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John Dewey, Confucius, and Global Philosophy

Joseph Grange, Roger T. Ames

Publication Year: 2004

Joseph Grange’s beautifully written book provides a unique synthesis of two major figures of world philosophy, John Dewey and Confucius, and points the way to a global philosophy based on American and Confucian values. Grange concentrates on the major themes of experience, felt intelligence, and culture to make the connections between these two giants of Western and Eastern thought. He explains why the Chinese called Dewey “A Second Confucius,” and deepens our understanding of Confucius’s concepts of the way (dao) of human excellence (ren). The important dimensions of American and Chinese cultural philosophy are welded into an argument that calls for the liberation of what is finest in both traditions. The work gives a new appreciation of fundamental issues facing Chinese and American relations and brings the opportunities and dangers of globalization into focus.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Title page, Copyright Page

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xii

As Joseph Grange insists throughout this present essay, in pursuing cultural understanding and accommodation between American and Chinese cultural sensibilities, there is quite simply no intelligent alternative to dialogue. And a dialogue to be meaningful requires a shared ground—an appreciation of continuities and differences ...

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pp. xiii-xviii

It is April 2001 as I write this preface and the words ricochet off the walls: “Apologize, regret, sorry, very sorry.” China and the United States are literally in a war of words that threatens to become something else. Jets and spy planes and world peace hang on the nuance of a word. How did it come to this? This book suggests an answer. ...

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Chapter One: Experience

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pp. 1-30

“Experience” is one of the most common words in our vocabulary. We say someone is experienced or we comment on how someone needs further experience. It is often used as a positive term and frequently connotes wisdom, superior skill and even a virtuous quality. As we say “Let’s give this task to a very experienced person.” ...

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Chapter Two: Felt Intelligence

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pp. 31-54

Of all the separations wounding contemporary culture none is more lethal than the split between the body and mind. It has become a permanent fixture of our intellectual landscape. The publication of Descartes’s Meditations (1650) marks its formal introduction into philosophical history, but Western thinkers have long harbored ...

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Chapter Three: Culture

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pp. 55-84

Western philosophy is characterized by its effort to identify those irreducible elements that lie at the base of reality. Thus Plato formulated his theory of ideas and Aristotle had his doctrine of substance and accidents. Dewey’s version of this search for the generic traits of existence is his insistence that a fundamental event resides at ...

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Chapter Four: “A Second Confucius”

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pp. 85-106

Our civilization is characterized by a devout belief in science as the most reliable way to discover truth. This belief is wedded to a commitment to technology as the way to make good on the findings of science. This has led to extraordinary advances in biogenetics, the neurosciences, medicine, space exploration, and new forms ...

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pp. 107-112

As the preface notes, this essay in comparative philosophy began in April 2001 at the height of the Chinese-American dispute over a spy plane. I write this epilog three months after the events of September 11, 2001. Things have changed and become worse. We are at war in a most unusual sense. In the contemporary age war has ...


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pp. 113-120

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 121-128

Chinese Glossary

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pp. 129-130


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pp. 131-135

E-ISBN-13: 9780791484876
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791461150
Print-ISBN-10: 0791461157

Page Count: 154
Publication Year: 2004