Category Archives: Philosophy of Mind

New Book: Ziran: The Philosophy of Spontaneous Self-Causation

I’d like to announce the publication of my new book Ziran: The Philosophy of Spontaneous Self-Causation. Targeted specifically at students, this book takes a key concept form early Chinese metaphysics—ziran 自然—and applies it to several fields of contemporary scholarship.

Continue reading →

Columbia Neo-Confucian Seminar: Brook Ziporyn “Zhu Xi on the Consciousness and Unconsciousness of the Mind of Heaven and Earth” this Friday, April 22 @ 3:30pm

The next session of the Columbia University Seminar on Neo-Confucian Studies (University Seminar #567) will convene Friday, April 22, 2016 from 3:30 to 5:30pm in the Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University.

Brook Ziporyn (University of Chicago) will present his paper “Zhu Xi on the Consciousness and Unconsciousness of the Mind of Heaven and Earth: Cross-Cultural Considerations of Ontological Theism and Atheism.”

All are welcome to attend. Copies of his paper and other information are available from the organizers: Ari Borrell , Tao JiangOn-cho Ng, or Deborah Sommer.

Columbia Society for Comparative Philosophy lecture on meditation and the mind sciences this Thursday


Invites you to attend an upcoming event at PRINCETON UNIVERSITY hosted by the PRINCETON BUDDHIST STUDIES WORKSHOP

Welcoming: GEORGES DREYFUS (Williams College)

Please join us at Princeton University’s 1879 Hall, Room 137, on Thursday, November 14th, for his lecture called:  “Taking Meditation Seriously (But Not Too Much)”

ABSTRACT: Continue reading →

New APA Newsletter

APA Newsletters, Fall 2013 (Volume 13, Number 1): Newsletter on Asian and Asian-American Philosophers and Philosophies

  • From the Editor, David H. Kim
  • “Neuroscience, Moral Sentimentalism, and Confucian Philosophy: Moral Psychology of the Body and Emotion,” Bongrae Seok
  • “The Resonant Mind: Daoism and Situated-Embodied Cognition,” Bradley Douglas Park
  • “Self-Making and World-Making: Indian Buddhism and Enactive Philosophy of Mind,” Matthew MacKenzie
  • “Report on APA Central Session: New Orleans, Louisiana,” JeeLoo Liu

“Doing philosophy” with ancient (Indian) sources

This extremely positive review of Jonardon Ganeri’s The Self: Naturalism, Consciousness, and the First-Person Stance is worth the attention of readers of our blog not only for the book’s apparently splendid contents and argument, but also for Ganeri’s intriguing methodological model. Here is the last paragraph of the review:

One particularly noteworthy feature of this book is that Ganeri manages the amazing feat of writing for two different audiences at once. One is Western-trained philosophers looking for answers to the puzzling questions the various properties of the self. They will find a thorough and sophisticated discussion that at the same time introduces them to a stunning set of intellectual gems from India’s philosophical history. The second audience consists of scholars working on Ancient Indian materials dealing with the relation of body, mind, and self. Even though the discussion is going to be considerably more hard-going for this audience, they will find new insights into ways of thinking about the Ancient Indian discussion and the interrelation between various philosophical traditions on almost every page. The ease with which Ganeri manages to keep both audiences on board without sacrificing either philosophical sophistication, or distorting the nuances of the historical discussion by broad-brush generalizations found in less accomplished works on cross-cultural philosophical debates is nothing less than astonishing. It is no exaggeration to say that this book marks the beginning of a completely new phase in the study of Indian philosophy, one in which a firm grasp of the historical material forms the basis for going beyond pure exegesis, opening up the way for doing philosophy with ancient sources.

(I have added the bold.) I know neither Indian philosophy nor contemporary philosophy indebted to the Indian tradition well enough to be able to assess this conclusion, but it sounds exciting!

Promising Research Area: Asian Philosophy and Embodied Cognition

One key to successful comparative philosophical research is locating an area in where there is sufficient overlap between different traditions’ approaches that each can see the other as generating relevant challenges or questions, stimulating new ways of framing issues, and so on. I would argue that the “virtue ethics” paradigm has been successful in just this way, bringing together an increasing number of Anglophone and Sinophone philosophers and philosophical projects in fruitful fashion, as judged by the interesting, explicitly work that is being generated by Anglophone scholars (including those with little prior background in Chinese and Chinese philosophy) and some Sinophone thinkers (including those with little prior background in Western philosophy).

Another possible area of overlap and mutual stimulus — though it remains to be seen whether it will generate a similar level of fruitfulness — is virtue epistemology; Michael Chien-kuo Mi and colleagues at Soochow University in Taiwan have been collaborating with Ernie Sosa of Rutgers University and some other Western-trained philosophers in this endeavor.

What I mainly wanted to call attention to here, though, is a third area. The recent APA conference featured a panel (sponsored by the APA Committee on the Status of Asian and Asian-American Philosophers and Philosophies) on “Asian/Comparative Views of the Embodied and Enactive Mind.” Drawing on Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism, as well as on various streams of philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and phenomenology, the panelists (Bongrae Seok, Matthew MacKenzie, and Bradley Park) made it eminently clear that there is a major area of overlap and many opportunities for mutual stimulus and learning. I was also struck by the fact that a successful NEH Summer Institute was held last summer on this topic; looking at the range of participants and faculty, it is again clear that there is a lot of room for exciting growth in this area of comparative philosophy.

CFP for ISCP at AAR on Philosophy of Mind

Dear ISCP members,

You are cordially invited to submit a paper proposal for the ISCP’s panel at the AAR to be held in Chicago, Illinois, November 17-20, 2012. Submission Deadline: April 15, 2012. (Early submissions are encouraged and appreciated) The ISCP will be sponsoring one or two panels on the general theme: Philosophy of Mind in Confucian and Neo-Confucian Philosophy. Continue reading →