Jim Behuniak has published a review in Dao — currently “Online First” — of Ted Slingerland’s new book, Mind and Body in Early China: Beyond Orientalism and the Myth of Holism (OUP, 2019). The full review is available (I believe; this might only be for 50 people?) here: https://rdcu.be/buskr. The opening of the review:
I would like to confess my bias at the outset. Before even reading this book, I was predisposed to report that it was brilliant. Edward Slingerland’s cross-disciplinary work in the fields of Chinese philosophy, cognitive science, and metaphor—plus his contributions with respect to consilience in the humanities and natural sciences—establish him as a singularly important scholar and one that we are lucky to have as a contemporary. His 2008 work, What Science Offers the Humanities, was instrumental in shaping my own philosophical approach in two books that will soon be going to press. I regret not giving Slingerland more credit in those pages….
The problem with Slingerland’s work, however, is that it tends to have two distinct components: one positive, one negative. The positive generates real insights. The negative, however, generates unfair criticisms by hastily identifying specific individuals with large-scale, odoriferous tendencies “in our field.” When challenged on this practice, Slingerland will apologize, acknowledge his “inaccuracies,” admit to his own “sloppiness,” and retreat (see Slingerland, “Reply to Prof. Moeller’s Response,” Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 10.4 : 537–539). In the present volume, given the sheer number of us implicated, mending fences might prove a little more difficult….
Kenneth Dorter, Can Different Cultures Think the Same Thoughts?: A Comparative Study in Metaphysics and Ethics, University of Notre Dame Press, 2018, 276pp., $50.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780268103538.
Reviewed by Ethan Mills, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Philosophers specializing in non-Western traditions today face a dilemma. On one hand, the virtues of encouraging non-specialists to engage with non-Western material are obvious: it enhances collegiality between specializations, opens up philosophically fertile comparisons, and creates more visibility for non-Western traditions among our mono-cultural colleagues. On the other hand, there are risks of non-specialist engagement with non-Western material: linguistic limitations, less familiarity with contemporary scholarship, lack of understanding of cultural and philosophical context, and a tendency to make sweeping pronouncements about non-Western traditions based on limited exposure.
There are increasing calls to pluralise philosophy: to look beyond the parochial, the colonial, the exclusive. This one-day symposium jointly organised by Minorities and Philosophy Oxford and Philiminality Oxford brings together three leading philosophers to explore the tensions within “canonical”/”Western” philosophy regarding the status of “non-Western” philosophies, with a particular focus on the case of Chinese thought.
Here is information on the current issue (volume 10 no. 1 / 2019 issue) of the peer-reviewed, open-access international journal Comparative Philosophy (ISSN 2151-6014), which came out in January 2019. This is also a special issue celebrating the 10th anniversary of the journal. Full text is available at the journal website www.comparativephilosophy.org.
JeeLoo Liu, Neo-Confucianism: Metaphysics, Mind, and Morality, Wiley-Blackwell, 2018, 316pp., $34.95 (pbk), ISBN 9781118619414.
Reviewed by Bin Song, Washington College
This book is clearly one of the greatest accomplishments among English Neo-Confucian philosophical studies in recent decades. JeeLoo Liu uses clear language and rigorous philosophical reasoning to analyze eight pivotal Neo-Confucian figures regarding three major areas: metaphysics, moral theory and moral practice. The book can be aptly used as both an introduction to Neo-Confucianism for beginners and a top reference for researchers, which is itself a rare achievement.
The Sungkyun Institute for Confucian Studies and East Asian Philosophy (SKKU) is delighted to announce that it will host an International Conference on the theme Confucianism, Buddhism, and Kantian Moral Theory, 6-7 September 2019 on the campus of Sunkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea. This event is made possible by a generous grant from The American Council of Learned Societies with support from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange.
Li KANG writes to let us know that she has accepted a tenure-track offer from Washington and Lee University, and will be joining the Philosophy Department as an Assistant Professor starting in Fall of 2019. Her bio:
I got my philosophy degrees on three continents: a B.A. from Wuhan University (China), an M.Phil. from University of St Andrews (UK), and a Ph.D. from Syracuse University (US). From 2017 to 2019, I am a Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Vassar College. My main areas of research are metaphysics and Chinese Buddhism. While half of my work involves developing views within the analytic tradition, the other half involves showing how the analytic tradition and non-Western traditions enrich each other. Currently, I am working on discovering and developing the metaphysics of Chinese Buddhism in relation to analytic philosophy and cognitive science.
Masaharu Mizumoto, Stephen Stich, and Eric McCready (eds.), Epistemology for the Rest of the World, Oxford University Press, 2018, 295pp., $85.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780190865085.
Reviewed by Soraj Hongladarom, Chulalongkorn University
When I was a graduate student at the Department of Philosophy at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana back in the 1980s, I took the program’s required epistemology course. What struck me then was that its content was very much tied to the English language. It was not exactly the kind of English that I studied in my English major classes back home, but a simple one focusing on only a few words. The main analysis was of sentences such as “S knows that p”. Naturally, I came across the famous paper by Edmund Gettier, and I remember that I spent a large amount of time figuring out what was going on. Somebody had a true and justified belief that the man who will get the job has ten coins in his pocket, but in the end, he does not know that. I wondered what was going on. So I translated the whole thing into Thai thinking that doing so might help me understand the whole thing better, but to no avail. To a normal Thai-speaking person it was strange to think that such a scenario could ever happen. I remember that I had to impose the strangeness of the situation onto my intuition of English. Since I am not a native speaker, I assumed that English speakers might have some kind of intuitive understanding of how the word ‘know’ was used.
this is to inform you about the international conference “Selfhood, Otherness, and Cultivation. Phenomenology and Chinese Philosophy” (March 18-20, at National Chengchi University in Taipei). You can still register on our website which also contains many helpful information (list of speakers, abstracts, etc.). The conference is co-hosted by the philosophy department and the interdisciplinary “Research Center on Chinese Cultural Subjectivity in Taiwan” at National Chengchi University. Our guest of honor is Dan Zahavi (Kopenhagen/Oxford) who, besides participating in our conference, will also give a series of lectures next week (see here).