Frontiers of Philosophy in China

ISSN 1673-3436

ISSN 1673-355X(Online)

CN 11-5743/B

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Research articles
The philosophical feature of Confucianism and its position in inter-cultural dialogue: Universalism or non-universalism?
ZHANG Xianglong,
Front. Philos. China. 2009, 4 (4): 483-492.

Abstract   PDF (321KB)
Confucianism is a rather typical non-universalism, even though it does believe that its own doctrines are indeed the ultimate truth, and denies the validity of any higher, universalist meta-standard. Therefore, when facing the contemporary culture intercourse, Confucianism advocates genuine discourse: It rejects any cultural conflict to-the-death, refuses to engage in universalist competition and antagonism, and maintains a mutually-beneficial interaction with other cultures. However, it also adheres to a “free-to-terminate-relations” principle, which implies that any side is free to terminate, at any time, all potential and actual interactions, whenever it feels that its original cultural vitality is threatened. In other words, cultural interactions must only occur when the cultural uniqueness and independence of all participating sides is guaranteed.
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The construction of the view of the cosmos and the human world in Hengxian
WANG Zhongjiang,
Front. Philos. China. 2009, 4 (4): 493-510.

Abstract   PDF (504KB)
A thorough interpretation of the ideological structure of the recently unearthed Daoist text Hengxian 恒先 has not yet been achieved, and a few doubtful and difficult points still remain to be discussed. Based on the concepts of “hengxian”, “Qi”, “the Field”, “beginning”, “movement”, “spontaneity”, and “name”, this paper comprehensively discusses the text of Hengxian with respect to the primordial state of the cosmos, the evolution of the cosmos, the production and existence of Heaven, Earth, and the myriad things, and the measure of human behaviors in a society. It further addresses why the word “Dao” does not appear in Hengxian, why it contains a theory of production instead of an ontology, and what is meant by a series of special concepts including “the Field” and “wuxian 物先 (the state before the myriad things)”.
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The evolution and formation of indigenous narration in Chinese philosophy
YU Zhiping,
Front. Philos. China. 2009, 4 (4): 511-523.

Abstract   PDF (364KB)
Independent narration in Chinese philosophy has gone through the process of interpretation, critical differentiation, dialogue, and original thought, and so is a creative activity that surpasses the conjunctive pattern of universality and particularity. In modern Confucian studies, there has always been a tension between philosophical and historical explanations, which suggests a tension between ecumenical and indigenous experiences. Critical differentiation itself only has methodological significance, and is not a goal in itself. China’s development and strength has encouraged China to engage in philosophical dialogue with the West. It is the task and direction of future philosophical creativity to face the contemporary existence, re-construct Confucianism’s relationship with modern life, and respond in a metaphysical and positive manner to the challenges imposed by modernity.
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The universal sentiment of Daoist morality
XU Jianliang,
Front. Philos. China. 2009, 4 (4): 524-536.

Abstract   PDF (376KB)
Daoism has often been misunderstood as moral nihilism or anti-moralism, but the true Daoism indeed adopts a positive attitude towards morality. At the foundation of its universal sentiment is an affirmation of morality. Daoism takes all things as the starting point of its values in moral philosophy, and ziran 自然 (sponstaneously so) as the foundation of its philosophy with the universal commitment. Daoism hopes to use “Dao” to create the best environment for survival, and to fulfill individual responsibility for all things in the world. This is a universal and open attitude towards values. The attraction of Daoist universal sentiment is that it takes ziran as its path, and “objectless desire”, “unprincipled knowing”, “non-coercive action” as ways and means to ensure the transfer of the universal value to all things, while ensuring that they realize their true values and make contributions to the whole society.
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Revealing the Dao of Heaven through the Dao of humans: Sincerity in The Doctrine of the Mean
Front. Philos. China. 2009, 4 (4): 537-551.

Abstract   PDF (403KB)
In Zhongyong 中庸 (The Doctrine of the Mean), cheng 诚 (sincerity) is the “Dao of all Daos”, the “virtue of all virtues”, and thus connects the Dao of humans and that of Heaven. The Dao of humans can reveal the sincerity in the Dao of Heaven in two approaches: to contemplate on sincerity and to conduct in sincerity. Meanwhile, sincerity in the Dao of Heaven is unfolded in everything’s seeking for its own nature and destiny, thus the most fundamental approach for the Dao of humans to reveal the sincerity in the Dao of Heaven is for humans to seek for everything’s own nature and destiny.
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On Thomas Aquinas’ doctrine of materia signata
DUAN Dezhi, ZHAO Dunhua,
Front. Philos. China. 2009, 4 (4): 552-562.

