Warp, Weft, and Way

A Group Blog of Chinese and Comparative Philosophy

Another Recent Dissertation: Chai on Ontology and Cosmology in Zhuangzi

Here is anther recent dissertation in Chinese philosophy, posted with permission. David has already published articles on Ji Kang and on Xuanxue, and will be presenting papers at the Eastern and Central APAs on topics ranging from “Ziqi and Yan Hui on Forgetting” to “Heidegger’s Lichtung in Light of Daoism” to “Being and the Abyss: Heidegger’s Leap into Daoist Nothingness.” 

Title: Nothingness, Being, and Dao: Ontology and Cosmology in the Zhuangzi
Author: David Chai (david.chai@utoronto.ca)
Defended: February 2012
Institution: University of Toronto, Canada (Dept. of East Asian Studies)
Supervisor: Vincent Shen Continue reading

October 21, 2012 Posted by | Daoism, Dissertation, Metaphysics | Leave a comment

Poetic Metaphysics of the Dao De Jing

Another in a series of posts by guest blogger Joel Dietz, discussing the metaphysical doctrine of the Dao De Jing. Please address comments to him.

There is a natural relationship between metaphysics and “esoteric” subjects, insofar as metaphysics generally claims to discuss reality in a way that is not perceived by every human being, including often elusive topics such as “God/godhead” or various types of “essence.” It also has a natural relationship with aesthetics, insofar as metaphysical claims are frequently made as a part of artistic creation and evaluation. These frequently introduce a qualitative difference between different artistic works, as exhibited by the famous quip of Mahler, “There was only Beethoven and Richard [Wagner] – and after them, nobody.”

Continue reading

July 26, 2012 Posted by | Daodejing, Daoism, Metaphysics | Leave a comment

Billioud’s Book Thinking Through Confucian Modernity Published

Sebastien Billioud (University of Paris)’s Thinking Through Confucian Modernity: A Study of Mou Zongsan’s Moral Metaphysics has just been published by Brill, as part of the impressive (albeit expensive) series on modern Chinese philosophy edited by John Makeham. Congratulations!

December 4, 2011 Posted by | Books of Interest, Metaphysics, Modern Chinese Philosophy, Mou Zongsan | Leave a comment

Taijiquan, Daoist Metaphysics, and Practice

I often wonder about the connections—or lack thereof—between some interesting and potentially mind-blowing metaphysical claim and what might be called (although I don’t like the phrase) “real life.”  Lately, that wonder has been directed toward ways in which training in a practice such as taijiquan that at least purports to be meaningfully Daoist might inform and be informed by academic study of Daoist metaphysics.

I’ve had a bunch of different taijiquan teachers over the years.  Some of them were widely read about Chinese culture and history.  Others, not so much.  For whatever it’s worth, only one them—my first taijiquan teacher, who taught Yang family style in Chapel Hill back in the late 90’s—was Chinese, and though I never found out how well-read he was, I have come to appreciate how deeply knowledgeable that old man was about both taijiquan and Chinese traditions.  I feel like I learned a great deal from some of my teachers and that I managed to learn a bit less from others, but I’m grateful to all of them for offering me something important, and I suspect that I could have learned more from each and every one of them than I did, had I understood how to be a better student.  In each case, the teacher taught with sincerity.

As I’ve tried to learn taijiquan, I’ve had various moments when I’ve had the opportunity to think about the connections between the practice I was learning and the Chinese philosophy I work on academically.  Let me share two such incidents. Continue reading

October 1, 2011 Posted by | Chinese philosophy, Daoism, Metaphysics, Taoism | , , , , , | 8 Comments

Chinese Metaphysics and Epistemology Conference Report

A conference on Chinese metaphysics and epistemology, held at Renmin University in Beijing and co-sponsofred by the ACPA, has concluded and JeeLoo Liu, president of the ACPA, has a report on the conference in the current issue of the on-line monthly The Reasoner (see p. 125).

July 27, 2010 Posted by | Conference, Epistemology, Metaphysics | Leave a comment

   

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