Warp, Weft, and Way

A Group Blog of Chinese and Comparative Philosophy

New Journal: Journal of East-West Thought 1:1

The innagural issue of a new journal has been published: the Journal of East West Thought, edited by John Zijiang Ding. (Correction: in an earlier version of this post, I mistakenly said that this is an on-line journal. It is not, though the full first issue is available on line at the moment.)

Journal of East-West Thought (JET) is published by the International Association for East-West Studies (IAES, http://www.iaesonline.org/ ). As a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to advancing constructive, creative, critical, theoretical and forward-looking thoughts and ideas in East-West studies, it provides a forum for interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, global, and philosophical examinations of all subject matters within East-West studies.

Read on for the Table of Contents of issue 1:1; the full texts of the essays are currently available from the journal’s website. Congratulations to Professor Ding and to everyone associated with this new undertaking!

JOHN ZIJIANG DING / Editor’s Introduction: Some thoughts on Studies of East-West Thought

Articles: Global Justice, Cosmopolitanism, and Universalism

JÜRGEN HABERMAS / Konstitutionalisierung des Völkerrechts und die Legitimation- 7 sprobleme einer Verfassten Weltgesellschaft (Constitutionalization of International Laws and the Legitimate Problem of a Consti- tution of Global Society)

XUNWU CHEN / Building of Global Justice and a Cosmopolitan Order—Dialogues with Habermas and Others

WILLIAM McBRIDE / Regression in History: Where Are We Now?

TOMING JUN LIU / Lichtun and Luzhai: Nine Ways of Looking at Trans-Civilizational Imaginations of Wang Wei

JOHN ZIJIANG DING / Self-transformation and Moral Universalism: A Comparison of Wang Yangming and Schleiermacher

Articles: Methodology and Meta-methodology of East-West Studies

CHUNG-YING CHENG / Effective Leadership by Capacities of Virtue: A New Analysis of Power of Political Leadership in Confucian Perspective

LONGXI ZHANG / Risky Business: The Challenge of East-West Comparative Studies

Discussion: A New Vision of Chinese Metaphysics and Cosmology

ROBERT C. NEVILLE / Research Projects for Comparative Study and Appreciation of Ultimate Realities through the Sciences and Humanities

JIYUAN YU / Is Chinese Cosmology Metaphysics?—A Greek-Chinese Comparative Study

JEELOO LIU / Reconstructing Chinese Metaphysics

Book Reviews

BARBARA ENTL / Seyla Benhabib, Another Cosmopolitanism

FENQING ZHU / Kit Christensen, Nonviolence, Peace, and Justice: A Philosophical Introduction


November 26, 2011 - Posted by | Comparative philosophy, Journal News, Tables of Contents


  1. Very interesting and I will surely be glad to read especially the methodological articles. However, “East” seems to mean here just Chinese. Why?

    Comment by elisa freschi | November 27, 2011 | Reply

    • Elisa, I appreciate your question. I don’t know first hand what the plans were/are for the journal’s coverage but I can make a few observations. There’s nothing on the journal’s description or call for papers that rules out other sources of the “East.” That said, the editorial responsibilities are nearly all filled by scholars with either known expertise in Chinese or who have Chinese names. With the latter, it may be an effect of professional network characteristics. If that’s true, however, it would have been more responsible to reach out to people who were not connected in such ways, in order to avoid that effect. Although nothing clearly indicates that the journal will focus mostly on Chinese or Sino-centered philosophy, I don’t see anyone on the editorial board — upon casual perusal — who is a known figure in some other area of East-West studies — Indian philosophy, for example. By contrast, Philosophy East and West has always done a nice job of covering “the East” from the middle East to India and throughout the far East. I certainly hope the new journal’s name was chosen with that model in mind.

      Journal of Chinese Philosophy at least wears its Sino-centered focus on its sleeve — as does this blog, mostly. It would be nice if there were extensive group coverage of Indo-centered philosophy on a blog — “comparative philosophy” shouldn’t be code for “comparative as between Western and Chinese philosophy.” I think it would be worth having a conversation — right here on this blog — about whether it would be workable to expand this blog’s coverage more explicitly to include Indo-centered traditions. By “workable” I mean whether it would make sense to move into areas of discussion that might be well beyond the expertise of most of the blog’s participants. There are two immediate answers to such a question that spring to my mind:

      1) Why not move beyond that level of expertise? After all, a blog may provide a good format for formative exchanges that educate people about the things of which they know little.

