Warp, Weft, and Way

Chinese and Comparative Philosophy 中國哲學與比較哲學

Blake Reviews Moeller and D’Ambrosio, Genuine Pretending

Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

2018.06.18 View this Review Online   View Other NDPR Reviews

Hans-Georg Moeller and Paul J. D’Ambrosio, Genuine Pretending: On the Philosophy of the Zhuangzi, Columbia University Press, 2017, 221 pp., $35.00, ISBN 9780231183994.

Reviewed by Susan Blake, Bard College

“A romp through ‘the vast wilds of open nowhere'” — Roger Ebert

“Better than any existing work on humor” — Aristotle

“Nothing more than a success” — Guy Smiley

“A demonstration of nothing . . . in a technical sense” — Ford Prefect

“A tour de force through the ‘homeland of non-even-anything'” — Steven Colbert

This book presents a novel reading of the Zhuangzi that illuminates its humor and presents it as responding to philosophical concerns of its day. To the extent that these philosophical concerns are also those of the present day — the search for a sane and healthy response to the impossible demands of sincerity — we can, through the discussion here, gain an understanding of an alternative to the unsatisfying ethical approaches of both sincerity and authenticity. The book is impressive in bringing together diverse passages in this difficult text under one interpretation.

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June 18, 2018 Posted by | Book Review, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Comparative philosophy, Daoism, Zhuangzi | no comments

Tucker Reviews Yusa, ed., Handbook of Contemporary Japanese Philosophy

Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

2018.06.13 View this Review Online   View Other NDPR Reviews

Michiko Yusa, (ed.), The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Contemporary Japanese Philosophy, Bloomsbury, 2017, 391pp., $158.40, ISBN 9781474232692.

Reviewed by John A. Tucker, East Carolina University

This book is a valuable contribution to the rapidly growing field of Japanese philosophy. A nicely produced anthology, it includes a thoughtful introduction by the editor, Michiko Yusa, fourteen erudite essays subdivided into five sections, plus a convenient summary of the essays, notes on the contributors, an account of abbreviations and conventions, an appendix including two essays by Nishida Kitarō, a timeline with dates for the thinkers discussed, an index of Japanese texts cited, and a more traditional index, including kanji, of names and terms mentioned in the anthology. Overall, the scholarly apparatuses included make this volume an extraordinarily well-organized and helpful resource for those conducting scholarly explorations of Japanese philosophy.

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June 18, 2018 Posted by | Book Review, Comparative philosophy, Japanese philosophy | no comments

Feature review of books on Ming thought

The latest Journal of Asian Studies (Volume 77 / Issue 2, May 2018, pp 500 – 506) contains a feature review titled “The Lively World of Ming Dynasty Thought” by Katherine Carlitz, covering three recent books on Ming thought:

  • Symptoms of an Unruly Age: Li Zhi and Cultures of Early Modernity. By Rivi Handler-Spitz. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2017. xiii, 239 pp. ISBN: 9780295741505 (cloth, also available as e-book).
  • Li Mengyang, the North-South Divide, and Literati Learning in Ming China. By Chang Woei Ong. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Asia Center, 2016. xi, 354 pp. ISBN: 9780674970595 (cloth).
  • Confucian Image Politics: Masculine Morality in Seventeenth-Century China. By Ying Zhang. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2017. xvi, 306 pp. ISBN: 9780295998534 (cloth, also available as e-book).

May 26, 2018 Posted by | Book Review, Books of Interest, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Neo-Confucianism | no comments

Curzer Reviews Puett and Gross-Loh, The Path

Howard Curzer has reviewed Michael Puett and Christine Gross-Loh, The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life (Simon & Schuster, 2017) at the Los Angeles Review of Books; see here.

May 9, 2018 Posted by | Book Review, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Comparative philosophy | no comments

Song Reviews Ivanhoe, Oneness

Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

2018.05.05 View this Review Online   View Other NDPR Reviews

Philip J. Ivanhoe, Oneness: East Asian Conceptions of Virtue, Happiness, and How We are All Connected, Oxford University Press, 2017, 188 pp., $39.95, ISBN 9780190840518.

