Daily Archives: January 5, 2014

Loy on inclusive care and partial virtue

As Steve and Manyul announced last month, with each new issue of Dao the blog will host a discussion of one of the issue’s articles, and the journal will make that article freely available online. Here I’m kicking off the series with a discussion of Loy Hui-chieh’s “On the Argument for Jian’ai” (Dao 12.4, available here).

Loy’s article treats the Mohists’ main argument for inclusive care (jiān ài 兼愛), focusing on the role played in it by appeals to virtues such as filial piety that are inevitably partial. Fundamental to his treatment is the view (which I share) that inclusive care did not require absolute impartiality—it did not imply that we have equal obligations to all people, or that we should treat them the same, or feel the same about them. Loy thus undermines one common sort or argument against the Mohists, that inclusive care is incompatible with the partial virtues and is therefore morally dubious. However, this does not mean that the Mohists’ own appeals to the partial virtues succeed, and Loy goes on to argue that they do not. I’ll sketch Loy’s argument, and then make critical comments on two points.

Continue reading →

Welcome to Carl Dull as New Contributor

We are happy to welcome Carl Dull, a long-time blog reader and commentator, as a new contributor. Here is Carl’s self-introduction:

Carl J. Dull received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Southern Illinois University where he studied both Chinese and Western traditions. He has taught at the Nanjing School of Foreign Language and worked for Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth in Nanjing and Hong Kong. His major interest is early Chinese thought, especially Zhuangzi. His dissertation investigates wandering and the heart in Zhuangzi, and proposes various positive ethical ideals for caring for living. His current research looks at early Chinese thought as a resource for moral psychology and therapeutic practice. His previous work includes the power of inspiration in Confucius, the practical compatibility between Confucian principles and Human Rights, and the language games of Zhuangzi and Wittgenstein. Contact: cjdull@gmail.com.