      2) The “blog participants” form a dynamic lot, so — on the principle that “if you build it, they will come” — more coverage of Indo-centered philosophy would bring in the audience (with a little work) that can provide the sort of blog discussion to help others understand what the issues might be.

      Nothing too negative comes to mind, on the other hand, except for some vague issues (vague in my mind at this moment) about stretching time and attention limits too much. Also, it would make sense to get a feel for who out there working on Indo-centered philosophy feels the requisite motivation to build the blog audience, an initial list of contributors, and a consistent flow of posts to make it work. There may also be an excellent blog or blogs out there already, of which I am ignorant, which would offset the need somewhat for our expansion into the area.

      I’m always open to good innovation and direction, so please opinionate — Elisa or anyone else out there.

      Comment by Manyul Im | November 28, 2011 | Reply

      • thank you very much for this interesting and thoughtful answer. I write now after Steve Angle’s comment suggesting not to enlarge too much the audience of this blog, and I see his point. I am myself not at all an expert on Chinese philosophy (as can be seen through the fact that I only comment on methodological issues:-)) and cannot contribute to discussions focusing on Chinese or Chinese philosophy in itself.

        As for your questions, since I “discovered” your blog (which was still only Manyul Im’s one) I have been hoping to find something like that on Indian philosophy. I think it is incredibly good and healthy to have a place to discuss. Among other things, it improves ideas and methodologies and it makes common strategies possible (and common strategies are more than needed, if we want non-Western philosophy to find some visibility also in the West) (plus, it is fun).
        I also tried to suggest to some colleagues to open one. Unluckily enough, my proposal has not lead to anything concrete. This might be due to sociological reasons (one might speculate on the intrinsic differences between people working on China or on India…) or maybe only to the fact that it is quite difficult to initiate a new blog. Adding oneself to one which is already well-known and well-established is surely easier and more appealing. Hence, it might work. I would certainly be happy to contribute and to look for further contributors and I could start a preliminary inquire among friends, colleagues and readers.

        Comment by elisa freschi | November 29, 2011 | Reply

    • Excellent questions, Elisa and Manyul!

      Manyul, when you founded and ran this blog’s predecessor, the main initial intention was to give your undergraduate students a forum for discussion with you and (soon) other philosophers and scholars of early Chinese thought – yes? For a long time after the founding, I believe, there was a pretty robust but unstated shared understanding among participants that discussions were to be conducted in such a way that non-experts could follow them, and in particular that anything said or quoted in Chinese would be accompanied by an adequate English translation. I think that understanding added greatly to the value of the blog. Adding a new topic such as Indian philosophy would likely have the effect of reviving that understanding, as everyone will recognize that few people are experts in both fields or in parts of both, or can read all the relevant languages.

      Comment by Bill Haines | November 28, 2011 | Reply

  2. Bill, yes, the idea is still to bring along as many readers of the blog as possible in the conversation, though the idea that students, mine in particular, are the intended audience no longer holds. However, the reminder that those who post and comment and use other languages — say, Chinese — should always include translation into English, is an important one for the aim of inclusion in the conversation. I was imagining that the same norm would hold for, say, Sanskrit or Pali.

    Comment by Manyul Im | November 28, 2011 | Reply

  3. I very much agree with Bill and Manyul that posts and comments on the blog should aim at being accessible to our English-speaking audience, though sometimes we’ve had some fairly technical discussions and these (I think) are also appropriate. I’m not so sure, though, about the wisdom of expanding the blog’s scope. It’s important to have a critical mass of authors, commentators, and lurkers who visit the site regularly enough, based on an expectation that there will be something here relevant to their personal or professional interests. I think we’ve been able to build and sustain that by aiming at a certain amount of breadth (e.g., not just classical Confucianism) but also a degree of focus (e.g., to-date Indian thought has come up only insofar as it relates to Chinese, or perhaps to broad issues of comparative philosophy methodology).

    I’m certainly not saying that we should never make any changes, and perhaps I could be convinced that a significant broadening of scope would make sense. But I’m a bit skeptical, and want us to keep in mind the need to continue to nurture what feels to me like a fragile, but important, community that we have collectively formed.

    Comment by Steve Angle | November 29, 2011 | Reply

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