Philosophy East and West Vol. 65, no 3 (2015)

Remembering Joseph Grange

Joseph Grange (February 7, 1940–July 20, 2014), 660

Joseph Grange was born and raised in the South Bronx of New York City. He received his Ph.D. from Fordham University in 1970 and began teaching at the University of Southern Maine the same year. His dissertation title was “Tragic Value in the Thought of Alfred North Whitehead.” He held academic appointments at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, the National University of Ireland, the Maine School of Art, and other distinguished institutions of philosophical research and learning before he re-tired in 2009.
He is survived by his loving wife Claudine Grange and stepdaughters Anya and Robin.

The Cosmology of Joseph Grange: Nature, The City, Soul
Robert Cummings Neville, 663

The late Joseph Grange (1940–2014) is perhaps the most sharply focused and elegantly lucid of the group of North American philosophers to build new aesthetic metaphysical visions from the legacies of process philosophy and pragmatism. His peers include, among others, George Allan,1 Roger Ames,2 Chung-ying Cheng,3 Robert Corrington,4 Frederick Ferre,5 Warren Frisina,6 David L. Hall,7 Judith Jones,8 Elizabeth Kraus,9 Hugh P. McDonald,10 Steve Odin,11 Sandra Rosenthal,12 Robert Smid,13 David Weissman,14 and myself, along with our many students and colleagues. This group has widely variant systems, yet what unites us is an emphasis on the aesthetic and a lack of the fear to enter deeply into metaphysics when relevant (though the philosophy of culture, politics, ethics, and education are important for most).15 Whereas the academically dominant developments of process philosophy have been in the direction of Christian theology, most members of this group downplay or outright reject Whitehead’s conceptions of God in favor of the Whiteheadian aesthetic vision for cosmology and metaphysics. Whereas the dominant recent developments of pragmatism have been in ethics and analytical logic, most of us have built rather on the early pragmatists’ flair for systematic philosophy in the grand tradition during a period in which both analytic philosophy and Continental philosophy have flubbed systematic thinking.

Joseph Grange as Teacher
Jim Behuniak, 677

Joseph Grange spent nearly forty years teaching undergraduate students at the University of Southern Maine, in Portland. His four decades of teaching included occasional assignments in China and also at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. At the latter, Grange conducted seminars on figures like John Dewey, introducing graduate students like Sor-hoon Tan to Dewey’s philosophy. So, he certainly made his mark on students of comparative philosophy beyond the State of Maine. My comments, however, will focus on the vocation to which he devoted the largest share of his energies: undergraduate teaching. It was here that Grange displayed a “mastery of the thing” for which he is fondly remembered by so many. Since Grange never discussed teaching explicitly in his writings, I turn to the chapter of Soul: A Cosmology titled “Eloquence Arising.”1 Here, Grange uses Peirce’s categories of firstness, secondness, and thirdness to describe how Soul through its eloquence comes to achieve “stable places of genuine stature in the life of a community.”2 Since for Dewey and Confucius education means precisely this, enabling others to find “stable places of genuine stature in the life of a community,” it is to “Eloquence Arising” that I turn for insight into what Grange represented as an educator.

The Generosity of the Good
Joseph Grange, 681

This is neither an elegy nor a eulogy. Every time metaphysics has been declared dead, it arises phoenixlike from its own ashes. Something very much like that is now occurring in American philosophy. The signs of its resurgence are evident in the papers delivered at this conference. At its beginnings in Greece and Asia philosophy saw as its duty the obligation to respond to the difficulties of everyday life. It neither was nor was ever meant to be something that was out of reach of the common person who dealt with life’s vicissitudes on an everyday level. My address is an endeavor to restore to its rightful place a way of thinking that is sorely lacking in our times.


The Function of Saññā in the Perceptual Process according to the Suttapiṭaka: An Appraisal
Krishna Del Toso, 690

This article deals with the meaning and function of saññā in perception. “Recognition” seems to be the best translation for saññā, since this term conveys the sense of both cognizing and naming, which are the two main activities carried out by saññā. Saññā collects the not yet well-defined information provided by the senses and, also through its comparative function, organizes this information into a datum that is so made available to the consciousness (viññāṇa). Saññā processes both simple data like color, and complex phenomena like death or danger. Saññā can, however, fail in its task to recognize things.
Key terms: Buddhist theory of mind, Buddhist theory of perception, Pāli Canon, phassa, recognition, saññā, vedanā, viññāṇa.

Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtras and the Alchemical Process of Individuation
David M. Odorisio, 717

The Yoga Sūtras, a Sanskrit text authored by the Indian philosopher Patañjali (ca 100 B.C.E. to 200 C.E. ), are interpreted using Swiss psychologist Carl Jung’s (1865–1961) model of Western alchemy. The alchemical process gave Jung a language with which to understand the psyche’s transformation from unconscious to increasingly conscious states. This process, which Jung termed individuation or Self-becoming, serves as the interpretive lens to view the Yoga Sūtras. Alchemical stages are compared to Patañjali’s definition of yoga (citta-vṛtti nirodhaḥ), the obstacle to achieving yoga (saṁyoga), and the goal or end of yoga (kaivalya). Through utilizing an alchemical hermeneutic the aim of the Yoga Sūtras reads not as a final separation of matter and spirit as traditionally interpreted, but as depicting a process of reunification and differentiated wholeness.

