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The Horizon of Modernity

Subjectivity and Social Structure in New Confucian Philosophy

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Ady Van den Stock

The Horizon of Modernity provides an extensive account of New Confucian philosophy that cuts through the boundaries between history and thought. This study explores Mou Zongsan's and Tang Junyi's critical confrontation with Marxism and Communism in relation to their engagement with Western thinkers such as Kant and Hegel. The author analyzes central conceptual aporias in the works of Mou, Tang, as well as Xiong Shili in the context of the revival of Confucianism in contemporary China and the emergence of the discipline of philosophy in twentieth-century Chinese intellectual history. This book casts new light on the nexus between the categories of subjectivity and social structure and the relation between philosophy, modern temporality, and the structural conditions of the modern world.

Text, History, and Philosophy

Abhidharma across Buddhist Scholastic Traditions

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Edited by Bart Dessein and Weijen Teng

Text, History, and Philosophy. Abhidharma Across Buddhist Scholastic Traditions discusses Abhidhamma / Abhidharma as a specific exegetical method. In the first part of the volume, the development of the Buddhist argumentative technique is discussed. The second part investigates the importance of the Buddhist rational tradition for the development of Buddhist philosophy. The third part focuses on some peculiar doctrinal issues that resulted from rational Abhidharmic reflections. In this way, an outline of the development of the Abhidharma genre and of Abhidharmic notions and concepts in India, Central Asia, China, and Tibet from the life time of the historical Buddha to the tenth century CE is given.
Contributors are: Johannes Bronkhorst, Lance S. Cousins, Bart Dessein, Tamara Ditrich, Bhikkhu Kuala Lumpur Dhammajoti, Dylan Esler, Eric Greene, Goran Kardaš, Jowita Kramer, Chen-kuo Lin, Andrea Schlosser, Ingo Strauch, Weijen Teng and Yao-ming Tsai.

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Guorong Yang

In On Human Action and Practical Wisdom, Yang Guorong offers a description of his “concrete metaphysics.” This system seeks to overcome traditional metaphysical problems by providing a concrete basis - which serves as both the starting point and the final determining factor - for metaphysics. Yang gives a discussion of wisdom and practical action that begins in our everyday activities and social relationships, is extended to form universal principles, and finally refers back to actual situations for determining appropriateness.

Based on his unification of ontology, epistemology and axiology, Yang thus attempts to overcome the one-sided understanding of action in modern Western philosophy, targeting in particular the excessively linguistic, logical, and abstract focus found in the American analytic tradition.

The Philosophy of Life

A New Reading of the Zhuangzi

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Guying Chen

Chen Guying, one of the leading scholars on Daoism in contemporary China, provides in his book The Philosophy of Life, A New Reading of the Zhuangzi a detailed analysis and a unique interpretation of Zhuangzi’s Inner, Outer and Miscellaneous chapters.
Unlike many other Chinese scholars Chen does not focus on a philological, but on a philosophical reading of the Zhuangzi highlighting the main topics of self-cultivation, aesthetics, and epistemology. Chen’s perspectives on the Zhuangzi range from the historical background of the Warring States Period to his own personal (political) experience. Since Chen is also a specialist on Nietzsche, he elaborates Zhuangzi’s philosophy of life and the idea of regulating one’s heart by drawing a parallel to Nietzsche’s perspectivism.