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Philosophical Horizons

Metaphysical Investigation in Chinese Philosophy

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Guorong Yang

Edited by Paul D'Ambrosio and Ady Van den Stock

Professor Yang Guorong is one of the foremost living philosophers in China, and is widely known for the development of his “concrete metaphysics.” In Philosophical Horizons Yang offers penetrating discussions of some of the most important issues in modern philosophy—especially those topics related to comparative and Chinese philosophy. Drawing freely and adroitly on Confucian, Daoist, and Buddhist texts, while staging a dialogue with Western thinkers such as from Kant and Hegel to Marx, Heidegger, and Wittgenstein, Yang shows how contemporary Chinese philosophy has adopted, localized, and critically developed Western ideas alongside traditional Chinese concepts.
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John Lagerwey

From the fifth century BC to the present and dealing with the Three Teachings (Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism) as well as popular religion, this introduction to the eight-volume Early and Modern Chinese Religion explores key ideas and events in four periods of paradigm shift in the intertwined histories of Chinese religion, politics, and culture. It shows how, in the Chinese church-state, elite processes of rationalization, interiorization, and secularization are at work in every period of major change and how popular religion gradually emerges to a position of dominance by means of a long history of at once resisting, adapting to, and collaborating with elite-driven change. Topics covered include ritual, scripture, philosophy, state policy, medicine, sacred geography, gender, and the economy. It also serves as the basis for an on-line Coursera course.
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The Origins of Chinese Thought

From Shamanism to Ritual Regulations and Humaneness

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Zehou Li

From Shamanism to Ritual Regulations and Humaneness offers an account of the origins and nature of a uniquely Chinese way of thinking that, carried through Confucian tradition, continues to define the character of Chinese culture and society. Li Zehou argues that vestiges of the practices of early shamanistic ritual, rationalized in ritual regulations and internalized in morals and values, continue to shape Chinese thought and relationships. This outlook and its understanding of the world, the divine, ourselves, one another, what is right and what is good differ fundamentally from other world traditions. As an alternative to modern liberalism, it offers unique resources for addressing modern Chinese—and even global—philosophic and moral issues.
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Zhaoguang Ge

A history of traditional Chinese knowledge, thought and belief from the seventh through the nineteenth centuries with a new approach that offers a new perspective. It appropriates a wide range of source materials and emphasizes the necessity of understanding ideas and thought in their proper historical contexts. Its analytical narrative focuses on the dialectical interaction between historical background and intellectual thought. While discussing the complex dynamics of interaction among the intellectual thought of elite Chinese scholars, their historical conditions, their canonical texts and the “worlds of general knowledge, thought and belief,” it also illuminates the significance of key issues such as the formation of the Chinese world order and its underlying value system, the origins of Chinese cultural identity, foreign influences, and the collapse of the Chinese world order in the 19th century leading toward the revolutionary events of the 20th century.
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Catherine Lynch

In Liang Shuming and the Populist Alternative in China, Catherine Lynch offers an alternative understanding of Liang Shuming’s work. While the current work on Liang suggests a connection to other Asian philosophical traditions (like Confucianism and Buddhism), this new work argues that Liang’s work is an important part of the evolution of the modern Chinese thought and examines the role of populist ideas in the development of Liang’s thinking. In addition to Liang’s writings, this reading of Liang relies on lengthy interviews the author completed with Liang as well as with people associated with Liang. This book adds a new perspective based on access the author had to Liang while he was still alive.
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The Wenzi

Creativity and Intertextuality in Early Chinese Philosophy

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Paul van Els

The Wenzi is a Chinese philosophical text that enjoyed considerable prestige in the centuries following its creation, over two-thousand years ago. When questions regarding its authenticity arose, the text was branded a forgery and consigned to near oblivion. The discovery of an age-old Wenzi manuscript, inked on strips of bamboo, refueled interest in the text. In this combined study of the bamboo manuscript and the received text, Van Els argues that they belong to two distinct text traditions as he studies the date, authorship, and philosophy of each tradition, as well as the reception history of the received text. This study sheds light on text production and reception in Chinese history, with its changing views on authorship, originality, authenticity, and forgery, both past and present.
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Guying Chen