Can Cosmological Models Explain and Forecast the Public Health and Patterns of Somatic Alignments?
Wei Zhang, 731

Recent published studies on medical statistics and meteorological data point to a correlation between abnormal weather patterns and the (re)occurrence of certain disease symptoms. To better understand such a correlation and its theoretical underpinning, investigating an ancient discipline that is tentatively termed “medical cosmology” is suggested. First, the general characteristics of ancient Chinese conceptions of the cosmos—in contrast to that of the early Greeks—are discussed, and then a somatic cosmography introduced, as outlined in the classical medical canon known as the Inner Classic or Neijing. Specifically, it is proposed to examine two cosmic-medical models, showing the ways in which they were devised and deployed clinically in order to explain as well as forecast the trend of public health and physical alignments. In conclusion, some general reflection is offered on the two Neijing models—in relation to the modern scientific understanding of the nature and function of models in general.

The Problem of the Unity of Consciousness: A Buddhist Solution
Monima Chadha, 746

Presented here is the Yogācāra account of unity of consciousness, showing how it relates to contemporary philosophical accounts. Section 1 briefly charts the relevant Abhidharma background and the reasons that led the Yogācāra to the postulation of ālaya-vijñāna. Section 2 explains the contemporary formulation of the “unity of consciousness” problem and its significance in the search for neural correlates of consciousness. Section 3 shows that the Yogācāra notion of basic consciousness and neuroscientific research on Open Monitoring meditation offer useful insights for establishing a coherent philosophical account of unity of consciousness.

Madhyamaka Buddhist Meta-ethics: The Justificatory Grounds of Moral Judgments
Bronwyn Finnigan, 765

Whether the metaphysical commitments of Madhyamaka Buddhism afford a satisfactory justificatory ground for moral judgments is investigated here. Finnigan and Tanaka (2011) argue that they do not. Their argument has since been challenged by Tillemans (2010–2011), who alleges that both Svātantrika and Prāsaṅgika Mādhyamikas can readily justify moral judgments by respective appeal to the doctrine of the two truths. This claim is contested here with respect to Prāsaṅgika Madhyamaka. Several arguments are provided to show that Prāsaṅgika cannot satisfactorily justify their moral judgments by appeal to the notion of conventional truth.

Embodied Implacement in Kūkai and Nishida
John W. M. Krummel,786

Examined here is the importance of embodied implacement in correlativity with the environment in the philosophies of two significant philosophers in the history of Japanese thought: Kūkai (774–835), the founder of Shingon Buddhism, and Nishida Kitarō (1870–1945), the founder of Kyoto School philosophy. We look into Kūkai’s concepts of sokushinjōbutsu (“attainment of Buddhahood in this very body”) and hosshin seppō (“the dharma body’s expounding of the dharma”) and Nishida’s concepts of kōiteki chokkan (“acting-intuition”) and rekishiteki shintai (“historical body”) among others, to explore the significance for both of an embodied implacement in the world and in interaction with the environment. The body as the medium or place of interrelations, in both thinkers, proves to be a chiasma in manifold significances, as both microcosmic and macrocosmic. And as non-substantial, empty, it is an open body.

Thinking with Zhuangzi and Su Shi against Heidegger on Artwork
Ma Lin, 809

This essay explores some aspects of Heidegger’s thematization on the essential being of artwork and brings them into encounter with alternative modes of thinking as implicated in the Zhuangzi and inherited and elaborated by Su Shi. Starting from equipment (Zeug) as the prototype of a thing, Heidegger conceives the being of a thing, including things in nature, in terms of readiness-to-hand, and tries to locate the fundamental difference between a mere thing and a work of art. In contrast, the Chinese word for thing (wu 物) refers to a living being as well as to the myriad things, each having its peculiar heavenly rhythms (tianli 天理). Since the Daoist tradition does not set up a stringent stratification among things, it does not consider artwork apart from concrete activities in which the artist attends and attunes to the heavenly rhythms of things. This finds reflection in Zhuangzi’s idea of the coalescence between the finger and the brush (zhiyu wuhua 指与物化), which diverges significantly from the relation between the hand and the hammer, as Heidegger depicts. For Heidegger, an artwork, which is “no-thing,” has to stand aloof from the mundane life so as to serve as the site, or non-site, where the truth of things is unconcealed. This is epitomized by the Greek temple, which alone gives meaning to all its constituents and surroundings. Through an innovative description of one of the Ten Scenes of West Lake and a new interpretation of Zhuangzi’s expression of yitian hetian 以天合天, this essay seeks to illustrate that in the Daoist tradition the conception of artwork is open to multiple interpenetrating determinations; there is never just an artwork, but a stream of artwork(s) resonating with and enhancing one another.

