Frontiers of Philosophy in China

ISSN 1673-3436

ISSN 1673-355X(Online)

CN 11-5743/B

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The self and the other: An unanswered question in Confucian theory
ZHAO Tingyang
Front. Philos. China. 2008, 3 (2): 163-176.

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Fei Xiaotong’s thoughts on the Confucian system of interpersonal relationships actually indicated that the Confucian theory of social cooperation leads itself to an unsettled paradox, that is, there is a lack of universal theoretical construction in the Confucian moral system. Confucian theory does not extend beyond practical circumstances. Instead, its universal principles always disappear in specific circumstances. Because of its long established position in mainstream dialogue, Confucianism failed to reflect on its flaws, but this paradox has been revealed in the face of modern challenges.
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On “viewing things” and “viewing nothing”: A dialogue between Confucianism and Phenomenology
HUANG Yushun
Front. Philos. China. 2008, 3 (2): 177-193.

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In traditional Chinese expressions, guannian 壜_? (ideas) are results of guan 壜 (viewing). However, viewing can be understood to have two different levels of meanings: one is “viewing things,” that is, viewing with something to view; another is “viewing nothing,” that is, viewing with nothing to view. What are viewed in “viewing things” are either physical beings —all existing things and phenomena —or the metaphysical being (for example, the “Dao as a thing”). In both cases, something is being viewed. What is viewed in “viewing nothing” is the being itself, or “nothing,” in which there is nothing to view. According to Confucianism, the existence of “nothing” manifests itself as life sentiments, especially the sentiment of love, which is the very root and source of benevolence; moreover “viewing nothing” is, in essence, a perception of life. Life sentiments or the perception of life is “the thing itself ” prior to any being or any thing.
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A differentiation of the meaning of “qi” on several levels
LI Cunshan
Front. Philos. China. 2008, 3 (2): 194-212.

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In Chinese philosophy, although the concept of “qi” has numerous meanings, it is not completely without order or chaotic. Generally speaking, “qi” has several different levels of meanings, such as in philosophy, physics, physiology, psychology, ethics, and so on. On the philosophical level, “qi” is similar to “air,” and it is essentially similar to the “matter-energy” or “field” in physics, which refers to the origin or an element of all things in the world. It is from this point that the meanings of “qi” in physiology, psychology, ethics as well as aesthetics are derived. This paper analyzes the meanings of “qi” on five levels and seeks to clarify misunderstandings about “qi,” such as its alleged pan-vitalistic, conscious and pan-ethical characters.
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A return to intellectual history: A new approach to pre-Qin discourse on name
CAO Feng
Front. Philos. China. 2008, 3 (2): 213-228.

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Discussions of name (ming, T
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A transition of Chinese humanism and aesthetics from rationalism to irrationalism —With a focus on the debate between Li Zhi and Geng Dingxiang during the Ming Dynasty
XU Jianping
Front. Philos. China. 2008, 3 (2): 229-253.

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Chinese people attach importance to intuition and imagery in ways of thinking that are quite sensible, but the result, i.e. the thoughts that are popularized in virtue of political power, are rather rational. These rational thoughts, which were influenced by Buddhism and continually became introspective, had been growing more irrational factors. Up to the middle and late Ming Dynasty, when the economy was developed, they merged with the growing emphasis on daily needs of food and clothes and the envisagement to the utilitarian circumstances, and finally broke through the threshold of rationalism. Under the attack of Geng Dingxiang, Li Zhi who emphasized these thoughts was forced beyond his previous boundaries and led a whole variation in how he viewed a series of issues including values, humanity, ethics and aesthetics. This indicated a historical change from rationalism to irrationalism in Chinese humanism and aesthetics thoughts.
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The meaning-dialogue in mutual interpretation of ethical-economical concepts and its value dissimilation
Front. Philos. China. 2008, 3 (2): 254-266.

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A mutual interpretation and theoretical transplant of ethical-economical concepts is a process of the dialogue and discussion on its “meaning,” and also a process of the transmission and interaction of values. However, over-interpretation, which is inevitable in “understanding” “meaning,” and the plight of the “hegemony of values,” bring potential risks to value dissimilation in the interpretation and transplant. Value migration—value hegemony—value dissimilation is its general process of development. The academic reasoning behind overcoming the risk of value dissimilation is value ecology. The essence of value ecology is to enable the meaning-dialogue and value interlocutions of ethics-economy follow the rules of ecology. Therefore, the process of mutual interpretation and transplantation becomes a process of the ecological interlocution of ethics-economy, creating a new value, eco-value.
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On the political significance of Marx’s practical philosophy
HE Lai
Front. Philos. China. 2008, 3 (2): 267-281.

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In order to deepen the studies on the philosophy of practice, it is essential to explore the political significance of Marx’s philosophy of practice. Marx’s philosophy of practice is rooted in the problem of modernity and the separation between “individual subjectivity” and “societal community” in the modern context is the basic background of Marx’s practical philosophy. It is the basic interest of Marx’s philosophy of practice to find a way to end this separation via critique of civil society. Therefore, Marx’s philosophy of practice has a clear significance, which manifests in the following aspects: one is “liberation politics,” and the other, “the regulatory mode of the socio-political institution.”
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A path of interpreting the “consumer society”: The perspective of Karl Marx and its significance
TANG Zhengdong
Front. Philos. China. 2008, 3 (2): 282-293.

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When Western Marxist sociologists, such as Jean Buadrillard, constructed their critical theory of consumer society, they took the consumer society as an objective fact and methodologically restricted themselves to the non-historical method of sociology, making them unable to grasp the correct meaning of Karl Marx’s historical materialist methodology. Thus, they were unable to adequately critique and transcend consumer society. After spending the early 1850s building a theoretical foundation, Marx pointed out in 1857–1858 Economical Manuscript and 1861−1863 Economical Manuscript that the governing model of capital was so complicated that it made consumption very important to the socio-economic form. Moreover, he explained the way of surpassing the conscious form of fetishism developed in consumer society from the perspective of the development of capitalist production.
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A critical analysis of structural realism
Front. Philos. China. 2008, 3 (2): 294-306.

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The epistemological version of structural realism, proposed by Cao Tianyu, has great influence in the philosophy of science. Syntheses has published a special volume discussing the topic. Cao criticizes anti-realism, as well as the epistemic and ontic versions of structural realism. From the concepts of structure, ontology, and construction, he analyzes the objectivity of scientific theories as having five aspects: construction, historicity, holism, revision, and revolution. This paper systematically analyzes and comments on Cao’s structural realism. The author agrees with his criticism of the under-determination thesis, is neutral to his argument against ontological discontinuity, and questions his universal language argument.
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A formal treatment of the causative constructions in Chinese
ZOU Chongli
Front. Philos. China. 2008, 3 (2): 307-316.

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There are at least five kinds of causative constructions in Chinese, the constructions of the collocation of verbs and prepositional phrases, verb-copying constructions, “ba” constructions with an object ahead, verb-copying constructions with their complements, and pivotal constructions with commands. But the current type-logical grammar has no tools representing the meanings of causative constructions. It would be neither intuitive nor simple to describe these constructions by means of the current type-logical grammar. So we intend to improve the type-logical grammar by adding CAUSE as a logical constant, complementing the structure rules about the movement and addition or deletion of some components of causative constructions, assigning categories to Chinese nouns and prepositions; then we give an intuitive as well as simple analysis on these causative constructions. Based on this work we shall extend the multimodal system of type-logical grammar, increase structure postulates, make constraints on frame semantics, and then prove the soundness and completeness of that system.
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