Gandhi’s Devotional Political Thought
Stuart Gray, Thomas M. Hughes, 375
The political thought of Mohandas K. Gandhi increasingly has been used as a paradigmatic example of hybrid political thought that developed out of a cross-cultural dialogue of Eastern and Western influences. With a novel unpacking of this hybridity, this article focuses on the conceptual influences that Gandhi explicitly stressed in his autobiography and other writings, particularly the works of Leo Tolstoy and the Bhagavad Gītā. This new tracing of influence in the development of Gandhi’s thought alters the substantive thrust of Gandhi’s thought away from more familiar quasi-liberal interpretations and toward a far more substantive bhakti or devotional understanding of politics. The analysis reveals a conception of politics that is not pragmatic in its use of non-violence, but instead points to a devotional focus on cultivating the self (ātman), ultimately dissolving the public/private distinction on which many readings of Gandhi’s thought depend.
The Historical Significance and Contemporary Relevance of the Four-Seven Debate
Philip J. Ivanhoe, 401
This essay concerns some of the ways that the Four-Seven Debate, as represented by the extensive and systematic exchanges between Yi Hwang 李滉 (Toegye 退溪) (1501–1570) and Gi Dae-seung 奇大升 (Gobong 高峰) (1527–1572) and further developed in the correspondence between Seong Hon 成渾 (Ugye 牛溪) (1535–1598) and Yi I 李珥 (Yulgok 栗谷) (1536–1584), has been and remains philosophically significant for people today. It first attempts to describe why those involved in the Four-Seven Debate took it so seriously and were inspired to produce such a remarkable legacy. It then endeavors to show how the debate relates to issues that have been explored by important thinkers within the Western philosophical tradition and how these remain problems for contemporary moral metaphysics and moral psychology.
This essay examines Jayanta Bhaṭṭa’s argument for toleration in his play, the Āgamạdambara, and proposes that it is an argument with contemporary relevance. The merits and relevance of Jayanta’s argument are demonstrated by comparison with arguments for toleration given by John Locke and Pierre Bayle. The aim of such a comparison is twofold. First is to show that Jayanta, like Locke and Bayle, appeals to epistemic humility as justification for toleration and identifies problematic contradictions in the epistemology of his opponents. Second is to forestall dismissal of the relevance of Jayanta’s argument on the basis of the claim that his views are in no way consonant with ours, as he depends on theological assumptions that we do not share and excludes from toleration groups that we would wish to include. That these problems are also present in the arguments of Locke and Bayle yet are no impediment to considering the contemporary relevance of these thinkers indicates that such problems also need not prevent serious consideration of Jayanta’s argument in the present. This essay shows as well that Jayanta’s argument may have relevance for debates concerning toleration in contemporary India, as it indicates a certain conception of toleration, which has in the past been associated primarily with European Modernity, to be indigenous to India.
Genkūbō Hōnen’s (1133–1212) Pure Land discourse, centered on recitation practice (nembutsu), discards all other Buddhist practices, including raising bodaishin. Such an exclusive attitude offended other monks such as Myōe who believed that bodaishin is a prerequisite and goal of Buddhist soteriology and thus cannot be neglected. This contrast between Hōnen and Myōe has been demonstrated and reinforced by several scholars as a typical ideological difference between New Kamakura Buddhism and Old Buddhism. However, by using some methodological insights from “Western” scholarship, this article reexamines a doctrinal conflict between Hōnen and Myōe and proposes that the latter’s criticism of the former did not hit a point, as they actually argue bodaishin from different aspects, one from a shallow and the other from a deep level. Whereas Myōe was a “dreamer” and optimistic that people could perform both shallower and deeper levels of bodaishin, Hōnen was a radical monk who emphasized a more realistic view: that most people are not capable of maintaining such practices from the beginning. Instead, Hōnen offered people nembutsu as a method to cultivate bodaishin.
One of the main obstacles to thinking clearly about the morality of anger is that we have two competing intuitions: we think that the effects of anger are often bad, destroying both our relationships and our peace of mind, and that the expression of anger in response to injustice can be good or even required. The tension caused by these competing intuitions has long been noted in Western philosophical works on anger and has led to two distinct approaches to the problem of moral anger, the moderation approach and the elimination approach. Here it is argued that neither approach can fully make sense of the moral contours of anger. A third view on anger is defended, the Tantric view, according to which moral excellence involves a sophisticated facility with complex emotional states. In the presentation of the Tantric view, two tenth-century Buddhist texts are referred to, both by the Indian Buddhist philosopher Dharmaraksita.
Other-Emptiness in the Jonang School: The Theo-logic of Buddhist Dualism
Douglas S. Duckworth, 485
This paper aims to clarify the meaning of other-emptiness in the Jonang (jo nang) tradition of Buddhism of Tibet. The focus is on the writings of Dölpopa (dol po pa shes rab rgyal mtshan, 1292–1361), the renowned forefather of this tradition. Dölpopa famously differentiated two types of emptiness, or two ways of being empty—self-emptiness (rang stong) and other-emptiness (gzhan stong)—and proclaimed the superiority of the latter. Dölpopa maintains that other-emptiness is better because it represents what really exists while self-emptiness does not, and that it also offers a more effective means to access the real. While Dölpopa is famous for asserting the real existence of a nondual ultimate reality, it is argued here that his depiction of other-emptiness represents a fairly clear-cut account of dualism.
