New Book: Neville, The Good Is One, Its Manifestations Many

SUNY Press has just published a new book by Robert Cummings Neville: The Good Is One, Its Manifestations Many: Confucian Essays on Metaphysics, Morals, Rituals, Institutions, and Genders. More information is here. I will also post the book’s description and Table of Contents below.


Presents a twenty-first-century, progressive, liberal Confucianism.

Building on his long-standing work in metaphysics and Asian philosophy, Robert Cummings Neville presents a series of essays that cumulatively articulate a contemporary, progressive Confucian position as a global philosophy. Through analysis of the metaphysical and moral traditions of Confucianism, Neville brings these traditions into the twenty-first century. According to Confucianism, rituals define most of our relations with other individuals, social institutions, and nature, and while rituals make possible the positive institutions of high human civilization, they may also lead to harmful behaviors, including racism, xenophobia, and sexism. Neville argues that the amendment of rituals that institutionalize oppression is a positive task, which should be undertaken from within a skillfully ritualized life rather than in the form of external criticism. Confucianism, in Neville’s hands, is a left-wing, progressive, liberal political philosophy, one that can address institutionalized oppression and suggest a path for moving forward.

Table of Contents


1. The Good Is One, Its Manifestations Many
Ultimacy and Value
Value in Form

2. Contemporary Confucian Cosmopolitanism
Engaging Others
Attaining Wholeness
Identity and Value
Religion and Ontological Piety

3. Systematic Metaphysics and the Problem of Value
Systematic Metaphysics and Scientific Reductionism
Metaphysics and Our Civilization
A Contemporary Confucian Theory of Value

4. New Projects for Chinese Philosophy
Creative First-Order Issues
Re-sorting the Canon
Global Portability
Ritual Studies
Ritual and Culture
Ritual and Politics

5. Philosophy’s Fight between Engagement and Distance: A Confucian Resolution
Philosophy and the Axial Age
Philosophy as Distance
Philosophy as Engagement
Philosophy in the Academy
Confucians in the Academy: Scholar-Officials
Philosophical Cultivation

6. William Ernest Hocking: The First Boston Confucian
Hocking as a Boston Confucian
Zhu Xi, Science, and World Philosophy
Zhu Xi’s Metaphysics
Zhu Xi and Buddhism Compared
Zhu Xi’s Lessons for Hocking
Hocking and Pragmatism

7. Cheng Chung-ying as a Constructive Philosopher
Cheng’s Contemporary Sources
Speculative Interpretation
Interpretation of Classic Texts
Philosophic Truth over Interpretation
Cheng’s Challenges

8. Wu Kuang-ming as One of Three Stooges
One of Three Stooges
Wu’s Daoism
Confucian Scotism
Comparison: Daoism and Confucianism

9. Spiritual Foundations of Chinese Culture
An Ecological Model of Religion
Religion and Spirituality Defined
Chinese Culture Intact
Chinese Culture Not Intact

10. Selfhood and Value: Pragmatism, Confucianism, and Phenomenology
Experiential Frames and Phenomenology
Interactive Experience and Ritual: The Western Contribution of Confucianism
The Self

11. Individuation and Ritual
Ritual and Xunzi
Ritual Abuse

12. Authority in Social Institutions, Accountability, and Credibility
Sincerity in Authority
Communitarianism versus Individualism
Perceived Credibility and Sincerity
Conditions for Credibility

13. Confucianism and Toleration
What Is Confucianism?
Toleration, In-groups, and Out-groups
Toleration and Narrative
Toleration and Personal Respect
Toleration and Harmony: The Ethical Metaphysics of Principle
Some Confucian Morals of Toleration

14. Confucian Humaneness across Social Barriers
“Love with Distinctions”
Ritual Theory
Humaneness, Ritual, and Otherness

15. Confucianism and the Feminist Revolution: Ritual Definition and the Social Construction of Gender Roles
Nature, Society, and Persons
Gender Roles and Rituals
Observations on Transformation


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