This special issue of Philosophy East and West is dedicated to the inaugural meeting of the World Consortium for Research in Confucian Cultures, convened at the University of Hawai‘i and the East-West Center, October 8-12, 2014, on the theme “Confucian Values in a Changing World Cultural Order,” to explore the contributions of Confucian thought to world culture. The conference brought together leading scholars from partner institutions around the world to explore critically the meaning and value of Confucian culture in the (...) twenty-first century. The purpose of this initial meeting was to address the questions “What is the contemporary form of ‘Confucian’ culture?” “What are its historical failings and limitations?”... (shrink)
This talk by Dr. Peter D. Hershock makes use of Buddhist conceptual resources to assess how the emerging global attention economy and the confluence of big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are reshaping the human experience. Like the Copernican revolution, which de-centered humanity in the cosmos, the intelligence revolution is dissolving once-foundational certainties and opening new realms of opportunity. The results are almost sure to be mixed. Smart cities will be more efficient and more livable; smart health care can (...) potentially reach and benefit the half of humanity that now lacks even basic health services. Yet, smart services and the algorithmic tailoring of individual experience have the potential to first supplement and eventually supplant intelligent human practices, rendering human intelligence superfluous. Focusing in particular on the karmic dimensions of these transformations, the talk will consider who we need to be present as in order to resist the allure of digital sirens and direct the intelligence revolution toward a truly equitable and ethical re-centering of the human. (shrink)
: By drawing out the critical implications of a Buddhist understanding of persons and emotions, it is suggested here that we see emotions as relational transformations through which the direction and qualitative intensities of our interdependence are situationally negotiated, enhanced, and revised. Historical and critical precedents are then offered for reassessing the association of reasoning with the practices of definition and argument, and the consequent association of the operational structure of rationality with that of reality. Reason is better seen as (...) an emotion that has long been renegade and that--especially as institutionalized in the form of global, control-biased technological development--can remain so only at considerable social, cultural, and spiritual risk. (shrink)
In the second edition of this groundbreaking text in non-Western philosophy, sixteen experts introduce some of the great philosophical traditions in the world. The essays unveil exciting, sophisticated philosophical traditions that are too often neglected in the western world. The contributors include the leading scholars in their fields, but they write for students coming to these concepts for the first time. Building on revisions and updates to the original, this new edition also considers three philosophical traditions for the first time—Jewish, (...) Buddhist, and South Pacific philosophy. (shrink)
This interdisciplinary collection of essays highlights the relevance of Buddhist doctrine and practice to issues of globalization. From philosophical, religious, historical, and political perspectives, the authors show that Buddhism—arguably the world’s first transnational religion—is a rich resource for navigating todays interconnected world.
Humanity takes up space. Human beings, like many other species, also transform spaces. What is perhaps uniquely human is the disposition to qualitatively transform spaces into places that are charged with distinctive kinds of intergenerational significance. There is a profound, felt difference between a house as domestic space and a home as familial place or between the summit of a mountain one has climbed for the first time and the “same” rock pinnacle celebrated in ancestral narratives. Contemporary philosophical uses of (...) the word “place” often pivot on the distinction between “space” and “place” formalized by geographer-philosopher Yi-fu Tuan, who suggested that places incorporate the experiences and aspirations of a people over the course of their moral and aesthetic engagement with sites and locations. While spaces afford possibilities for different kinds of presence—physical, emotional, cognitive, dramatic, spiritual—places emerge as different ways of being present, fuse over time, and saturate a locale with distinctively collaborative patterns of significance. This approach to issues of place, however, is emblematic of what Edward S. Casey has argued are convictions about the primacy of absolute space and time that evolved along with the progressive dominance of the scientific imagination and modern imaginations of the universal. The recent reappearance of place in Western philosophy represents a turn away from abstract and a priori reasoning and back toward phenomenal experience and the primacy of embodied and emplaced intelligence. Places are enacted through the sustainably shared practices of mutually-responsive and mutually-vulnerable agents and are as numerous in kind as we are divergent in the patterns of values and intentions. The contributors to this volume draw on resources from Asian, European, and North American traditions of thought to engage in intercultural reflection on the significance of place in philosophy and of the place of philosophy itself in the cultural, social, economic, and political domains of contemporary life. The conversation of place that results explores the meaning of intercultural philosophy, the critical interplay of place and personal identity, the meaning of appropriate emplacement, the shared place of politics and religion, and the nature of the emotionally emplaced body. (shrink)
This deeply informed book introduces the basic teachings and practices of Buddhism and their spread across Asia. Peter D. Hershock explores the history of the enduring Japanese tradition of Zen—from its beginnings as a form of Buddhist thought and practice imported from China to its reinvention in medieval Japan as a force for religious, political, and cultural change to its role in Japan’s embrace of modernity. He deftly blends historical detail with the felt experiences of Zen practitioners grappling with the (...) meanings of human suffering, personal freedom, and the integration of social and spiritual progress. (shrink)
Over the last century, the world's urban population increased from 224 million to over 3.5 billion, and advances in manufacturing, transportation, and communication technologies brought virtually limitless lifestyle and identity options, as well as the greatest inequalities of wealth, risk, and opportunity in history. Yet, as momentous as these changes are, they are dwarfed by the fact that human activity is now affecting planetary processes like climate. Justice concerns about future generations are no longer academic curiosities; they are global ethical (...) imperatives. This talk by Dr. Peter D. Hershock builds on recent efforts to craft an ethics of global justice around the "social emotion" of compassion, making use of Buddhist conceptual resources to de-link justice from fictions of equality and conceive it, instead, as a dynamic function of relationally-achieved equity and diversity. (shrink)
In light of such basic Buddhist teachings as karma and interdependence, the conceptions of "rights" and "human being" presupposed by the dominant currents in contemporary human rights discourse are critically evaluated here. The negative recusiveness of such a discourse and its promotion of minimum standards for secure coexistence is examined, and a Buddhist perspective on human rights forwarded in which realizing our dramatic interdependence and social virtuosity are held paramount.
Henry Rosemont's Against Individualism is a critical meditation on the need to rethink the nature of human becoming in the pursuit of social justice as "the essence of a flourishing human culture". It analytically disputes the modern ideology of the independent, rationally self-interested, rights-bearing individual and presents an alternative: a contemporary Confucian ideal of the interdependent, responsibility-focused, role-bearing person.The guiding premise of Against Individualism is that the great challenges of the twenty-first century—climate change and persistent hunger in a world of (...) excess food production among them—cannot be resolved within the "confines of a capitalist economic... (shrink)
Complex, risk-generating and predicament-laden patterns of global interdependence pose significant imperatives for radically reframing the purposes and provision of higher education. Changes already ongoing in higher education reflect and respond to global dynamics that are intensifying interdependence and, at the same time, deepening inequalities both within and among societies. Recognizing this is to recognize the need to question whether the arcs of change in higher education should remain passively entrained with globalization-driven magnifications and multiplications of difference, or whether higher education (...) can and should play a unique and critical role in reorienting the dynamics of global interdependence. This paper argues that if current trends toward both institutional and epistemic differentiation can be inflected toward enhancing diversification—rather than mere variation—21st-century higher education can come to serve as a global relational commons crucial to realizing ever more deeply shared and equitable expressions of global flourishing and public good. (shrink)