Reviewed by Bin Song, Washington College

At the center of East Asian philosophical traditions lies a conception of oneness signifying that “we — and in particular our personal welfare or happiness — are inextricably intertwined with other people, creatures, and things,” which Ivanhoe calls the “oneness hypothesis.” (1) While drawing upon the writings of East Asian, especially neo-Confucian, thinkers to elucidate the conception of oneness, this book aims to show how these traditional views “can guide us in constructing contemporary versions of the oneness hypothesis.” (3) In an era when human civilization is constantly alarmed by ecological crisis and societal disintegration, this book has great appeal particularly to those who are willing to employ comparative philosophy to tackle these menacing issues.

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May 8, 2018 Posted by | Book Review, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Comparative philosophy, Neo-Confucianism | no comments

Lau Reviews Nelson, Chinese and Buddhist Philosophy in Early Twentieth-Century German Thought

Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

2018.04.10 View this Review Online   View Other NDPR Reviews

Eric Nelson, Chinese and Buddhist Philosophy in Early Twentieth-Century German Thought, Bloomsbury, 2017, 344 pp., $114.00, ISBN 9781350002555.

Reviewed by Kwok-ying Lau, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

In our present age of globalization, more and more people identify themselves as global citizens. To them, intercultural experience seems evident. Yet intercultural encounter in philosophy is still not yet a widely shared experience. This is particularly true in the West, where teaching and research in philosophy are organized basically in the same institutional setting as a century ago in which non-Western philosophies can hardly find their place. Seen in this context, Eric Nelson’s book has the great merit of drawing our attention to the experiences of some great forerunners in intercultural philosophy in Weimar Germany from the end of World War I to the rise of National Socialism in 1933. Nelson’s book is not merely a work on some historical episodes of intercultural philosophy but also a work showing the how of intercultural philosophy in itself.

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April 12, 2018 Posted by | Book Review, Buddhism, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Comparative philosophy | no comments

Sanders Reviews Virág at BMCR

Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2018.03.58 (on the BMCR blog)

Curie Virág, The Emotions in Early Chinese Philosophy. Emotions of the past. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017. Pp. xiii, 219. ISBN 9780190498818. $90.00.

Reviewed by Ed Sanders, University of Roehampton (ed.sanders@roehampton.ac.uk)

Early Chinese philosophy is outside the usual range of BMCR’s interests, but this review considers the book from a Classicist’s perspective. The period covered by the volume is the early-5th to the late-3rd centuries BCE, the ‘Warring States’ period in China, when political disunity created the situations in which a number of philosophers and their schools could flourish. These schools were characterized inter alia by a wide range of views on emotion, and this volume examines the place of emotions within their various natural, psychological, ethical and political philosophies. The exact mix of these varies quite considerably between schools.
The introduction notes that the primary term for ‘emotions’ (qing) developed early in this period out of its earlier meaning of ‘how things are’, and includes both objective and subjective aspects. Lists of ‘basic feelings’ comprised some or all of “joy (xi), anger (nu), sadness (ai), delight/pleasure (le), fear (ju), love (ai), dislike (wu), and desire (yu)” (p. 6, Chinese characters removed). This suggests that other emotions might involve more complex mixtures of these – though the point is not developed.

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March 29, 2018 Posted by | Book Review, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Comparative philosophy, Emotions | no comments

Crane Reviews Van Norden, etc.

Sam Crane has revved up his Useless Tree blog after a hiatus, with a review of Bryan Van Norden’s Taking Back Philosophy as well as posts on “Legal Exoneration: A Confucian Perspective,” “Mass Evictions in Beijing: What Would Mencius Do?” and “Thoughts on the Classic of Filial Respect 孝經 and Student Protest in Hong Kong.”

January 11, 2018 Posted by | Book Review, China, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Comparative philosophy, Hong Kong | no comments

Burik Reviews Nelson, Chinese and Buddhist philosophy in early twentieth-century German thought

Steven Burik’s review of Eric Nelson, Chinese and Buddhist philosophy in early twentieth-century German thought (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017), has been published in the new journal Global Intellectual History.

