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In: Journal of Chinese Philosophy
In: Journal of Chinese Philosophy

Abstract

This paper explores the role of philosophical exemplars, focusing on two uncommon but valuable figures: Guanyin, bodhisattva of compassion, and the plumber-as-philosopher described by Mary Midgley. These figures highlight philosophical activity as benefitting from a wide variety of heterogenous sources, styles, and models, and suggest that philosophy be understood as a response to lived needs. The paper concludes with some suggestions for ways in which these exemplars might be relevant for contemporary issues in the academy.

In: Journal of Chinese Philosophy
Author:

Abstract

Here the relationship between Shinran and Eshinni, founding family of the largest Buddhist sect in Japan, serves as a methodological model for philosophical engagement. Though the Pure Land notion of “easy practice” (Jp. igyō 易行) may be seen as Zen’s less rigorous counterpart, Shinran’s turn toward “other-power” (tariki 他力) is driven by the same philosophical debates over practice and liberation that occupied contemporaries such as Dōgen. The answers to such debates, which Shinran and Eshinni enacted concretely via their lifestyle choices, help us rethink both academic practices and the role of philosophers as engaged intellectuals today.

In: Journal of Chinese Philosophy

Abstract

This article argues that observing natural laws is crucial for preserving peace in nations across the world. Traditional natural law theories are, however, flawed and outdated. To truly modernize natural law, we propose a new concept, “political natural law” (PNL), which has the capacity of curing these flaws. We then substantiate the PNL s from the result of analyzing the institutional causes of civil wars since 1800, and link them to human dignity. Drawing partly on the Confucian scholarship on natural law and human dignity, we argue that the mutual respect of human dignity is essential to building and sustaining global peace.

In: Journal of Chinese Philosophy

Abstract

The scarcity of women’s writings in antiquity presents an intractable problem for feminists intending to integrate women’s perspectives into the existing philosophical canon. One way to undo the erasure of women is for feminists to look to the east; in China, there is an abundance of well-preserved women’s writings, along with their biographical records, as early as the 6th century BCE. This essay will provide a survey of those women’s records, focusing on the 6th century BCE to the 4th century CE, as a way to reimagine the discipline of Philosophy and its canon.

In: Journal of Chinese Philosophy

Abstract

Emilia Pardo Bazán challenged French naturalist writers in the 19th century who maintained that our lives are completely determined by inheritance/background, environment, and the historical moment. She maintained that naturalism as materialism misses the spiritual component of human existence, which is captured in her theory of realism. Against descriptions of her “Catholic Naturalism” as a sort of weakened compromise, I argue that she weaponized Church doctrines to forge a strong feminist philosophy firmly rooted in Spanish Roman Catholicism.

In: Journal of Chinese Philosophy
Author:

Abstract

The traditional narrative of Zen Buddhism focuses on a religious experience that goes beyond words and concepts. I argue that Dōgen’s understanding of enlightenment is not limited to a religious experience, as it involves a creative process of Buddha-making that demands the flexibility to present a novel expression of the Buddha way with the transiency of the impermanent world. In arguing for the processual understanding of the Buddha way and enlightenment, I refer to the fluidity of dao in Chinese philosophy to shed light upon the significance of creativity in authentic practice. By doing so, I explain why an unexamined Zen is problematic for Dōgen.

In: Journal of Chinese Philosophy
In: Journal of Chinese Philosophy
Pedagogy and Environment in the Neo-Confucian Academies of Zhu Xi
Author:
In this book, Xin Conan-Wu presents a radically revisionist argument on Zhu Xi’s (1130–1200) Neo-Confucian philosophy of education. Via analyses of unfamiliar landscapes and the poems of the White-Deer Grotto Academy, Yuelu Academy, and Wuyi Retreat, Conan-Wu argues that when praxis speaks for orthodoxy, the eclipsed pedagogue casts a liberal light on the enshrined philosopher.

Neo-Confucian senses of the gaze and place engendered Zhu Xi’s natural pedagogy and mapped the environment of his academies. This book cross-examines the textual traces and their innate vision, the physical sites and their transhistorical milieux, the Eight Views and Nine Bends and their afterlives in China and Korea. It unfurls an academy education, mutually reinforced by classical learning and self-cultivation, and sustained by a lure of the Supreme Joy of Confucian sagehood.