The Tao Encounters the West: Explorations in Comparative Philosophy

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SUNY Press, 1999 - Philosophy - 234 pages
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The relation between liberal democracy and Confucianism is explored by author Chenyang Li as he argues for a Chinese future where both coexist as independent value systems. This relationship is shown through a comparative study of Chinese and Western ideas and philosophies of being, truth, language, ethics, religion, and values. The book covers a wide range of philosophers and philosophies, including Aristotle, Zhuang Zi, Heidegger, Confucius, Kripke, and feminist care ethics. Li shows how a comparative approach to different patterns of thinking in Chinese and Western traditions sheds light on the intelligibility of Chinese multiple ethico-religious practice, which in turn supports the claim that democracy and Confucianism can coexist as independent value systems. In addition, Li s comparative study of different patterns of thinking in Chinese and Western traditions sheds light on the harmony model of Chinese philosophy and culture."
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Being Perspective versus Substance
11
The Being of the Ox
13
Knowing What There Is
20
Transformation of the Butterfly
27
OneOnly versus OneMany Identity
30
Truth Confucius and Heidegger
35
Truth as an Ontological Concept
36
Family Duty versus Rights
115
Critiques of Some Recent Theories
116
The Confucian Perspective
127
A Confucian Response
138
Religion Multiple Participation versus Exclusionism
139
The Religiousness of Chinese Religions
142
The Difference between Three Religions
146
Tension and Complementarity
148

Ethical Implications
45
Truth and Freedom
54
Why Semantic Truth Has Been Marginalized
57
Language Pragmatic versus Semantic
63
Rigid Designation
76
Names as Prescriptions
85
Ethics Confucian Jen and Feminist Care
89
The Foundation of Jen and Care
90
Jen and Care as the Central Moral Ideals
96
Ethics without General Rules
100
Jen and Caring with Gradations
105
How a Care Ethics Could Have Oppressed Women
108
Being TaoistBuddhistConfucian
152
Some Philosophical Considerations
156
Justice Confucian Values and Democratic Values
163
Democracy and Chinas Need
164
Whether There Has Been Democracy in Traditional Chinese Culture
169
Whether Confucianism and Democracy Are Compatible
172
Democracy as an Independent Value System in China
180
Concluding Remarks
191
Notes
193
Bibliography
217
Index
229
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About the author (1999)

Chenyang Li is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Monmouth College.

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