An Introduction to Chinese Philosophy by Karyn L. Lai

By Karyn L. Lai

This complete introductory textbook to early chinese language philosophy covers a number philosophical traditions which arose in the course of the Spring and Autumn (722-476 BCE) and Warring States (475-221 BCE) classes in China, together with Confucianism, Mohism, Daoism, and Legalism. It considers strategies, subject matters and argumentative equipment of early chinese language philosophy and follows the improvement of a few principles in next sessions, together with the creation of Buddhism into China. The publication examines key matters and debates in early chinese language philosophy, cross-influences among its traditions and interpretations by way of students as much as the current day. The dialogue attracts upon either basic texts and secondary assets, and there are feedback for additional studying. it will be a useful advisor for all who're drawn to the principles of chinese language philosophy and its richness and carrying on with relevance.

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Extra resources for An Introduction to Chinese Philosophy

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1 Ru-ist education consisted in the cultivation of an ethically and ritually disciplined life. Some Ru-ists extended the rigours of ceremonial court ritual to the social and domestic arenas. Due to this phenomenon, Confucians have sometimes been thought of as traditionalists advocating traditional ritual court behaviours. It is interesting that Confucius in the Analects (7:1) notes that he is a transmitter, not a creator. But did he see himself primarily as a proponent of traditional ceremonial ritual?

We can detect some of these variations in the scope of li in the Analects itself, which at times uses it to refer to religious ritual (Analects 3:17) and at others to the comportment of the cultivated person (Analects 12:1). Yet another usage in the Analects refers to behavioural propriety in the ordinary interactions of the common people (Analects 2:3). Partly because of its association with ancient behavioural norms, the concept li evokes a sense of conservatism. However, its employment in the Analects is not always consistent: at some points it appears to be rather inflexible (Analects 3:17), yet at some others amendable (Analects 9:3).

In 17:11, the practice of both li and music is grounded in the sincere intentions and emotions of the gift-giver and the performer respectively: The Master said, ‘Surely when one says “The rites, the rites,” it is not enough merely to mean presents of jade and silk. ’ (trans. Lau, 1979a: 145) The presentation of gifts – even expensive ones such as jade and silk – is an act devoid of significance if it is not accompanied by the appropriate underlying emotions. The analogy with music is informative too: clanging bells and beating drums do not constitute music.

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