Category Archives: Neo-Confucianism

Ivanhoe Reviews Makeham (ed.), The Buddhist Roots of Zhu Xi’s Philosophical Thought

Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

2018.11.26 View this Review Online   View Other NDPR Reviews

John Makeham (ed.), The Buddhist Roots of Zhu Xi’s Philosophical Thought, Oxford University Press, 2018, 354pp., $74.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780190878559.

Reviewed by Philip J. Ivanhoe, Sungkyunkwan University

This volume aims at answering important questions about the historical sources of Zhu Xi’s philosophical system; it includes a wealth of information about earlier, Buddhist philosophical writings and makes clear how some of these appear to have informed and influenced the development of Zhu’s philosophical system. I will very briefly describe the contents of the volume, highlighting some of the ways in which the various chapters fill out our understanding of how Chinese Buddhist philosophy provided sources and context for the development of Zhu’s thought. I then will consider what the volume aims to and does achieve.

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Using _Neo-Confucianism: A Philosophical Introduction_ in class

I used Neo-Confucianism: A Philosophical Introduction as the main textbook in a course on Neo-Confucianism this past semester. Student comments on the book (submitted anonymously as part of the teaching evaluation process) are available here. If any readers have used the book, Justin and I would love any further feedback! (I’d also be happy to share similar information about other course books, for other authors out there.)

New Book: Makeham, ed., The Buddhist Roots of Zhu Xi’s Philosophical Thought

I’m very happy to announce the publication of John Makeham, ed., The Buddhist Roots of Zhu Xi’s Philosophical Thought (Oxford). This is the culmination of a multi-year collaborative project that it was my good fortune to be a part of; I am very grateful to John and to the group for the opportunity. Details from Oxford are here and from Amazon are here, and I’ll add some brief information below.

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Teaching The Yi Jing (I Ching) in a Course on Neo-Confucianism

Over at Neo-Confucianism.com, which is the companion website for Justin Tiwald and my book Neo-Confucianism: A Philosophical Introduction, I have posted some reflections on how I taught the Yi Jing (Book of Changes) in the context of my recent course on Neo-Confucianism. We even performed a divination! Take a look, and comments/questions either there or here are most welcome.

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).

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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Weekly Articles of Interest (7 May 2018)

Only one article (outside of the standard journals) came to my attention this week:

Hagop Sarkissian, “Neo-Confucianism, experimental philosophy and the trouble with intuitive methods,” British Journal for the History of Philosophy (2018). Abstract below and here; available for free download here (NOTE: if you have free access to this journal through your institution, please access it that way, saving the 50 free downloads for those without institutional access).

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Free download of article on Wang Yangming

Larry Israel has published an article with Asian Philosophy, titled “The Transformation of the Wang Yangming Scholarship in the West, ca. 1960-1980: A Historical Essay.”  He asked me to post this because Routledge makes 50 eprints freely available here, and he didn’t know what to do with them, or if they would be of any interest. Feel free to download!