The second volume of Brook Ziporyn’s new work on li and coherence in pre-Neo-Confucian Chinese thought has been published. See below for summary and Table of Contents for both volumes.
|Ironies of Oneness and Difference
Coherence in Early Chinese Thought; Prolegomena to the Study of Li
|Explores the development of Chinese thought, highlighting its concern with questions of coherence.Providing a bracing expansion of horizons, this book displays the unsuspected range of human thinking on the most basic categories of experience. The way in which early Chinese thinkers approached concepts such as one and many, sameness and difference, self andother, and internal and external stand in stark contrast to the way parallel concepts entrenched in much of modern thinking developed in Greek and European thought. Brook Ziporyn traces the distinctive and surprising philosophical journeys found in the works of the formative Confucian and Daoist thinkers back to a prevailing set of assumptions that tends to see questions of identity, value, and knowledge—the subject matter of ontology, ethics, and epistemology in other traditions—as all ultimately relating to questions about coherence in one form or another. Mere awareness of how many different ways human beings can think and have thought about these categories is itself a game changer for our own attitudes toward what is thinkable for us. The actual inhabitation and mastery of these alternative modes of thinking is an even greater adventure in intellectual and experiential expansion.
Brook Ziporyn is Professor of Chinese Philosophy, Religion, and Comparative Thought at the University of Chicago Divinity School and Visiting Professor of Philosophy at the National University of Singapore. His books include The Penumbra Unbound: The Neo-Taoist Philosophy of Guo Xiang, also published by SUNY Press.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Rethinking Same and Different
Coherence and Li: Plan Method of This Book and Its Sequel
1. Essences, Universals, and Omnipresence: Absolute Sameness and Difference
Essences, Universals, Categories, Ideas: Simple Location and the Disjunction of Same and Different in in Mainstream Western Philosophy
2. What Is Coherence? Chinese Paradigms
Coherence As Opposed to Law, Rule, Principle,Pattern: Harmony Versus Repeatability
3. Non-Ironic Coherence and Negotiable Continuity
Coherence and Omniavailability of Value in Confucius and Mencius
4. Ironic Coherence and the Discovery of the “Yin”
The Laozi Tradition: Desiring Wholes
5. Non-Ironic Responses to Ironic Coherence in Xunzi and the Record of Ritual
Xunzi and the Regulation of Sameness and Difference
6. The Yin-Yang Compromise
Yin-Yang Theism in Dong Zhongshu: The Metastasis of Harmony Irony
Conclusion and Summary: Toward Li
|Continues the author’s inquiry into the development of the Chinese philosophical concept Li, concluding in Song and Ming dynasty Neo-Confucianism.Beyond Oneness and Difference considers the development of one of the key concepts of Chinese intellectual history, Li. A grasp of the strange history of this term and its seemingly conflicting implications—as oneness and differentiation, as the knowable and as what transcends knowledge, as the good and as the transcendence of good and bad, as order and as omnipresence—raises questions about the most basic building blocks of our thinking. This exploration began in the book’s companion volume, Ironies of Oneness and Difference, which detailed how formative Confucian and Daoist thinkers approached and demarcated concepts of coherence, order, and value, identifying both ironic and non-ironic trends in the elaboration of these core ideas. In the present volume, Brook Ziporyn goes on to examine the implications of Li as they develop in Neo-Daoist metaphysics and in Chinese Buddhism, ultimately becoming foundational to Song and Ming dynasty Neo-Confucianism, the orthodox ideology of late imperial China. Ziporyn’s interrogation goes beyond analysis to reveal the unsuspected range of human thinking on these most fundamental categories of ontology, metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics.
Brook Ziporyn is Professor of Chinese Philosophy, Religion, and Comparative Thought at the University of Chicago Divinity School. He is the author of several books, including The Penumbra Unbound: The Neo-Taoist Philosophy of Guo Xiang and Ironies of Oneness and Difference: Coherence in Early Chinese Thought; Prolegomena to the Study of Li, both also published by SUNY Press.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Li理 and Coherence: Recap of Ironies of Oneness and Difference and Terminological Clarifications
1. Li 理 as a Fundamental Category in Chinese Thought
Needham and Organic Pattern
2. The Advent of Li, Ironic and Non-Ironic
Li and “Greatest Coherence” in the Xunzi
3. The Development of Li in Ironic Texts
Li and Non-Ironic Coherence in the Later Parts of Zhuangzi: Integrating the Non-Ironic
4. The Advent of Li as a Technical Philosophical Term
Toward the Ironic: Li in the Pre-Ironic Daoism of the Guanzi
5. Li as the Convergence of Coherence and Incoherence in Wang Bi and Guo Xiang
Subjective Perspectivism in Wang Bi: The Advent of Ti and Yong 體用 as Ironic Structure
6. Beyond One and Many: Li in Tianti and Huayan Buddhism
How Emptiness Became Li
7. Mind, Omnipresence, and Coherence in Tiantai and Huayan
The Pure Mind and the Deluded Mind in Huayan Thought
Conclusion: The Vertex of the Vortex
Epilogue: Toward Li in Neo-Confucianism