Edited by David Jones and Sarah Flavel

In The Humanist Spirit of Daoism, Chen Guying presents a concise overview of his understanding of the meaning and significance of Daoist philosophy. Chen is a leading contemporary Chinese thinker and spokesperson for a new Daoist approach to existential and socio-political issues. He was born in mainland China in 1935, but after having resettled to Taiwan, he received his education there and was a student activist in the 1960s. He became famous in the Chinese-speaking world with his writings on Nietzsche, Laozi and Zhuangzi. At present he is a Professor at Peking University. This volume collects representative essays from the past 25 years which not only outline Chen’s interpretation of Daoism as a deeply humanist way of thinking and living, but also show how he employs this philosophy in a critique of totalitarianism and neo-imperialism.
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Qiyong GUO

Edited by Paul D'Ambrosio

Guo Qiyong’s edited volume on contemporary Chinese philosophy offers a detailed look at research on Chinese philosophy published from 1949-2009 in Mainland China and Taiwan. The chapters in this volume are broken down into either major themes or time periods in the history of Chinese philosophy. In each chapter after summarizing significant aspects of a particular theme or time period, lists are drawn up of the most important works, along with comments on their individual contributions.

This volume allows readers to both familiarize themselves with specific texts and become immersed in the more general philosophical discourse surrounding the history of Chinese philosophy. It provides an in-depth look into serious debates and major discoveries in Chinese language philosophical scholarship from 1949-2009.
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Edited by Raji C. Steineck, Ralph Weber, Robert Gassmann and Elena Lange

The contributions to Concepts of Philosophy in Asia and the Islamic World reflect upon the problems implied in the received notions of philosophy in the respective scholarly literatures. They ask whether, and for what reasons, a text should be categorized as a philosophical text (or excluded from the canon of philosophy), and what this means for the concept of philosophy. The focus on texts and textual corpora is central because it makes authors expose their claims and arguments in direct relation to specific sources, and discourages generalized reflections on the characteristics of, for example, Japanese culture or the Indian mind. The volume demonstrates that close and historically informed readings are the sine qua non in discussing what philosophy is in Asia and the Islamic world, just as much as with regard to Western literature

Contributors are Yoko Arisaka, Wolfgang Behr, Thomas Fröhlich, Lisa Indraccolo, Paulus Kaufmann, Iso Kern, Ralf Müller, Gregor Paul, Lisa Raphals, Fabian Schäfer, Ori Sela, Rafael Suter, Christian Uhl, Viatcheslav Vetrov, Yvonne Schulz Zinda, and Nicholas Zufferey.
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Origins of Chinese Political Philosophy

Studies in the Composition and Thought of the Shangshu (Classic of Documents)

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Edited by Martin Kern and Dirk Meyer

Origins of Chinese Political Philosophy is the first book in any Western language to explore the composition, language, thought, and early history of the Shangshu (Classic of Documents), one of the pillars of the Chinese textual, intellectual, and political tradition. In examining the text from multiple disciplinary and intellectual perspectives, Origins of Chinese Political Philosophy challenges the traditional accounts of the nature and formation of the Shangshu and its individual chapters. As it analyzes in detail the central ideas and precepts given voice in the text, it further recasts the Shangshu as a collection of dynamic cultural products that expressed and shaped the political and intellectual discourses of different times and communities.
Contributors are: Joachim Gentz, Yegor Grebnev, Magnus Ribbing Gren, Michael Hunter, Martin Kern, Maria Khayutina, Robin McNeal, Dirk Meyer, Yuri Pines, Charles Sanft, David Schaberg, Kai Vogelsang.