On Fate and Fatalism
Robert C. Solomon, 435
Fate and fatalism have been powerful notions in many societies, from Homer’s Iliad, the Greek moira, the South Asian karma, and the Chinese ming in the ancient world to the modern concept of ‘‘destiny.’’ But fate and fatalism are now treated with philosophical disdain or as a clearly inferior version of what is better considered as ‘‘determinism.’’ The concepts of fate and fatalism are defended here, and fatalism is clearly distinguished from determinism. We refer back to the ancient Greek and Chinese versions to explore the various dimensions of these ideas.
This essay highlights how contemporary Muslim fundamentalists reduce Islam’s rich and complex intellectual legacy to a set of authoritarian rules. The three branches of classical Islamic education—theology, jurisprudence, and ethics—are particularly targeted. The reductionist pattern applied to these areas is designed to eliminate both the scholarly space of inquiry and the room for individual reflection traditionally granted to its followers by Islamic religion. The essay ends with an analysis of the language used by Osama bin Laden in various documents over the last ten years that show how he has abused Islam’s jurisprudential tradition to confer on him a convenient likeness of legality.
Is Confucianism Compatible with Care Ethics? A Critique
Ranjoo Seodu Herr, 471
This essay critically examines a suggestion proposed by some Confucianists that Confucianism and Care Ethics share striking similarities and that feminism in Confucian societies might take ‘‘a new form of Confucianism.’’ The two aspects of Confucianism and Care Ethics that allegedly converge are examined, namely their emphases on human relationships (the cultivation of ren in Confucianism and caring in Care Ethics), and it is argued that while these two perspectives share certain surface similarities, moral injunctions entailed by their respective ideals of ren and caring are not merely distinctive but in fact incompatible.
Suggestiveness is a major theoretical category in Chinese aesthetic thought. Within the broader context of Chinese tradition, it is a product of the interpenetration of and exchanges between philosophical and artistic discourses. Despite its prevalence in Chinese aesthetic thought, suggestiveness has never been examined as an aesthetic category in its own right, nor have its implications been explored in relation to contemporary theories. This essay reexamines suggestiveness and its seminal ideas as an aesthetic category in Chinese tradition, exploring their relation to philosophical thought and reconceptualizing their implications compared to the postmodern idea of literary openness. As a preliminary attempt to pioneer an approach to Chinese aesthetic theory that may emancipate it from intellectual stagnation and at the same time preserve its characteristic features, this essay also intends to inquire whether the insights of this Chinese aesthetic, often characterized as gems of ‘‘Oriental mysticism,’’ can be understood in terms of reflective analysis and have a meaningful dialogue with contemporary Western literary thought.
Ethics and Politics in the Early Nishida: Reconsidering Zen no kenkyū
Christopher S. Jones, 514
The early Nishida has conventionally been seen as an apolitical thinker, concerned primarily with religious philosophy. In itself this constitutes a political reading of Nishida’s work, since it represents an attempt to distance (and thus ‘‘save’’) his wider philosophy from his dubious political practice during the 1930s and 1940s. However, a fresh reading of Nishida’s debut, Zen no kenkyū (An inquiry into the good), reveals a distinctive political agenda and a sophisticated philosophy of political ethics. Counterintuitively, this essay suggests that Nishida’s politics, at least in his ‘‘early period,’’ provides a sound philosophical basis for a critique of imperialism and ultranationalism.
The semantic fields and root metaphors of ‘‘fate’’ in Classical Greece and pre-Buddhist China are surveyed here. The Chinese material focuses on the Warring States, the Han, and the reinvention of the earlier lexicon in contemporary Chinese terms for such concepts as risk, randomness, and (statistical) chance. The Greek study focuses on Homer, Parmenides, the problem of fate and necessity, Platonic daimons, and the ‘‘On Fate’’ topos in Hellenistic Greece. The study ends with a brief comparative metaphorology of metaphors for the action of fate including command, division or allotment, and wheel or cycles of change.
COMMENT AND DISCUSSION
Addressing Human Wrongs: A Philosophy-of-Ontology Perspective
Jamie Morgan, 575
On Human Rights-in-the-World: A Response to Jamie Morgan
Fred Dallmayr, 587
Response to Roy W. Perrett’s Review of Classical Indian Philosophy of Mind: The Nyāya Dualist Tradition
Kisor K. Chakrabarti, 593
Hindu God, Christian God: How Reason Helps Break Down the Boundaries between Religions, by Francis X. Clooney, S. J.
Reviewed by A. J. Nicholson, 599
Emptiness Appraised: A Critical Study of Nāgārjuna’s Philosophy, by David F. Burton
Reviewed by William Edelglass, 602
Philosophers of Nothingness: An Essay on the Kyoto School, by James W. Heisig
Reviewed by Curtis Rigsby, 605
Frontiers of Transculturality in Contemporary Aesthetics, edited by Grazia Marchianò and Raffaele Milani
Reviewed by Ashok Kumar Malhotra, 612
Published Essays 1953–1965, by Eric Voegelin, 616
Alternative Conceptions of Civil Society, edited by Simone Chambers and Will Kymlicka, 617