did such man who did such and and such”. such. (ii) “ Moses did not exist” = (ii) “Moses did not exist” = ? “The man who did such (the set of descriptions and such did not exist” or do not refer?) “that no one person did such and such.”.
Peloponnesian War (Hackett) 2. Plato, The Republic, translated by Grube & revised by Reeve (Hackett) 3. The Bible, Revised Standard Version (Meridian) 4. Dante, Inferno (Penguin) 5. Sophocles, Three Theban Plays (Penguin) 6. Cicero, On Friendship in his On The Good Life (Penguin Classics) 7. Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy (Macmillan) 8. Christine de Pisan, The Book of the City of Ladies (Persea) 9. Machiavelli, The Prince (Penguin) 10. Shakespeare, Hamlet (Signet Classic).
Course Description: This course is intended to stimulate the student to reflect philosophically on the nature of knowledge by surveying several prominent topics of concern to contemporary (i.e., 20th century) philosophers of the analytic tradition. Topics include the concept of knowledge, theories of justification, and the possibility of knowledge or its impossibility (skepticism). Although concentrated on problems surrounding the concept of knowledge, the course should further the student's understanding of the general methods of analytic philosophy, and develop the student's ability (...) to think and to write philosophically. This course will be conducted in the lecture/discussion style with heavy emphasis on the latter. (shrink)
This paper provides a defense of the description theory of proper names by constructing a ‘two-component’ theory of names. Using Kripke’s puzzle about belief as the stepping stone, this paper first points out problems with Kripke’s direct reference theory of names. It then presents the two-component theory of names and defends it against Kripke’s general criticisms of the description theory. It also compares the two-component theory of names against other leading description theories and shows how the two-component theory provides a (...) better analysis of names. The paper offers a comprehensive summary of the debate between the description theory and the direct reference theory of names. At the end, it shows how the two-component theory of names can deal with Kripke’s puzzle and more. (shrink)
In this paper, I attempt to make use of Western metaphysical taxonomy to explicate the cosmological variances in Chinese philosophical schools, especially with regard to the debates among the Neo-Confucian thinkers. While I do not presume that Chinese philosophers dealt with the same Western issues, I do believe that a comparative study of this nature can point to a new direction of thinking concerning the metaphysical debates in Neo-Confucianism. This paper is divided into three parts. In Part I, I employ (...) Robert Nozick’s notion of natural cosmic state to analyze the fundamental difference between the Confucian and Daoist cosmologies. Even though this notion of natural cosmic state has no comparable match in Chinese philosophy, it may serve as a schematizing device for our comparative study of Chinese cosmology. In Part II, I employ Nicholas Rescher’s distinction between “laws of nature” and “laws for nature” to analyze the debate on the status of cosmic principle a between Zhou Dunyib and Zhu Xic on the one hand, and Zhang Zaid and Wang Fuzhie on the other. 1 In Part III, I employ the notion of supervenience, as defined by Jaegwon Kim, to argue that in the debate on the status of cosmic principle, it is Zhang Zai and Wang Fuzhi’s view that better preserves the causal relevance of cosmic principle. (shrink)
A variety of crucial and still most relevant ideas about _nothingness _or _emptiness _have gained profound philosophical prominence in the history and development of a number of South and East Asian traditions—including in Buddhism, Daoism, Neo-Confucianism, Hinduism, Korean philosophy, and the Japanese Kyoto School. These traditions share the insight that in order to explain both the great mysteries and mundane facts about our experience, ideas of "nothingness" must play a primary role. This collection of essays brings together the work of (...) twenty of the world’s prominent scholars of Hindu, Buddhist, Daoist, Neo-Confucian, Japanese and Korean thought to illuminate fascinating philosophical conceptualizations of "nothingness" in both classical and modern Asian traditions. The unique collection offers new work from accomplished scholars and provides a coherent, panoramic view of the most significant ways that "nothingness" plays crucial roles in Asian philosophy. It includes both traditional and contemporary formulations, sometimes putting Asian traditions into dialogue with one another and sometimes with classical and modern Western thought. The result is a book of immense value for students and researchers in Asian and comparative philosophy. (shrink)
The present dissertation deals with the issue of the individuation of beliefs. This is an issue that falls into philosophy of psychology as well as philosophy of language. There are two major schools of thought that are involved in the debate. Individualism claims that the individuation does not need to take intentional, semantic properties of beliefs into account, while Anti-Individualism claims that it does. The former is represented by Jerry Fodor and the latter is represented by Tyler Burge. ;This dissertation (...) is divided into three parts. In Part I, I review Tyler Burge's several attempts to refute Individualism. My conclusion is that Burge does not give us a viable alternative theory of content. In Part II, I examine Jerry Fodor's arguments for a new form of Individualism, one that proposes to individuate beliefs with respect to their causal powers. My conclusion is that Fodor runs into a problem in arguing that the individuation of mental states should be based on causal powers alone, since he would have to sacrifice the causal relevance of intentional mental properties. Finally in Part III, I formulate my arguments against Fodor's Individualism. I first present a holistic view of beliefs according to which, beliefs cannot be considered in isolation from the individual's system of beliefs. My view is that the individuation of beliefs not only needs to consider the semantic properties of the belief in question, it also needs to consider the semantic properties of relevant beliefs. I then argue for the causal relevance of intentional mental properties. My conclusion is that since the individuation of beliefs has to be based on groupings of their intentional, semantic properties, Individualism cannot be accepted. (shrink)
In Why Be Moral: Learning from the Neo-Confucian Cheng Brothers, Yong Huang presents a comparative study on the moral philosophy of the Cheng brothers as how comparative philosophy should be done: to engage in contemporary philosophical problems and to propose solutions that could be gleaned from the ideas of ancient Chinese philosophers. His analysis provides a paradigm for comparative philosophy. I think this is the right way to do comparative philosophy—to focus on problem solving rather than textual comparison. I am (...) very impressed both with the breadth of his knowledge of Western moral philosophy and with the depth of his analysis of the moral philosophy of the Cheng brothers. Since I share his view on how to... (shrink)
In numerous papers Jaegwon Kim argues that nonreductive materialists (i.e., those philosophers who believe that there are no irreducible non-physical objects in the universe, and yet there are irreducible psychological properties which are indispensable in intentional psychological explanations) face two problems. One is that intentional mental properties are not causally relevant; the other is that explanations appealing to these properties are excluded by explanations appealing to physical, in particular, microphysical, properties.1 The first problem can be called the problem of epiphenomenalism. (...) The second problem is what Kim calls the problem of explanatory/causal exclusion. Epiphenomenalism is not just a problem for nonreductive materialists, but a problem for psychology (as a science of psychological explanation), and for anyone who believes that our thought is the cause of our action. Kim argues that the exclusion problem, on the other hand, is especially a problem for nonreductive materialists. Nonreductive materialists typically buy into the principle of the causal closure of the physical domain, according to which "any physical event that has a cause at time t has a physical cause at t..... [I]f we trace the causal ancestry of a physical event, we need never go outside the physical domain." [Kim 1989b, p. 280] One cannot reject this principle unless one is willing to go back to Cartesian dualism. But the problem is, if all causation is done at the physical level, then there is no causal work left for mental kinds. If mental kinds do not play any causal role, then intentional psychological explanations that appeal to mental properties are not warranted. Therefore, Kim concludes, nonreductive materialism is an untenable position. Some nonreductionists (Davidson, Dretske, LePore & Loewer, Jackson & Pettit, for example) have tried to argue for the causal relevancy of mental properties from an.. (shrink)