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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Front. Philos. China    2019, Vol. 14 Issue (2) : 342-356
Ontological Epistemology: William James and the Chinese Traditional Philosophy of Experience
JIANG Niling1, ZHOU Jing2()
1. School of Philosophy, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
2. Institute of Philosophy, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Shanghai 200235, China
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William James’s understanding of the concept of experience has much in common with ideas in Chinese traditional philosophy. This connection, however, has remained unexplored. Here we introduce the idea of ontological epistemology as a way to bring these important commonalities into view. By highlighting two features of the concept of experience in Chinese philosophy, we suggest that the perspectives of holism and relationism are common to both James and the Chinese tradition. With regard to the personal and impersonal characteristics of radical experience and its commensurability with Chinese philosophy, we will pay attention to the self-dissolving aspect of both. However, there are still some theoretical complexities that remain unresolved, which clearly show the possibility of further research in the comparative study of contemporary pragmatism and Chinese philosophy.

Keywords experience      William James      epistemology     
Issue Date: 15 July 2019
 Cite this article:   
JIANG Niling,ZHOU Jing. Ontological Epistemology: William James and the Chinese Traditional Philosophy of Experience[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2019, 14(2): 342-356.
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