Category Archives: Book Review

Reviews of Kwak and Tao in JSPP

Issue 2.2 of the Journal of Social and Political Philosophy has been published and includes at least two pieces of interest to blog readers: 

  • Haig Patapan’s review of Jun-Hyeok Kwak, ed. Machiavelli in East Asia, Routledge, 2022.
  • Ellie Hua’s review of Tao Jiang, Origins of Moral-Political Philosophy in Early China, Oxford University Press, 2021.

Click here for 30-days free access to the journal.

Sullivan Reviews PWOL Books

The latest issue of Ethics (133:4) contains a Review Essay titled “Philosophy as a Way of Life” by Meghan Sullivan that collectively reviews the books published to date in Oxford’s Guides to the Good Life series:

  • Nicolas Bommarito, Seeing Clearly: A Buddhist Guide to Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020)
  • Jennifer Anna Gosetti-Ferencei, On Being and Becoming: An Existential Approach to Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020)
  • Stephen C. Angle, Growing Moral: A Confucian Guide to Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022)
  • Karen Stohr, Choosing Freedom: A Kantian Guide to Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022)

Book Symposium on Kim, Democracy after Virtue

A book symposium on Sungmoon Kim’s Democracy after Virtue: Toward Pragmatic Confucian Democracy (OUP, 2019) has recently been published in the newest issue of The Good Society. Click here to see the last six articles. The contributors are Isak Tranvik, John Dryzek, Stephen Macedo, Brooke Ackerly, and Zhouyao Li.

Angle Reviews Kwon, Confucian Sentimental Representation: A New Approach to Confucian Democracy

My review of Confucian Sentimental Representation: A New Approach to Confucian Democracy by Kyung Rok Kwon (Routledge, 2022) has been published in The Review of Metaphysics 76:1; see here. The first paragraph of the review follows below.

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Hayes Reviews Garfield, Buddhist Ethics

Jay L. Garfield, Buddhist Ethics: A Philosophical Exploration, Oxford University Press, 2022, 231pp., $24.95 (pbk), ISBN 9780190907648.

Reviewed by Richard P. Hayes, The University of New Mexico

This book is a contribution to the series “Buddhist Philosophy for Philosophers,” which so far also has a monograph on Buddhist epistemology and one on Buddhist metaphysics. As with the other books in the series, Jay Garfield’s book is written primarily for philosophers who are open to exploring Buddhist approaches to ethics rather than for philologists or historians of Buddhist thought, although scholars in Buddhist studies also stand to benefit from reflecting on Garfield’s presentation. As the author makes clear from the outset, Buddhists have not until recently written much that could be considered metaethical in nature. Ethicists accustomed to…

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Zhao on Balbo and Ahn, Confucius and Cicero

Bryn Mawr Classical Review (see here)

Andrea Balbo and Jaewon Ahn, Confucius and Cicero: old ideas for a new world, new ideas for an old world. Roma Sinica, 1. Berlin; Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2019. Pp. 222. ISBN 9783110616606. £65.50.

Reviewed by Dan Zhao, University of Cambridge. dqz20@cam.ac.uk

Born from a conference in 2017, this edited volume seeks to pioneer a new series in comparative studies: Roma Sinica: Mutual Interactions between Ancient Roman and Eastern Thought. The series is nothing short of ambitious: ‘Roma Sinica sets out to open new perspectives in comparative studies, taking a multidisciplinary approach within the humanities and offering scholars (…) an opportunity to exchange ideas’. This particular volume, focusing on a comparison of Confucius and Cicero, brings together sinologists, Classicists, and comparative historians. It establishes itself firmly in the budding field of Sino-Roman comparative studies as one of the first works to examine two individuals, rather than comparing broader social, political, or economic frameworks.[1] The volume is split into five sections. Sections A and E form the introduction and conclusion of the work, respectively. Section B concentrates on philosophy. Section C investigates the translation of Confucian works in Latin. Section D takes a broader view, examining philosophy, literature, and culture in general.

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L. K. Gustin Law reviews Seok at NDPR

Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

2021.10.02 View this Review Online View Other NDPR Reviews

Bongrae Seok (ed.), Naturalism, Human Flourishing, and Asian Philosophy: Owen Flanagan and Beyond, Routledge, 2020, 256pp., $160.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780367350246.

Reviewed by L. K. Gustin Law, University of Chicago

This volume includes contributions engaging the works of Owen Flanagan, as well as his responses to them. As Flanagan’s works cut across conventional academic boundaries, so does the contributors’ expertise fall under different disciplines, including philosophy, psychology, religion, and Asian studies. Each essay either compares Flanagan’s view with a Ruist (Confucian) or Buddhist counterpart or addresses his engagement with it. It is a scholarly and illuminating book for those interested in the enduring significance of Mengzi’s ethical psychology or Buddhism, the rich and diverse accounts of mind that fall under the label of “Buddhism,” Flanagan’s naturalism, the way he adapts and naturalizes Buddhism for a model of human flourishing, or how intellectual enterprises of independent origins might enter into fruitful dialogue. Navigating all these is made easier by the editor, Bongrae Seok, who masterfully summarizes the contributions, highlighting the significance of each and their connections to one another.

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