December 10, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Buddhism, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Comparative philosophy | no comments

Obryk Reviews Lan, Aristotle and Confucius on Rhetoric

From the Bryn Mawr Classical Review (Version at BMCR home site):

Haixia W. Lan, Aristotle and Confucius on Rhetoric and Truth: The Form and the Way. London; New York: Routledge, 2017. Pp. 228. ISBN 978147287360. $149.95.

Reviewed by Matylda Amat Obryk, Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf (matylda.amat.obryk@uni-duesseldorf.de)

Publisher’s Preview

In Aristotle and Confucius on Rhetoric and Truth. The Form and the Way, Haixia Lan (henceforth Lan), a specialist in the field of comparative rhetoric, follows the latest trend of comparing Aristotle’s and Confucius’ thought.1 Her objective is quite ambitious. The author wants to “to help foster better communication between East and West today”. To achieve this she challenges the view that Eastern and Western thought differ beyond comparison. She fights against stereotypical assumptions that e.g. Aristotle’s concept of essence (which Lan conflates with “truth”) is static and Confucius’ dao-the-way is decentered and therefore incompatible with inferential / discursive thinking (cf. p. 14).

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December 1, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Comparative philosophy, Rhetoric | no comments

Angle Reviews Eichman, Late Sixteenth-Century Chinese Buddhist Fellowship

My review of Jennifer Eichman’s outstanding A Late Sixteenth-Century Chinese Buddhist Fellowship: Spiritual Ambitions, Intellectual Debates, and Epistolary Connections (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2016) has been published in Frontiers of Literary Studies in China. See here.

November 19, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Buddhism, China, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学 | no comments

Nagatomo reviews Japanese Environmental Philosophy

Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

2017.11.12 View this Review Online   View Other NDPR Reviews

J. Baird Callicott and James McRae (eds.), Japanese Environmental Philosophy, Oxford University Press, 2017, 310pp., $99.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780190456320.

Reviewed by Shigenori Nagatomo, Temple University

J. Baird Callicott and James McRae have brought together fifteen scholars’ views on the relation of Japanese thought to modern environmental concerns.

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November 18, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Comparative philosophy, Environment, Japanese philosophy | no comments

Billmoria Reviews Shaw, Collected Writings

While largely devoted to Indian philosophy and thus tangential to the main concerns of the blog, the following review raises interesting questions about comparative philosophy….

Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

2017.11.08 View this Review Online   View Other NDPR Reviews

Jaysankar Lal Shaw, The Collected Writings of Jaysankar Lal Shaw: Indian Analytic and Anglophone Philosophy, Bloomsbury, 2016, 502 pp., $176.00 (hbk), ISBN 9781474245050

Reviewed by Purushottama Bilimoria, University of California/Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley

Jaysankar Lal Shaw is among the stalwarts of Indian and comparative philosophy, bringing to their treatment the tools of Anglo-American analytic philosophy.

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November 10, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Comparative philosophy | no comments

ToC JCR 45:2

Vol. 45, no. 2 (November 2017) of the Journal of Chinese Religions is now online at http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/yjch20/45/2?nav=tocList. This issue contains reviews of several recent books in Chinese philosophy.

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October 6, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Religion, Tables of Contents | no comments

Lambert Reviews Foust, Confucianism and American Philosophy

Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

2017.09.21 View this Review Online   View Other NDPR Reviews

Mathew A. Foust, Confucianism and American Philosophy, SUNY Press, 2017, 194pp., $80.00 (hbk), ISBN: 9781438464756.

Reviewed by Andrew Lambert, City University of New York, College of Staten Island

This book seeks to further develop dialogue between the American pragmatist and transcendentalist traditions, and classical Confucian thought. Scholars have previously noted certain parallels and commonalities, but the aim here is to “expand the scope of this area of comparative philosophy beyond the typically engaged duo of Confucius and Dewey” (p. 129). As a work in comparative philosophy, the book also seeks to contribute to the ongoing debate about the status of non-Western intellectual traditions within the discipline of philosophy. Much has been written recently on this topic,[1] and this work makes its contribution by familiarizing those working in American philosophy with classical Confucian thought, and vice versa.

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September 26, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Comparative philosophy, Confucianism | no comments

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