Download Ritual and Deference: Extending Chinese Philosophy in a by Robert Cummings Neville PDF

By Robert Cummings Neville

Brings Confucianism and Daoism into dialog with modern philosophy and the modern global scenario.

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Additional info for Ritual and Deference: Extending Chinese Philosophy in a Comparative Context (S U N Y Series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture)

Sample text

Because our cultures interact so vigorously, the question of the possibility of a tolerant pluralism of images of the good life has become urgent. My thesis here is that an approach to the good life can be devised that, on the one hand, respects cultural differences and, on the other hand, builds ways of integrating them into a process that aims at a rich world civilization. The resources for advancing this thesis come from Confucianism and American pragmatism, often with parallel ideas. First, however, I want to consider and reject three approaches to the good life that might seem good candidates to accomplish civilized integration while acknowledging cultural pluralism.

What parent of an adolescent can miss the difficulty? The tempting response to the problem is to find a theory or overall pattern by which the many desires properly suitable to a person and community can be integrated. Patterns are usually conceived to be static, however, with the result that appetitive behavior is forced into fixed forms that are inattentive to the constant shifts in the natural and social environment, as well as to the psychological and physical development of the individuals.

Underdetermined human nature can be determined greatly by the conventions of sign-shaped behavior; but that determination is still vague and needs individuation. Whereas individuation in Western philosophy has often been interpreted in terms of matter, or the haecceity of actualization, Xunzi’s approach is through the analogies of music. Tones are entirely specific, and the major tone in a song sets all the other relations. 25 Ritual in Xunzi 33 RITUAL AND DESIRE Xunzi opened his essay on ritual principles with the question of the origin of ritual, by which he meant its founding utility as well as its historical origin: what is ritual basically good for?

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