Abstract   PDF (329KB)
Aquinas’ doctrine of materia signata or “designated matter” is an important deviation from the traditional doctrines on matter. Through in-depth typological and genetic analyses of the related concepts, this essay explores materia signata’s ontological qualities, generative mechanism and function, as well as its academic significance in the history of both Christian theology and Western philosophy.
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Truth, correspondence and deflationism
James O. YOUNG,
Front. Philos. China. 2009, 4 (4): 563-575.

Abstract   PDF (324KB)
The central claim of this essay is that many deflationary theories of truth are variants of the correspondence theory of truth. Essential to the correspondence theory of truth is the proposal that objective features of the world are the truthmakers of statements. Many advocates of deflationary theories (including F. P. Ramsay, P. F. Strawson and Paul Horwich) remain committed to this proposal. Although T-sentences (statements of the form “s is true iff p”) are presented by advocates of deflationary theories of truth as truisms or analytic truths, T-sentences are often understood as entailing commitment to the central proposal of the correspondence theory.
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A reflection on the alternative philosophy of science
LIU Dachun,, LIU Yongmou,
Front. Philos. China. 2009, 4 (4): 576-588.

Abstract   PDF (358KB)
A prominent phenomenon in contemporary philosophy of science has been the unexpected rise of alternative philosophers of science. This article analyses in depth such alternative philosophers of science as Paul Feyerabend, Richard Rorty, and Michel Foucault, summarizing the similarities and differences between alternative philosophies of science and traditional philosophy of science so as to unveil the trends in contemporary philosophy of science. With its different principles and foundation, alternative philosophy of science has made breakthroughs in terms of its field of vision, scope, and methodology, and its relationship with science has become more humanistic and pluralistic. Attention should be given to alternative perspectives in the contemporary philosophy of science, and research should be expanded into the fields of the epistemology of science and cognitive science, the sociology of scientific knowledge and scientific anthropology, the scientific cultural philosophy, and scientific ethics.
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The philosophy of scientific practice in naturalist thought: Its approaches and problems
TIAN Xiaofei,
Front. Philos. China. 2009, 4 (4): 589-603.

Abstract   PDF (373KB)
It is the continuity between epistemology and empirical science that the naturalism in contemporary philosophy of science emphasizes. After its individual and social dimensions, the philosophy of scientific practice takes a stand on naturalism in order to observe complex scientific activities through practice. However, regarding the naturalism’s problem of normativity, the philosophy of scientific practice today has deconstructed more than it has constructed.
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Narrow memory and wide knowledge: An argument for the compatibility of externalism and self-knowledge
TIAN Ping,
Front. Philos. China. 2009, 4 (4): 604-615.

Abstract   PDF (317KB)
The development of the semantic externalism in the 1970s was followed by a debate on the compatibility of externalism and self-knowledge. Boghossian’s memory argument is one of the most important arguments against the compatibilist view. However, some compatibilists attack Boghossian’s argument by pointing out that his understanding of memory is internalistic. Ludlow and others developed the externalist view of memory to defend the compatibility of externalism and self-knowledge. However, the externalist view of memory undermines the epistemic status of memory since it gives memory a burden that is too heavy for it to carry. This paper argues that only if we take the content of memory to be narrow and take that of self-knowledge to be wide and replace Cartesian self-knowledge with contextually constrained self-knowledge, can the compatibility of externalism and self-knowledge be effectively defended.
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Transcending the opposition between consciousness aesthetics and somaesthetics
YANG Chunshi,
Front. Philos. China. 2009, 4 (4): 616-630.

Abstract   PDF (371KB)
Modern aesthetics in its early phase was “consciousness aesthetics” which upheld spirit but obviated body, hence offered demonstration for the priority of refined art as well as elite culture. In its later period, modern aesthetics converted into “somaesthetics” which, at the same time when it affirmed the identity of consciousness and body, laid particular stress on body, hence offered basis for the reasonableness of popular art as well as mass culture. Thus consciousness aesthetics and somaesthetics have their respective reasonableness and limitation. We should transcend the opposition between them, acknowledging the spirit aspect of aesthetics as well as the body aspect of it and affirming the dominant position of spirit, so as to establish a modern aesthetics characterized by body-mind integration.
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The three-form reasoning of new Hetu-vidya in Indian logic from the perspective of modern logic
ZHANG Zhongyi, ZHANG Jialong,
Front. Philos. China. 2009, 4 (4): 631-645.

Abstract   PDF (279KB)
Comparing the three-form reasoning of new Hetu-vidya with Western logic, scholars have put forward four perspectives. Combining their strengths and shortcomings, and the examples of Hetu-vidya reasoning, we can conclude that the three-form reasoning should have four forms: (1) the affirmative expression of formal implication; (2) the modus ponens of hypothetical reasoning concerning sufficient conditions after universal instantiation; (3) the negative expression of a formal implication; and (4) the modus tollens of hypothetical reasoning concerning sufficient conditions after universal instantiation.
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12 articles