Philosophy East and West, vol. 61, no. 3 (2011)

REMEMBERING DR. KENNETH K. INADA

Dr. Kenneth K. Inada (1923–2011), 407

A Memorial Tribute to Kenneth K. Inada
Eliot Deutsch, 408

ARTICLES

Abstract Concept Formation in Archaic Chinese Script Forms: Some Humboldtian Perspectives
Tze-wan Kwan, 409

Starting from the Humboldtian characterization of Chinese writing as a “script of thoughts,” this article makes an attempt to show that notwithstanding the important role played by phonetic elements, the Chinese script also relies on visual-graphical means in its constitution of meaning. In point of structure, Chinese characters are made up predominantly of components that are sensible or even tangible in nature. Out of these sensible components, not only physical objects or empirical states of affairs can be expressed, but also the most subtle and abstract concepts, such as 萬, 它, 言, 災, 仁, 義, 思, 念, 法, 律, 善, 考, 莫, 睘, and 幾, attesting to what Humboldt says about the Chinese script as having “embraced philosophical work within itself.” Humboldt’s idea of “analogy of script” throws light on the mechanism behind this structure to stimulate new reflections on the traditional theory of the “Six Ways” (六書) of character formation to provide a productive platform for interpretation.

Self-awareness: Eliminating the Myth of the “Invisible Subject”
Monima Chadha, 453

The interest in an account of self-awareness derives from the fact that it aims to illuminate, if only partly, an essentially invisible subject of experience. A preliminary look at accounts of self-awareness, discussed in ancient Indian and Western theories, shows that the self is neither essentially nor exclusively an invisible subject. Theories of self-awareness in the Indian and Western traditions fall under two broad categories: the paraprakāśa (literally other-illumination) or reflectionist theories and svaprakāśa (literally self-illumination) or reflexivist theories and are usually presented as incompatible alternatives. Here it is argued that the reflectionist and reflexivist theories of self-awareness are not deeply incompatible; rather they present or reveal different aspects of the self. However, it will be shown that the reflexivist has the upper hand in this debate since reflexive awareness constitutes the basic or fundamental form of self-awareness. Nonetheless, introspectionism and reflexivism together dispel the myth of the “invisible subject.”

The Dao of Politics: Li (Rituals/Rites) and Laws as Pragmatic Tools
of Government

Sor-hoon Tan, 468

In the history of Chinese thought, Confucianism is often contrasted with Legalism in terms of the former’s emphasis on li (ritual or rite) and the latter’s emphasis on fa (laws). However, others have argued that the Confucian li have served some of the same purposes as laws in the Western world. This article shows that through an overlap between Dewey’s concept of custom and the Confucian notion of li, and Dewey’s understanding of the relationship between custom and law, Dewey’s pragmatism could engage Confucian philosophy on the key questions of what kind of tools will achieve good government. It argues that pragmatically rituals and laws are complementary tools of government, but the perceived differences between them reveal important insights regarding coercion and moral transformation in relation to good government. Dewey’s insistence that the rational and aesthetic should not be separated in any satisfactory experience provides the basis for an argument that the aesthetic emphasis of li complements the rational emphasis of laws, and a balance between the two is required to achieve Deweyan democracy as a way of life, in which aesthetic elements of culture will be as important as the rational structure of a
political system.

Naturalizing Mencius
James Behuniak, Jr., 492

Responding to Donald J. Munro’s recent challenge regarding the importance of “Heaven” in the philosophy of the Mencius, this article asks whether or not Mencius’ theories of “human nature” (renxing 人性) and tian 天 can be retained and interpreted along more naturalistic lines. The thought of John Dewey is presented as a resource for helping us to think more naturalistically about each of these notions. It is argued that a more naturalistic reading of the Mencius is possible, and that such a reading provides a nuanced account of Mencius’ intentions, allows a flexible interpretation of his attitude towards tian, and illuminates both the normative and the religious dimensions of his philosophy. In fact, it is argued that readings that ascribe a more transcendent “human nature” and tian to Mencius do not provide as coherent an account in
these respects.

Xin, Trust, and Confucius’ Ethics
Cecilia Wee, 516

Confucius frequently employs the term xin 信 in the Analects. The frequency of his usage suggests that xin has a significant place within his ethics. The main aim of this article is to offer an account of the roles played by xin within Confucius’ ethics. To have a clear understanding of these roles, however, one needs first to understand what Confucius encompasses within his notion of xin. The article begins by delineating the Confucian conception of xin, as presented in the Analects. The notion of xin is often taken to be isomorphic with the notion of trust. I argue that Confucius’ notion of xin does not quite map onto the notion of trust as usually understood in contemporary Western contexts. To understand better what Confucian xin amounts to, I compare and contrast the Confucian conception of xin with contemporary Western accounts of trust by Baier, McLeod, and Mullin. This comparison helps elucidate what xin is as well as how xin relates to morality. With this in hand, the roles that Confucius ascribes to xin in social and political contexts are then delineated.

COMMENT AND DISCUSSION

Conceptualizing Philosophical Tradition: A Reading of Wilhelm Halbfass, Daya Krishna, and Jitendranath Mohanty
Anna-Pya Sjödin, 534

Understanding the Sources of the Sino-Islamic Intellectual Tradition: A Review Essay on The Sage Learning of Liu Zhi: Islamic Thought in Confucian Terms, by Sachiko Murata, William C. Chittick, and Tu Weiming, and Recent Chinese Literary Treasuries
Kristian Petersen, 546

BOOK REVIEWS

Against a Hindu God: Buddhist Philosophy of Religion in India, by
Parimal Patil
Reviewed by Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad, 560

Al-Ghazālī’s Philosophical Theology, by Frank Griffel
Reviewed by L.W.C. (Eric) van Lit, 564

The Perfectibility of Human Nature in Eastern and Western Thought, by
Harold Coward
Reviewed by Warren Todd, 568

Jìubāng xīnmìng: Gǔjīn zhōngxī cānzhào xià de gǔdiǎn Rújiā zhèngzhì zhéxué 旧邦新命:古今中西参照下的古典儒家政哲学 (A new mission for an old state: Classical Confucian political philosophy in a contemporary and comparative context), by Bái Tóngdōng
Reviewed by Justin Tiwald, 573

One Korean’s Approach to Buddhism: The Mom/Momjit Paradigm, by Sung Bae Park
Reviewed by Jin Y. Park, 576

An Introduction to Daoist Thought: Action, Language, and Ethics in Zhuangzi, by Eske Møllgaard
Reviewed by Albert Galvany, 579

BOOKS RECEIVED

Books received, 581

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