literature · synopses
Two Roads to Wisdom? Chinese and Analytic Philosophical Traditions.
Peru, IL: Open Court, 2001.
Open Court Publishing:
In Two Roads to Wisdom the question about the similarities and differences between philosophical analysis in Chinese philosophy and in the western tradition is discussed in four parts. The first section is about philosophy in general – its methodology (Nicholas Rescher), also combined with the practices of philosophising (Robert Cummings Neville), its application (Adam Morton) and the art of its acquisition (Lik Kuen Tong).
Part two develops the methodological perspectives of the relationship between Chinese philosophy and philosophical analysis. The section starts off with hermeneutical questions (Chung-ying Cheng and Shu-hsien Liu), wheras questions about analysis in classical China (D.L. Hall) and the relationship to semiotics (You-zheng Li) follow.
Three test cases are discussed in the third section: metaphysical and moral transcendence in Chinese thought (Chad Hansen), the question about the self and the formation of the self in early Confucianism (Kwong-loi Shun) and, in the form of the »three dogmas« of New Confucianism, theses about the unity of heaven and humans (Yiu-ming Fung).
The final section is devoted to methodological questions about comparative philosophy, including the »myth« behind such philosophy (Robert E. Allison), an »Aristotelian method« for saving the phenomena (Ji-yuan Yu and Nicholas Bunnin), the comparison between Mencius and Augustine regarding the question of evil (Bryan Van Norden) and the analysis of the structure of philosophical methodology (Bo Mou).
Whichever philosophical traditions are compared, the aim of the comparison is not to reach uniformity but a consciousness of diversity, as Donald Davidson emphasises in his foreword: