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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 3 Issue 3 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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The “Manifesto” of New-Confucianism and the revival of virtue ethics
YU Jiyuan
Front. Philos. China. 2008, 3 (3): 317-334.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11466-008-0021-y
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In 1958, a group of New-Confucians issued “A Manifesto for a Re-Appraisal of Sinology and Reconstruction of Chinese Culture.” Equally in 1958, the British philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe published her classical paper “Modern Moral Philosophy.” These two papers have the same target — modern Western morality — and the solutions they proposed respectively. Yet Anscombe’s paper did not mention Confucianism, and the “Manifesto” ignored Aristotelian tradition of virtue. Furthermore, from 1960s to 1990s, the revival movement of Confucianism and the revival movement of Aristotelian ethics have not had much dialogue. This paper seeks to explain this phenomenon by comparing these two historically important documents. In particular it tries to understand why the “Manifesto” fails to see the similarities between Aristotle and Confucius.
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Endurance and non-endurance: From the perspective of virtue ethics
CHEN Shaoming
Front. Philos. China. 2008, 3 (3): 335-351.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11466-008-0022-x
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By analysing the two relevant psychological phenomena of “endurance” and “non-endurance,” this essay aims to reveal the ethical implications of a Confucian approach, namely regarding non-endurance as an impulse of primary virtue. Based on this case study, the author then explores the significance of moral cultivation or psychological training in establishing moral personality and the complexities of such a process. Meanwhile, “love” in Confucian ethics means sympathy for the inferior rather than affection for the revered. Hopefully, this study may deepen our understanding of virtue ethics.
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Confucian ethics and emotions
WANG Yunping
Front. Philos. China. 2008, 3 (3): 352-365.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11466-008-0023-9
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The Confucian understanding of emotions and their ethical importance confirms and exemplifies the contemporary Western renewed understanding of the nature of emotions. By virtue of a systematic conceptual analysis of Confucian ethics, one can see that, according to Confucians, the ethical significance of emotions, lies in that an ethical life is also emotional and virtues are inclinational. And a further exploration shows that the reason for the ethical significance is both that emotions are heavenly-endowed and that there exists a union of emotions and reason in Confucian ethics. This will constitute a challenge to the so-called mainstream ethical theories which have been popularly engaged in seeking justifications for abstract moral rules.
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Interpretation of Hengxian: An explanation from a point of view of intellectual history
CHEN Jing
Front. Philos. China. 2008, 3 (3): 366-388.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11466-008-0024-8
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Hengxian, one of the bamboo books of the Chu State during the Warring States Period that is kept in the Shanghai Museum, was collected by the museum in 1994, and is an important piece of literature that discusses cosmic issues prior to Huainanzi. Based on Li Ling’s work on the text, as well as hermeneutic work by some other scholars, this essay represents another attempt to determine the words and meanings of the Hengxian, with a focus on its cosmological commentary.
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How is the arrival of things possible? — On things and their arrival in ancient Chinese thought
GONG Hua′nan
Front. Philos. China. 2008, 3 (3): 389-408.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11466-008-0025-7
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Ancient Chinese thought inquired primarily into how the achievement of things is possible rather than into what a thing as a thing is. It held that man should participate in the achieving or generation of things in order to realize his self-achievement. A thing is understood as an event. Because all things and man are united as one, it is possible for man to enter into things by tasting and feeling rather than by relying on the sense of sight. This may provide a possible new means of rescuing things from the numericalization and phenomenalization that sweep over the world today.
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What kind of knowledge is necessary for the interpretation of language?
WANG Jing
Front. Philos. China. 2008, 3 (3): 409-423.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11466-008-0026-6
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An investigation into what kind of knowledge is necessary for interpretation is an important research project for the two fields of the theory of meaning and epistemology, through which they are combined. By examining the two basic requirements for a theory on the interpretation of language drafted by Donald Davidson, this paper analyzes several kinds of knowledge which are necessary for interpretation. The goal is to explore the knowledge of radical interpretation and the distinctions and connections between this knowledge and radical translation and Convention-T, thus revealing its characteristics and possibility to interpretation.
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Is scientific research driven by opportunity, problems, or observations?
WU Tong
Front. Philos. China. 2008, 3 (3): 424-437.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11466-008-0027-5
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With the recent rise of the philosophy of scientific practices, SSK (Sociology of Scientific Knowledge), and feminist approaches to the philosophy of science, a new perspective is gradually coming into being, holding that the starting point for scientific research is opportunity. Opportunistic features in solar neutrino experiments, Opportunistic features of complexity studies emerging from economics, and the measurement of insects’ flight can prove the above perspective from different angels. It is important and significant to determine whether the starting point for scientific research is opportunity, a problem, or an observation.
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Levinas faces Kant, Hegel and Heidegger: Debates of contemporary philosophy on ontology
YE Xiushan
Front. Philos. China. 2008, 3 (3): 438-454.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11466-008-0028-4
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Levinas subverts the traditional “ontology-epistemology,” and creates a “realm of difference,” the realm of “value,” “ethic,” and “religion,” maintaining that ethics is real metaphysics. According to him, it is not that “being” contains the “other” but the other way round. In this way, the issues of ethics are promoted greatly in the realm of philosophy. Nonetheless, he does not intend to deny “ontology” completely, but reversed the relationship between “ontology (theory of truth)” and “ethics (axiology),” placing the former under the “constraint” of the latter. Different from general empirical science, philosophy focuses more on issues irrelevant to ordinary empirical objects; it does have “objects,” though. More often than not, the issues of philosophy cannot be conceptualized into “propositions”; nevertheless, it absolutely has its “theme.” As a discipline, philosophy continuously takes “being” as its “theme” and “object” of thinking. The point is that this “being” should not be understood as an “object” completely. Rather, it is still a “theme-subject.” In addition to an “object,” “being” also manifests itself in an “attribute” and a kind of “meaning” as well. In a word, it is the temporal, historical, and free “being” rather than “various beings” that is the “theme-subject” of philosophy.
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Postmodernist liberalism: A critique of Richard Rorty’s political philosophy
YAO Dazhi
Front. Philos. China. 2008, 3 (3): 455-463.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11466-008-0029-3
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Richard Rorty’s philosophy has two basic commitments: one to postmodernism and the other to liberalism. However, these commitments generate tension. As a postmodernist, he sharply criticizes the Enlightenment; as a liberal, he forcefully defends it. His postmodernist liberalism actually explains liberalism using irrationalism.
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