A hallmark of Dōgen’s legacy is his introduction of Chinese Ch’an kōan literature to Japan in the first half of the thirteenth century and his unique and innovative style of interpreting dozens of kōan cases, many of which are relatively obscure or otherwise untreated in the annals. What constitutes the distinctiveness of Dōgen’s approach? According to Hee-Jin Kim’s seminal study, Dōgen shifts from an instrumental to a realizational model of kōan interpretation. While this essay agrees with some features of Kim’s approach, especially his emphasis on the importance of language, it is argued that Kim overlooks the diversity of aims and intentions in Dōgen’s use of rhetorical and narrative strategies to highlight diverse doctrinal and ritual themes. There is no single underlying view of kōans for Dōgen, who continually modifies his interpretive approach to particular cases in order to articulate specific themes.
Dharmakīrti and Priest on Change
Chris Mortensen, 20
Competing accounts of change and motion are given by the seventh-century Buddhist logician Dharmakīrti and the contemporary analytical philosopher Graham Priest. They agree on much, but disagree on the issue of the Law of Non-Contradiction. Priest takes Dharmakīrti’s side, appealing to current space-time theory, while making some qualifications.
Presented here is a comparative analysis of spatiotemporal concepts in the thought of Nishida and Dōgen, arguing that both thinkers articulate fundamental notions about being and self/subject through them. It starts with an analysis of the notions of ‘world’ (sekai) and ‘place’ (basho) as well as time and order in Nishida’s work, which is followed by an effort to elucidate his philosophical position by comparing his views to those of Dōgen and by demonstrating their similarity in several important aspects, thus showing that Nishida’s philosophy, regardless of its debt to Western influence, is firmly embedded in the tradition of Asian thought.
Developed here is a Confucian balance between two key democratic ideals, liberty and community, by focusing on the Confucian notion of li (ritual), which has often been considered hostile to liberty. By adopting a semiotic approach to li and relating it to recent studies of ritual in various Western disciplines, li’s contribution to communication and its aesthetic dimension are explored to show how emphasizing harmony without sacrificing reflective experience and personal fulfillment renders li a concept of moral empowerment of free individuals in community.
Ibn Sīnā and Husserl on Intention and Intentionality
Marina Paola Banchetti-Robino, 71
The concepts of intention and intentionality were particularly significant notions within the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic medieval philosophical traditions, and they regained philosophical importance in the twentieth century. The theories of intention and intentionality of the medieval Islamic philosopher and physician Ibn Sīnā and the phenomenological philosopher and mathematician Edmund Husserl are examined, compared, and contrasted here, showing that Ibn Sīnā’s conception of intention is naturalistic and, in its naturalism, is influenced by the medical professional culture to which Ibn Sīnā belonged. As well, Husserl’s anti-naturalistic conception of intentionality is influenced by his background as a mathematician and by his desire to ground mathematics and the empirical sciences in a truly scientific philosophy. In conclusion, an argument is presented for the superiority of the Husserlian transcendentalist account of intentionality over the Avicennian naturalistic account, on the grounds that the latter falls prey to psychologism and reductionism, the two specters that according to Husserl must haunt all naturalistic accounts of consciousness.
The Shifting Contours of the Confucian Tradition, a review of Imagining Boundaries: Changing Confucian Doctrines, Texts, and Hermeneutics, edited by Kai-wing Chow, On-cho Ng, and John Henderson
Philip J. Ivanhoe, 83
The Concept of Bodhicitta in Śāntideva’s Bodhicaryāvatāra, by Francis Brassard
Reviewed by William Edelglass, 95
Evil and/or/as The Good: Omnicentrism, Intersubjectivity, and Value Paradox in Tiantai Buddhist Thought, by Brook Ziporyn
Reviewed by David R. Loy, 99
Varieties of Religion Today: William James Revisited, by Charles Taylor
Reviewed by Ralph Weber, 103
Persons and Valuable Worlds: A Global Philosophy, by Eliot Deutsch
Reviewed by Joel J. Kupperman, 106