Malebranche’s Influence on Leibniz’s Writings on China
Gregory M. Reihman, 846

Leibniz deserves the honor, frequently bestowed upon him, as the single most important early European interpreter of Chinese philosophy. Yet the story commonly told about this period of philosophical discussion of Chinese philosophy underestimates the importance of Malebranche’s brief encounter with Chinese philosophy and its influence on Leibniz’ interpretation of Chinese thought. In this article, evidence is provided of this influence by first discussing Leibniz’ writings on China prior to his encounter with Malebranche’s Dialogue between a Christian Philosopher and a Chinese Philosopher on the Existence and Nature of God, and then comparing that early work with the Discourse on the Natural Theology of the Chinese, which Leibniz wrote almost immediately after reading Malebranche’s Dialogue.

No Self?: Some Reflections on Buddhist Theories of Personal Identity
Anthony Rudd, 869

Recent years have seen a considerable growth in interest among Western philosophers and psychologists in the Buddhist idea of anattā—“no self”—as it is usually translated. A number of philosophers have published works, addressed to Western philosophical audiences, expounding and defending versions of anattā, some claiming that the Buddhist doctrine has significant affinities with various Western forms of reductionism or eliminativism about the self. Here a number of these accounts are considered and criticized. The concerns are not primarily exegetical; the author writes, not as a scholar of Buddhism, but as a philosopher, trained in the Western tradition(s), and interested in assessing the various recent interpretations/defenses of anattā on their philosophical merits. It is argued that none of them gives us grounds for abandoning a commonsense, phenomenology-based view of the reality of the self. In conclusion, a way is tentatively suggested in which we might interpret anattā “practically” and not see it as a theory about personal identity in the standard post-Lockean Western philosophical sense at all.

Zhuangzi, Perspectives, and Greater Knowledge
Donald Sturgeon, 892

Although the text of the Zhuangzi includes what appear to be skeptical arguments, there has been much debate as to the nature of its skeptical stance, and even whether or not it is substantively skeptical at all. An attempt is made here to engage with both the skeptical aspects of the text and its positive agenda, accepting that the Zhuangzi takes a substantive skeptical stance while also arguing that in doing so it provides a positive account of how to improve our epistemic position. The argument focuses on Zhuangist attitudes to different types of knowledge, specifically what the text refers to as “lesser knowledge” (xiao zhi 小知) and “greater knowledge” (da zhi 大知), and the relationship between the two. An attempt is made to show that the Zhuangist stance is that of a “positive skeptic” who offers wide-ranging practical advice on how to improve our own epistemic situation, while at the same time warning us of the ultimate limits of what we can come to know.

What Did Śaṅkara Have Against Arjuna?
Warren Lee Todd, 918

An attempt is made here to reconstruct the position held by Śaṅkara (eighth century) on the question of rightful conduct. In particular, it is argued that Śaṅkara holds a definite view on the actions of a brahman-knower (brahma-vid) within the world. Assuming a hypothetical ideal type that Śaṅkara would have respected, and reading across his major works, this article attempts to unravel the apparent contradictions in his writing. It will be argued that while the likes of Arjuna (central protagonist of the Bhagavad Gītā) have their place in society, they may not necessarily qualify for knowledge of brahman, or for ultimate renunciation. Furthermore, it is proposed that Śaṅkara, concerned with the continuation of the lineage of brahman-knowers, came to see the passing on of salvific knowledge as a form of sva-dharma.

Comment and Discussion

Leibniz, China, and the Problem of Pagan Wisdom
Daniel J. Cook, 936

Feature Reviews

Ambiguity, Wholeness, and Irony: A New Interpretation of Chinese Metaphysics
Kai Marchal, 949

Seeing Gandhi Whole
Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad, 956

Book Reviews

Coming to Mind: The Soul and Its Body by Lenn E. Goodman, D. Gregory Caramenico
Amelia Gallagher, 962

The Ethics of Śaṅkara and Śāntideva: A Selfless Response to an Illusory World by Warren Lee Todd
Anantanand Rambachan, 964

An Eleventh-Century Egyptian Guide to the Universe: The Book of Curiosities ed. by Yossef Rapoport and Emilie Savage-Smith
Oliver Leaman, 971

The East Asian Challenges for Democracy: Political Meritocracy in Comparative Perspective ed. by Daniel A. Bell, Chenyang Li
Michael Masterson, 973

The Discipline of Philosophy and the Invention of Modern Jewish Thought by Willi Goetschel
Jay Geller, 976

Critical Buddhism: Engaging with Modern Japanese Buddhist Thought by James Mark Shields
Steven Heine 979

Gandhi’s Ascetic Activism: Renunciation and Social Action by Veena R. Howard
Douglas Allen, 981

Landscape and Travelling East and West: A Philosophical Journey ed. by Hans-Georg Moeller, Andrew K. Whitehead
Sarah Mattice, 988

East And West: Allama Jafari on Bertrand Russell by Seyed Javad Miri
Ali Paya, 991

Kniha Laozi: Překlad s filologickým komentářem (The book Laozi: A translation with philological commentary) by David Sehnal
Dušan Vávra, 993

Sinologism: An Alternative to Orientalism and Postcolonialism by Ming Dong Gu
Steven Burik, 997

Indian Buddhist Philosophy by Amber D. Carpenter
Malcolm Keating, 1000

Books Received, 1004