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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

ISSN 1673-3436 (Print)
ISSN 1673-355X (Online)
CN 11-5743/B
Postal Subscription Code 80-983

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, Volume 14 Issue 4

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SPECIAL THEME
Is Heidegger an Orientalist or an Occidentalist European Philosopher? Disclosing the Political Factor behind Heidegger’s Representation of Chinese Thinking
Jean-Yves Heurtebise
Front. Philos. China. 2019, 14 (4): 523-551.  https://doi.org/10.3868/s030-008-019-0032-4
Abstract   PDF (367KB)

Though Heidegger became a kind of conceptual companion of comparative philosophers, and a methodological example for interpreters of Daoist philosophy claiming that Zhuangzi or Laozi embodied the overcoming of Western “onto-theology,” Heidegger himself not only stressed his disbelief in the notion that Asian thinking could save the West from its “civilizational crisis” but also clearly claimed that Western thinking could emerge only through its distinction from the “mythical East.” However, at the same time, Heidegger criticized the decadence of the West, claimed the necessity of cultural rejuvenation, and then, with the failure of Germany to perform this task, seemed to turn to Chinese sources to find alternative solutions. How to understand Heidegger’s complex relationship with China? Is Heidegger an Orientalist or an Occidentalist European philosopher? Moreover, how to understand the subtle and troubling connections between Heidegger’s complex relationship with China and Heidegger’s highly “problematic” (to say the least) intellectual engagement with Nazi ideology? To what extent are Orientalism and Occidentalism are linked to Heidegger’s belief in the Nationalist-Socialists’ claims about “saving” the “European spirit”?

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On Interpretations of Heidegger’s Black Notebooks from the Viewpoint of Academic Micro-Politics
LIU Yu-Chao, TSAI Wei-Ding
Front. Philos. China. 2019, 14 (4): 552-569.  https://doi.org/10.3868/s030-008-019-0033-1
Abstract   PDF (312KB)

This article is to explore the micro-political situation behind interpretations of Heidegger’s Black Notebooks in the academic context. In order to show a whole and complete picture, this article first presents a detailed description of the publication information of the Black Notebooks and of the debates about anti-Semitism that arose after their publication in the West. Then we try to compare the interpretations of the Black Notebooks most prevalent in the West with those in Chinese academia, in order to delineate their different tendencies in interpretations. Finally, by comparison of distinctive tendencies from both sides, we find out that there are already academic micro-political attitudes guiding these varying interpretations of Heidegger’s Black Notebooks.

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Daoism and the German Mission in Martin Heidegger’s “The Thing”
Mark Kevin S. Cabural
Front. Philos. China. 2019, 14 (4): 570-592.  https://doi.org/10.3868/s030-008-019-0034-8
Abstract   PDF (275KB)

In this article, I examine Martin Heidegger’s 1950 lecture/essay “The Thing” (Das Ding) in two ways. First, as a piece influenced by chapter 11 of the Daodejing. And second, as a postwar writing which can be interpreted vis-à-vis the Black Notebooks and his other writings. There are instances in “The Thing” which are analogous to his statements found in the Black Notebooks and his other writings which describe and clarify his controversial political affiliation. In brief, I suggest here that Heidegger’s articulation of the concept of wu 無 of chapter 11 of the Daodejing as the void of the jug in “The Thing” may potentially describe his controversial engagement with German National Socialism as part of his response to the call for German mission. Notably, the fundamentality of the void of the jug is comparable to the exclusivity and exceptionality of the Germans in their mission; and the use of the void of the jug as outpouring is an interesting way to emphasize his disagreement with the regime by pointing out that his support to German National Socialism is not to the extent of brutally annihilating the Jews.

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RESEARCH ARTICLE
A Couple Nagging Interpretive Difficulties in Zhuangzi Studies vis-à-vis William James on the Ethics and Psychology of Belief
John Robert Williams
Front. Philos. China. 2019, 14 (4): 593-611.  https://doi.org/10.3868/s030-008-019-0035-5
Abstract   PDF (396KB)

The present article addresses two lingering questions in the interpretation of the Zhuangzi 莊子—(a) How can one reconcile the scepticism of the Zhuangzi with its positive project(s)? and (b) Who can become a sagely person? The questions are addressed with reference to aspects of William James’ accounts of the ethics and psychology of belief.

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The Conceptual Fetters of the Mind-Body Problem
FEI Duoyi
Front. Philos. China. 2019, 14 (4): 612-629.  https://doi.org/10.3868/s030-008-019-0036-2
Abstract   PDF (256KB)

The crux of our encounter with the mind-body problem originates from a predicament on the underlying ontological level—from the category of concepts, it seems that the form for grasping the subjective aspects of the mind is incommensurable with the one for understanding the objective level of the brain. This is reflected in the fact that empirical expression is restricted by language, that psychological events cannot be incorporated into strict laws, and that the subject has a path that, with his own mental state, others cannot share. In order to make progress in cracking the mind-body problem, this paper tries to abandon the assumption that “psychology” and “physics” are mutually exclusive and are incompatible ontological categories. The “mind” and “body” are considered as two interchangeable yet non-coexisting perspectives. Therefore, events in the body are represented as conceptions in the mind, and have an expressive correspondence with one another. Meanwhile, the approach for achieving such correspondence involves the entity itself—the ability of the organism to perform purposeful activities constitutes the source of its internal activities. Through the connection of life categories—or rather, the coupling of living beings and their worlds—the mind and body maintain mechanisms which can be jointly realized.

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Hintikka’s Logical Revolution
XU Difei
Front. Philos. China. 2019, 14 (4): 630-648.  https://doi.org/10.3868/s030-008-019-0037-9
Abstract   PDF (255KB)

Hintikka thinks that second-order logic is not pure logic, and because of Gödel’s incompleteness theorems, he suggests that we should liberate ourselves from the mistaken idea that first-order logic is the foundational logic of mathematics. With this background he introduces his independence friendly logic (IFL). In this paper, I argue that approaches taking Hintikka’s IFL as a foundational logic of mathematics face serious challenges. First, the quantifiers in Hintikka’s IFL are not distinguishable from Linström’s general quantifiers, which means that the quantifiers in IFL involve higher order entities. Second, if we take Wright’s interpretation of quantifiers or if we take Hale’s criterion for the identity of concepts, Quine’s thesis that second-order logic is set theory will be rejected. Third, Hintikka’s definition of truth itself cannot be expressed in the extension of language of IFL. Since second-order logic can do what IFL does, the significance of IFL for the foundations of mathematics is weakened.

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