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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 2 Issue 1 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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Characteristics of lixue in Qing Dynasty
GONG Shuduo
Front. Philos. China. 2007, 2 (1): 1-24.
Abstract   PDF (353KB)
The lixue t[f(learning of the Neo-Confucian principles) of the Qing Dynasty followed the tradition of lixue in the Song, Yuan and Ming dynasties, but it had its own characteristics. First, there was no primary direction and core train of ideas. Second, there was no creativity and the emphasis was made on ethics. Third, after the Opium War, the lixue of the Qing Dynasty was influenced by Western culture, partly resisting and partly integrating with the latter. Fourth, the tradition of Neo-Confucianism of the Song Dynasty and the tradition of the Confucianism of the Han Dynasty co-existed and had disputes with each other, but also learned from each other.
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Cultivation (jiaohua, 教化): The goal of Xunzi’s ethical thought
ZHAN Shiyou
Front. Philos. China. 2007, 2 (1): 25-49.
Abstract   PDF (325KB)
Xunzi carried on the noble ambitions of Zhou Kong Jiaohua Th[TeYS  and systematically demonstrated the necessity of cultivation and how to realize it. Starting from the belief that human nature is evil, he argues that cultivation was necessary and its teachings must penetrate the mind. The key of cultivation is to cultivate man s feelings, encourage man to behave properly, and attempt to mold his nature through Ritual cultivation, Musical cultivation, and the Five Classics. The main point of Xunzi s ethical thought is cultivation. As far as cultivation theory is concerned, Xunzi s is the most logical and systematic of the famous Pre-Qin thinkers.
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Meta-research in Chinese logic
SUN Zhongyuan
Front. Philos. China. 2007, 2 (1): 50-69.
Abstract   PDF (346KB)
This paper discusses the topics, goals, values and methods of Chinese logic. It holds that the goal of the research in Chinese logic is to reveal its structure, content, rules, and essential character, as well as to reveal both similarities and differences between Chinese and foreign logic. The value of the research is to carry forward and develop the outstanding heritage of Chinese logic. Its method is to annotate original works of Chinese ancient logic with the tools of modern language and logic in order to reveal both the particular nature and the universal qualities of Chinese logic. The method also explores the differences and similarities between Chinese and foreign logic. In recent years, research in Chinese logic has developed considerably; it has also logged many important achievements. But there are many different views about the complexity and long-term goals of the research. Future research will build on the merits of different kinds of logic, promote Chinese logic, and increase communication between Chinese logic and foreign logic.
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Historicity and the modern situation of human existence: A reinterpretation of the views of Karl Marx
ZHANG Shuguang
Front. Philos. China. 2007, 2 (1): 70-83.
Abstract   PDF (257KB)
This article argues that the problem of modernity concerns the circumstances of existence and human destiny in modern times. To understand the nature of this problem and find the corresponding solution, we need to reinterpret the thought of Karl Marx regarding the contradictions of human existence and its historical dimensions. Following Marx s line of thinking, this article reviews his critical sequence, creative transformation, and development of duality of thought on man and the world in Western history, focusing on the following four issues: (1) how Marx, on the basis of man s sensuous objective activities, observes the duality of man and the world as well as the relationship between man s internal and external activities; (2) how Marx discloses the true connotation and real significance of man s historical existence, history, and historicity; (3) how Marx reveals the inherent contradictions of modern capitalist society and the destiny of modern man based on historic thought concerning man s existence; and (4) by praising Marx s views on material production and the eternal significance of ancient Greek culture, the article reveals another dimension of Marx s thought, a dimension that tends to be ignored. This article holds that in this era of globalization, it is extremely important and urgent to have an in-depth understanding of Marx s historical thoughts regarding human existence and of the feasibility of his theory. Moreover, it is imperative to further develop this understanding to create a clearer picture of our own path of development and our outlook on humanity.
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Investigations on public philosophy
HE Huaihong
Front. Philos. China. 2007, 2 (1): 84-94.
