An on-line review of Diana Lobel. The Quest for God and the Good: World Philosophy as a Living Experience (New York Columbia University Press, 2011). Confucianism and the Daode Jing make brief appearances in the review, as does the reviewer’s skepticism about Chinese and Indian philosophy as philosophy (note her scare quotes).
Thank you for posting this review; western “thinkers” without spiritual practice often do not see the shared Mystic/apophatic elements in Asian and Caucasian experience; judgmental mind,negative or positive, impedes wisdom ie direct “presence” awareness.
While the reviewer gives relatively little space to China (aside from Buddhism), it looks to me as though her use of scare quotes is merely meant to hold at arm’s length Lobel’s use of ‘philosophy’ as a countable noun, in such phrases as ‘Chinese and Indian philosophies’ — not meant to question the philosophical quality of the Chinese and Indian traditions.
The review makes it sound like Girl Talk wrote the book.
I agree with Bill about the scare quote usage. (A minor point: I think the reviewer is male — James Diamond.) I think I even sympathize at some level with this from the reviewer, which accompanies his oblique expression of distaste for eliding ‘philosophical traditions’ to ‘philosophies’: “…my skeptical gene is aroused by any synthesizing of post-Newtonian physics and ancient currents of thought.” I haven’t read the book, so I don’t know if Lobel actually tries to “synthesize” those things, but I am usually unimpressed with the results of comparing ancient Chinese metaphysics with the metaphysics implied by, say, quantum physics.