Jayarāśi’s Delightful Destruction of Epistemology
Ethan Mills, 498
It is argued here that Jayarāśi Bhaṭṭa (ca. 770–830 c.e .) is both a Cārvāka and a skeptic, although he is a skeptic about epistemology rather than a skeptic about the external world or a global skeptic about knowledge. After remarks on the Cārvākas and Indian skepticism, Jayarāśi’s arguments against Dignāga and Dharmakīrti are considered. Jayarāśi tries to demonstrate that in the context of epistemology, epistemology self-destructs, while in the context of everyday life there is no need for epistemology. Lastly, how Jayarāśi’s skepticism serves his Cārvāka sympathies is considered.
Confucian Moral Experience and Its Metaphysical Foundation: From the Point of View of Mou Zongsan
Weimin Shi, Chiulo Lin, 542
It is argued here that Mou Zongsan, the representative thinker of contemporary Neo-Confucianism, is committed to act-deontology instead of rule-deontology. Accordingly, Mou maintains that one knows one’s duty in a concrete situation through “affectedly crossing-over” to others, which reveals the metaphysical unity of the world. Mou’s idea of intellectual intuition can be explained against the background of this metaphysical monism. Further, some critical observations are made based on a reconstruction of Mou’s philosophy with a focus, first, on how normatively relevant his philosophy is, and second, on whether his metaphysical grounding of morality is successful.
Zhu Xi, the Four-Seven Debate, and Wittgenstein’s Dilemma
Asher Walden, 567
The scholarly consensus on Zhu Xi is that he is brilliant but often unclear, and perhaps even inconsistent, especially with regard to the central concept of li (principle). Any interpretation of his system requires a certain amount of creative reconstruction. The purpose of this essay is to examine the attempts to elucidate Zhu Xi’s doctrine of li over the course of the Four-Seven Debate. It will be seen that the Korean philosophers T’oegye and Yulgok provide competing but complementary explanations of a pivotal issue in Zhu’s moral metaphysics, namely how the li can serve as a standard for moral goodness. However, they both stand in a certain amount of tension, not only with each other but with Zhu himself. It is hoped to show that by juxtaposing the two reconstructions the philosophical problem that arises for Zhu, and for anyone attempting a similar project, can be clarified.
To elucidate the mutual issuance theory in the Neo-Confucian philosophy of Yi T’oegye 李退溪 (1501–1570) is the precise endeavor of this essay, in order to find out if it is still philosophically meaningful and applicable for contemporary interpretations of the world. Presupposing bipolarity of principle and material force, physical and conceptual prehension, or matter-energy and information, it argues that the process of attunement of the world is completed by the mutual issuance of material force and principle, or matter-energy and information. Whitehead believed physical prehension is prior to conceptual prehension in the process of making a subjective aim of each event. This essay asserts that the process could happen by way of mutual conceptual and physical prehension, and that priority does not always belong to physical prehension, but either one of them can make it a priority to move forward, as seen in the mutual issuance theory of T’oegye’s Neo-Confucianism. Principle or information does not always just lure, but initiatively informs matter-energy in order to allow for a new, emerging event in the mutual issuance process.
Periodization and Historiography of Indian Philosophy ed. by Eli Franco
Reviewed by Anand Venkatkrishnan, 604
De la continuité dynamique dans l’univers confucéen: Lecture néoconfucéenne du Zhongyong (中庸): Nouvelle traduction du chinois classique et commentaire herméneutique by Diana Arghiresco
Reviewed by Christian Soffel, 615
The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism ed. by Robert E. Buswell Jr. and Donald S. Lopez Jr.
Reviewed by Steven Heine, 617
The Confucian Philosophy of Harmony by Chenyang Li
Reviewed by Sor-hoon Tan, 620
An Introduction to Daoist Philosophies by Steve Coutinho
Reviewed by Sydney Morrow, 623
Divine Self, Human Self: The Philosophy of Being in Two Gītā Commentaries by Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad
Reviewed by Douglas L. Berger, 626
Empire of the Dharma: Korean and Japanese Buddhism, 1877–1912 by Hwansoo Ilmee Kim
Reviewed by Jin Y. Park, 630
Dōgens Sprachdenken: Historische und symboltheoretische Perspektiven (Dōgen’s language thinking: Systematic perspectives from history and the theory of symbols) by Ralf Müller
Reviewed by Steffen Döll, 636
Levinas and Asian Thought ed. by Leah Kalmanson, Frank Garrett, and Sarah Mattice
Reviewed by David Chai, 639
Gandhi: A Spiritual Biography by Arvind Sharma
Reviewed by Sushumna Kannan, 643
Icons and Iconoclasm in Japanese Buddhism: Kūkai and Dōgen on the Art of Enlightenment by Pamela D. Winfield
Reviewed by Victor Forte, 647
Theologie in der jemenitischen Zaydiyya: Die naturphilosophischen Überlegungen des al-Ḥasan ar-Raṣṣāṣ (Theology among the Yemeni Zaydiyya: The natural-philosophical reflections of al-Ḥasan ar-Raṣṣāṣ) by Jan Thiele
James Weaver, 651
Yinyang: The Way of Heaven and Earth in Chinese Thought and Culture by Robin R. Wang
Reviewed by Ian M. Sullivan, 656
The I Ching: A Biography by Richard J. Smith
Reviewed by Nicholas Hudson, 657
Books Received, 659