Abstract   PDF (256KB)
The more diverse cultures and values a country perceives to be normal  even just , the more it needs to search for a public philosophy. Having developed only recently, China, which is speedily progressing towards a market economy, can be considered this kind of country. This article takes Daniel Bell s concept of modern society and public household as the basis for expatiating on some chief problems and the ways to solve them. It pays special attention to investigating the public ethic while probing public philosophy, and it argues that the public ethic is an ethic that deals with public affairs in the public realm, especially the social political realm; with respect to all people involved, it is a common ethic or an ethic with openness. It is also an ethic that appeals to public opinion and public reason, and tries to find consensus from the demands of different values. Furthermore, because it refers to fundamental public benefits, it has to be a normative ethic of universalism and of baseline holders.
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Philosophy of information and foundation for the future Chinese philosophy of science and technology
LIU Gang
Front. Philos. China. 2007, 2 (1): 95-114.
Abstract   PDF (313KB)
The research programme of the philosophy of information (PI) proposed in 2002 made it an independent area or discipline in philosophical research. The scientific concept of information  is formally accepted in philosophical inquiry. Hence a new and tool-driven philosophical discipline of PI with its interdisciplinary nature has been established. Philosophy of information is an orientative  rather than cognitive  philosophy. When PI is under consideration in the history of Western philosophy, it can be regarded as a shift of large tradition. There are three large traditions at large, known as Platonic, Kantian and Leibniz-Russellian. In the discussion of the position of the possible worlds, we have modal Platonism and modal realism, but both of the theories are made in the framework of Western philosophy. In this essay, it is argued that possible worlds could be seen as worlds in information, which is then an interpretation of modal information theory (MIT). Our interpretation is made on the basis of Leibniz s lifelong connection with China, a fact often overlooked by the Western philosopher s. Possible world theory was influenced by the Neo-Confucianism flourishing since the Song Dynasty of China, the foundation of which is Yijing. It could be argued that Leibniz s possible world theory was formulated in respect to the impact of the thoughts reflected in Yijing, in that one of the prominent features is the model-theoretic construction of theories. There are two approaches to theory construction, i.e., axiom-theoretic and model-theoretic. The origin of the former is from ancient Greece and the latter from ancient China. And they determined the different features of theoretic structures between the oriental and occidental traditions of science and technology. The tendency of the future development of science and technology is changing from the axiom-theoretic to the model-theoretic orientation, at least the two approaches being complementary each other. To some extent, this means the retrospective of tradition in the turning point of history, and some of the China s cultural traditions might become the starting points in formulating the future Chinese philosophy of science and technology.
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A critique of relativism in the sociology of scientific knowledge
Front. Philos. China. 2007, 2 (1): 115-130.
Abstract   PDF (333KB)
The Strong Programme  is put forward as a metaphysical theory of sociology by the Edinburgh School (SSK) to study the social causes of knowledge. Barry Barnes and David Bloor are the proponents of the School. They call their programme the Relativist View of Knowledge  and argue against rationalism in the philosophy of science. Does their relativist account of knowledge present a serious challenge to rationalism, which has dominated 20th century philosophy of science? I attempt to answer this question by criticizing the main ideas of SSK and defending rationalism theories in modern philosophy of science.
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Queries on Hempel's solution to the paradoxes of confirmation
DUN Xinguo
Front. Philos. China. 2007, 2 (1): 131-139.
Abstract   PDF (265KB)
To solve the highly counterintuitive paradox of confirmation represented by the statement, A pair of red shoes confirms that all ravens are black,  Hempel employed a strategy that retained the equivalence condition but abandoned Nicod s irrelevance condition. However, his use of the equivalence condition is fairly ad hoc, raising doubts about its applicability to this problem. Furthermore, applying the irrelevance condition from Nicod s criterion does not necessarily lead to paradoxes, nor does discarding it prevent the emergence of paradoxes. Hempel s approach fails to adequately resolve the paradox.
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Appreciating nature in view of practical aesthetics1
WANG Keping
Front. Philos. China. 2007, 2 (1): 140-149.
Abstract   PDF (275KB)
Appreciating nature may at its best feature have three levels of experience according to practical aesthetics. The first level is more sensuous as it largely pleases the ear and eye, the second level is more psychological as it chiefly pleases the mind and mood, and the third level is more sublimate as it mainly pleases the will and spirit. In Chinese culture the affinity between man and nature can be traced back to the traditional conception of tian ren he yi Y)N篢Nas heaven-human oneness, which will be ultimately conducive to the artistic realm or aesthetic state of being.
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9 articles