Warp, Weft, and Way

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

OUP’s Philosopher of the Month: Lao Tzu

Apparently Oxford University Press has started a “Philosopher of the Month” feature, and July belongs to Lao Tzu. Perhaps not the deepest analysis, but nice to be included. (Thanks to Eric Hutton for passing this on.)

August 12th, 2015 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Daoism, Laozi | 4 comments

4 Responses to OUP’s Philosopher of the Month: Lao Tzu

  1. Paul R. Goldin says:

    This isn’t Walt Disney or Marvel Comics; this is Oxford University Press, and for them to consider “Laozi” a philosopher is shameful. What’s next, Aquaman for Superhero of the Month? Or maybe Yahweh. My vote would be with Yahweh.

    It’s just demoralizing when myth after myth in our field is relentlessly exposed–only to return, like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, as though nothing could ever kill it.

    • Paul R. Goldin says:

      P.S. What could be a surer sign of marginalization than our instinct to say, “Yay, they actually picked something Chinese”?

  2. And then there’s this silly comment by Greg Gauthier: “Chinese “philosophy” is the original hucksterism. Self-contradictory statements spoken in breathy tones, do not make them suddenly “profound”. They’re also incredibly easy to invent on the fly:

    “The one who sees, is blind” ~ Tao Te Gauthier
    “The master of all, is master of none” ~ Tao Te Gauthier
    “In the future, the past will live again” ~ Tao Te Gauthier

    What’s worse, is the fact that even when they do occasionally get something right, they have no idea why. Setting aside metaphors of blind squirrels, there’s still the problem that if you can’t explain reasonably why you think something is true, its value is essentially nil, whether its true or not.”

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