Category Archives: Books of Interest

Book of Interest: Those Who Act Ruin It, A Daoist Account of Moral Attunement by Jacob Bender

Drawing on both western and Chinese philosophy, Those Who Act Ruin It shows how Daoism presents a viable alternative to established moral theories. The Daoist, critical of the Confucian and Mohist discourses of their time, provides an account of morality that can best be understood as achieving an attunement to situations through the cultivation of habits. Furthermore, Daoism’s meta-ethical insights outline how moral philosophy, when theorized in a way that ignores our fundamental interdependence, devolves into moralistic narcissism. Another way of putting this, as the Daodejing states perfectly, is that “those who act ruin it” (為者敗之). Sensitive to this problem, the Daoist account of moral attunement can ameliorate social woes and not “ruin things.” In their moral attunement, Daoists can spontaneously respond to situations in ways that are sensitive to the underlying interdependence of all things.

The author Jacob Bender is Hua-Shan Associate Professor of Philosophy at Xidian University, Xi’an.

To read the table of contents or an excerpt, or purchase the book, please click this link.

Episode 6 of “This Is the Way”: Partiality and Justice

Episode 6 of This Is the Way is on Tao Jiang’s book. We don’t cover every one of the fascinating issues raised in the 516 pages of Professor Jiang’s volume, but we do cover some of the core topics, including (1) tensions between impartialist justice and partialist humaneness, and (2) Zhuangzi and freedom. A short description follows, with the usual supporting materials. Continue reading →

New Zhuangzi Translation: The Inner Chapters of the Zhuangzi 莊子內篇匯評詮釋

John R. Williams and Christoph Harbsmeier have recently published a new translation of the inner chapters of Zhuangzi: 莊子內篇匯評詮釋 The Inner Chapters of the Zhuangzi: With Copious Annotations from the Chinese Commentaries, through Harrassowitz Verlag. Wiesbaden. Hardcopies and e-copies are available through this link. (Williams notes that the press is not selling the book through Amazon, and so it is being listed there at an exorbitant price. It is more reasonably priced at the publisher’s site.)

Please read the introduction below to know more about the translation. Continue reading →

Book of Interest: Cairns and Virág, eds., In the Mind, in the Body, in the World

Oxford University Press has recently published Douglas Cairns and Curie Virág, eds., In the Mind, in the Body, in the World: Emotions in Early China and Ancient GreeceThe Oxford Scholarship Online version (with links to all the abstracts, and full text for those with institutional subscriptions) is here:

https://academic.oup.com/book/56286

And the print version is here:

https://global.oup.com/academic/product/in-the-mind-in-the-body-in-the-world-9780197681800?cc=us&lang=en&

New Book: Freedom’s Frailty

SUNY has just published Christine Tan’s book Freedom’s Frailty: Self-Realization in the Neo-Daoist Philosophy of Guo Xiang’s ZhuangziIf you would like to either read more about the book or purchase it please click here. The publisher’s description:

This book starts with the radical premise that the most coherent way to read the Zhuangzi is through Guo Xiang (d. 312 CE), the classic Daoist text’s first and most important commentator, and that the best way to read Guo Xiang is politically. It then goes into Guo’s notion of self-realization (自得 zide) which is a conception of freedom that introduces a “dependence-based autonomy,” in which freedom is something we achieve and realize through our connection to others. In sum, the book makes a new contribution to Chinese philosophical scholarship as well as philosophical debates on freedom.

On-Line Book Workshop on Kim, Confucian Constitutionalism

Elena Ziliotti has organized an online book symposium on Sungmoon Kim’s recent book Confucian Constitutionalism (OUP, 2023) by inviting several philosophers and political theorists. Please see
https://philevents.org/event/show/121478
for details and to RSVP. The event is Thursday, April 18 beginning at 2:30pm Amsterdam time.

OUP Highlights Korean Women Philosophers

This March, Oxford Universty Press is focused on ‘Women in the History of Philosophy’ and have made the following chapter Introduction | Korean Women Philosophers and the Ideal of a Female Sage: Essential Writings of Im Yungjidang and Gang Jeongildang | Oxford Academic (oup.com) free to read. Congrats to the editors/translators, P. J. Ivanhoe and Hwa Yeong Wang!

New Book: Xiong Shili’s Treatise on Reality and Function

Oxford University Press has published Xiong Shili’s Treatise on Reality and Function, one of the major works of the New Confucian philosopher Xiong Shili 熊十力. The translation is by John Makeham.
This is the fourth translation in the Oxford Chinese Thought book series, which is devoted to providing high-quality translations of important philosophical and religious texts, for scholars and for classroom use. A free sample chapter is available here (free until April 1, 2024). A short description follows below the fold.

Continue reading →

New Book: Gongsheng Across Contexts

Palgrave Macmillan has recently brought out Gongsheng Across Contexts: A Philosophy of Co-Becoming, an Open-Access book (see here) co-edited by Bing Song (Berggruen Institute China Center) and Yiwen Zhan (School of Philosophy, Beijing Normal University). The table of contents and all materials are available on the above website.