Vital Nourishment: Departing from Happiness

Front Cover
Zone Books, 2007 - Philosophy - 176 pages
0 Reviews

The philosophical tradition in the West has always subjected life to conceptual divisions and questions about meaning. In Vital Nourishment, Francois Jullien contends that although this process has given rise to a rich history of inquiry, it proceeds too fast. In their anxiety about meaning, Western thinkers since Plato have forgotten simply to experience life. In this installment of his continuing project of plumbing the philosophical divide between Eastern and Western thought, Jullien slows down, and, using the third and fourth century B.C.E. Chinese thinker Zhuanghi as a foil, begins to think about life from a point outside of Western inquiry.The question of how to "feed life," or nourish it, is the point of departure for the Chinese tradition that Jullien locates in Zhuanghi. Life passes through each of us, and we have a duty to become amenable to its ebbs and flows. We must cultivate a sense of being adequate to it so that we can house it. Exploring notions of breath, energy, and immanence, Jullien reopens a vibrant space of intellectual exchange between East and West. In doing so, he refuses to commit to a rigid framework of meaning, and his text unfolds as an elegant process that mirrors the very type of thought he explores. Pointing out that it seems intellectually and politically imperative today to reinvigorate Western thought with ideas from the East, Jullien seeks to create a space of mutual inquiry that maintains the integrity of both Eastern and Western thinking. Vital Nourishment is both a rich intellectual historical journey and a text very much attuned to the philosophical politics of the present.Francois Jullien is Professor at the Universite Paris VII-Denis Diderot and director at the Institut de la Pensee Contemporaine. He is the author of Detour and Access: Stratgies of Meaning in Chna and Greece, The Propensity of Things: Toward a History of Efficacy in China, and In Praise of Blandness: Proceeding from Chinsese Thought and Aesthetics, all published by Zone Books.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Preface
9
Preserving the Freedom to Change
23
To Feed Ones LifeTo Force Ones Life
33
Copyright

11 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2007)

François Jullien is Professor at the Université Paris VII-Denis Diderot and director at theInstitut de la Pensée Contemporaine. He is the author of Detour and Access: Strategies ofMeaning in China and Greece, The Propensity of Things: Toward a History of Efficacy inChina, and In Praise of Blandness: Proceeding from Chinese Thought andAesthetics all published by Zone Books.

Bibliographic information