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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 4 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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On Confucian communitarianism
HU Weixi
Front. Philos. China. 2007, 2 (4): 475-487.
Abstract   PDF (305KB)
As a social and political thought, communitarian ideas appeared in the Pre-Qin Confucianism. By the Song Dynasty, it had become a systematic theory, namely, the learning of the four books.  As a social and political theory, not only can Confucian communitarianism contribute to Western liberalism, but it can also be an intellectual resource for the development of democracy in East Asian countries and regions. The future of the Confucian communitarianism lies in its critique of itself and its discourse with Western liberalism, by which Confucianism evolves from communitarianism into liberalism.
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An explanation of the Confucian idea of difference
LI Xiangjun
Front. Philos. China. 2007, 2 (4): 488-502.
Abstract   PDF (318KB)
Difference is a category of relationship lying between identity and non-identity, and equality and inequality. This concept is both the Confucian reflection of the real relationship between things in the world and the value ideal of Confucianism. The Confucian idea of difference, embodied in the view of human relationships, of world, and of nature, seeks to build a rational order based on difference, so as to reach a harmonious, united and ideal state. Confucians in the past dynasties continually interpreted difference and raised it to the level of ontology, enriching the system of Confucianism.
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Achievements, predicaments and trend of Moral Confucianism
SONG Zhiming
Front. Philos. China. 2007, 2 (4): 503-516.
Abstract   PDF (296KB)
Beginning with the promotion of morality in Confucianism, a Neo-Confucian movement in modern Chinese philosophy was initiated, in which Confucianism underwent a transition from tradition to modernity. However, Moral Confucianism did not successfully develop the new kingliness without  from its sageliness within,  respond to modernization marked by science and democracy, and provide moral impetus for the development of a modern Chinese society or appeal to many beyond the small circle of elite Confucianists.  The fundamental reason is that it was caught in a web of moral idealism, overemphasizing what ought to be without confronting what actually was.
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A weakness in Confucianism: Private and public moralities
CUI Dahua
Front. Philos. China. 2007, 2 (4): 517-532.
Abstract   PDF (328KB)
In a society dominated by Confucian ethics, a spirit of Confucian public morality can be seen in the Confucian debate over publicness and privateness, but it is usually activated in circumstances of large ethical crisis. Confucian theory mainly uses ethical relationships to create self and social identities, causing problems of identification in the public life and hindering the expression of moral feelings and actions, thus revealing a weakness in public morality. This is a space that Confucianism has not yet been able to cover, and also where it has room for growth.
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A new interpretation of Confucianism: The interpretation of Lunyu as a text of philosophical hermeneutics
LIN Cunguang
Front. Philos. China. 2007, 2 (4): 533-546.
Abstract   PDF (317KB)
Communicating with Confucius based on our own hermeneutical context, and reading the Analects as a text of philosophical hermeneutics, it can be concluded that as an epochal thinker, the contribution of Confucius’ thought is that it initiated a humanistic moral ideal with cultural upbringing as its core. Based on this consciousness of humanistic moral ideal, Confucius thought and dealt positively with the human existential plight and social political problems that he faced during his own time, and his thought is more creative than conservative.
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Zero and metaphysics: Thoughts about being and nothingness from mathematics, Buddhism, Daoism to phenomenology
NI Liangkang
Front. Philos. China. 2007, 2 (4): 547-556.
Abstract   PDF (311KB)
With the help of the natural history of zero,  and the use of zero  as a starting point, one may consider two types of metaphysics. On the one hand, the epistemological metaphysics, based on the perceptual/rational dichotomy, is related to the zero as a vacancy between numbers. On the other hand, the genetic metaphysics, based on the dichotomy of source-evolution (or origin and derivate), has much to do with the zero as a number between negative and positive numbers. In this respect, zero represents the horizon of metaphysics: we can forever approach it, but we cannot ultimately arrive at it. Though serving as the point of convergence and divergence for all relationships, zero has no definable content of its own. Such is the essence of zero, and of metaphysics as well.
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Marx’s theory on the “sensible world” and the phenomenological movement
YAN Mengwei
Front. Philos. China. 2007, 2 (4): 557-571.
Abstract   PDF (299KB)
The epistemological problems that are implicit in Marx’s theory on the sensible world  indicate that Marx’s philosophy in fact contains within itself the topics of pure philosophy, but Marx did not involve himself in these topics. Through comparing with Husserl’s epistemological critique and Heidegger’s existentialism, we can clearly see that there are theoretical spaces in which we can develop Marx’s philosophy to the realm of pure philosophy, however, we must devote our creative efforts to the exploration of the spaces.
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Aquinas’ transcendences to Aristotle in the doctrine of essence
DUAN Dezhi
Front. Philos. China. 2007, 2 (4): 572-582.
Abstract   PDF (290KB)
Aquinas’ philosophy is revolutionary, especially his doctrine of essence within the context of natural philosophy has transcended that of Aristotle. The principal distinctions between the doctrines of Aquinas and Aristotle are demonstrated in four layers which are entity-nature, compositeness, particularity and potentiality of essence. Aquinas not only overturns and reforms the Western traditional view of essence, but also constructs a prominent joint  connecting essentialism to existentialism in Western philosophy.
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Representation and development of cognition
LI Hengwei, HUANG Huaxin
Front. Philos. China. 2007, 2 (4): 583-600.
Abstract   PDF (518KB)
One of the major divergences between dynamical systems theory and symbolism lies in their views on the role of representation in cognition. From the perspective of development, the cognitive development could be divided into three levels: sensorimotor, imagery representation and linguistic representation. It is claimed that representation is not a sufficient condition though it is necessary for cognition. However, it does not mean that the authors agree with the notion of strong coupling in dynamicism that completely rejects representation.
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Cooperative naturalism
WANG Huaping, SHENG Xiaoming
Front. Philos. China. 2007, 2 (4): 601-613.
Abstract   PDF (342KB)
The radical forms of naturalistic epistemology look more like revolutionary manifestos than a reasonable alternatives. A modest form of naturalism is worth promoting. This modest form can cooperate with hermeneutics to solve epistemic problems, and therefore wins the title of cooperative naturalism, and benefits from the hermeneutic account of experience. Cooperative naturalism somewhat bridges the gap between analytic and continental philosophy.
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Indispensability argument and anti-realism in philosophy of mathematics
YE Feng
Front. Philos. China. 2007, 2 (4): 614-628.
Abstract   PDF (320KB)
The indispensability argument for abstract mathematical entities has been an important issue in the philosophy of mathematics. The argument relies on several assumptions. Some objections have been made against these assumptions, but there are several serious defects in these objections. Ameliorating these defects leads to a new anti-realistic philosophy of mathematics, mainly: first, in mathematical applications, what really exist and can be used as tools are not abstract mathematical entities, but our inner representations that we create in imagining abstract mathematical entities; second, the thoughts that we create in imagining infinite mathematical entities are bounded by external conditions.
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Plausibility, necessity and identity: A logic of relative plausibility*
LI Xiaowu, WEN Xuefeng
Front. Philos. China. 2007, 2 (4): 629-644.
Abstract   PDF (415KB)
We construct a Hilbert style system RPL for the notion of plausibility measure introduced by Halpern J, and we prove the soundness and completeness with respect to a neighborhood style semantics. Using the language of RPL, we demonstrate that it can define well-studied notions of necessity, conditionals and propositional identity.
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12 articles