Philosophy in the Ten Directions: Global Sensibility and the Imaginary
Ann Pirruccello, 301
The emerging contours of global philosophy are being shaped by worldwide exchanges, diverse methods and approaches, the diminution of cultural hegemony, and expanded access to philosophical discussion. But globally intentioned scholars whose formative intellectual preparation is Anglo-European may be unaware of the role played by the imaginary in suppressing ideas and values that differ from one’s root tradition. This essay uses a model of the Western philosophical imaginary taken from French researcher Michèle Le Doeuff, and draws connections between Le Doeuff’s attempts to expose and interrupt the Western imaginary and the efforts of philosophers who wish to cross geographical and cultural boundaries. It is argued that Le Doeuff’s critical approach has much to offer those who wish to cultivate a more receptive and supple philosophical sensibility—a global sensibility—and that this approach can be complemented by a horizontal practice adapted from Mahāyāna Buddhist sources. The purpose of this essay is to promote continuing dialogue about how best to realize the promise of globalization in philosophical practice.
Hearts in Agreement: Zhuangzi on Dao Adept Friendship
Donald N. Blakeley, 318
This essay examines two stories in Zhuangzi chapter 6 that provide details about the formal, substantive, and applied features of friendship between dao adepts. Using a template of seven characteristics, dao adept friendship is then compared with ren adept friendship, described in the Analects and the Mencius. It is argued that dao living contains features of friendship that are comparably robust. As unconventional as dao adept living may be, friendship is not lacking but integral to such a life.
Mirrors, Minds, and Metaphors
Erin M. Cline, 337
The metaphor of the heart or mind as a mirror appears not only in the work of Zhuangzi and Xunzi but also in the work of Western philosophers such as Kierkegaard and Rorty. This essay shows how a properly contextualized comparison of the mirror metaphor in the work of these four philosophers highlights the different ways in which they use it, helping us to understand more clearly critical differences between their views. The significance of the mirror metaphor in the work of each thinker is studied in detail. Distinctively Chinese and Western understandings of mirrors, hearts, and minds are explored, and the importance of studying different cultural and philosophical understandings of metaphors is defended. The essay ends by assessing Edward Slingerland’s claim that shared metaphors point toward deeper similarities between different views, in light of the foregoing analysis.
In his book Walden, Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862) describes an experiment intended to determine what is essential in life. His analysis includes a critique of the excesses of material culture, concluding that the most important concerns for human beings revolve around the retention of what he calls “heat.” I suggest that there are a number of interesting parallels between this analysis and a cluster of ideas generally describable as “proto-daoist” and often attributed to the legendary and obscure figure known as Yang Zhu or Yangzi. In particular, both of these models can be seen to relate one’s efficient preservation of life force to the accomplishment of what I am calling one’s “natural destiny,” and both include a concomitant critique of material culture. In this essay I will define the concept of natural destiny and articulate and compare the two models’ common concern with achieving it through properly economizing one’s resources in the face of the diversion provoked by material attachments.
Recent interest in the Zhuangzi by Western philosophers arises from the sense that Zhuangzi offers a form of philosophical theory, such as perspectivism. A key issue for this line of interpretation is how best to resolve alleged contradictions between the central philosophical claims of the “Qiwulun” with other claims made in the text. A more radical reading of this chapter will avoid these problems if it can find some way to understand this chapter as philosophically interesting because it scrupulously avoids and rejects making any philosophical claims. This reading will be developed by focusing on Zhuangzi’s assertion: “The person who understands does not use the inflexible ‘that’s it’ (wei shi), but dwells in the ordinary (yu zhu yong).” I will argue that, understood in context, this assertion takes Zhuangzi out of the philosophical game. According to this interpretation, Zhuangzi’s writings have a philosophical significance similar to that of Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations as expressed in his dictum “The real discovery is the one that lets me stop doing philosophy when I want to.”
COMMENT AND DISCUSSION
The Way of the Dialetheist: Contradictions in Buddhism
Yasuo Deguchi, Jay Garfield, and Graham Priest, 395
The Ethics of Care: Personal, Political, and Global, by Virginia Held
Reviewed by Li-Hsiang Lisa Rosenlee, 403
Maimonides’ Guide for the Perplexed: Science and Salvation, by Donald McCallum
Reviewed by Jonathan Jacobs, 407
Ethics and the History of Indian Philosophy, by Shyam Ranganathan
Reviewed by Sundar Sarukkai, 410
Maimonides’ Confrontation with Mysticism, by Menachem Kellner
Reviewed by Aryeh Botwinick, 415
A Cloud across the Pacific: Essays on the Clash between Chinese and Western Political Theories Today, by Thomas A. Metzger
Reviewed by Sor-hoon Tan, 420
Visions of Awakening Space and Time: Dōgen and the Lotus Sūtra, by Taigen Dan Leighton
Reviewed by Pamela D. Winfield, 425
BOOKS RECEIVED, 428
NEWS AND NOTES, 430