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The Ivory Tower and the Marble Citadel

Essays on Political Philosophy in Our Modern Era of Interacting Cultures

By Thomas A. Metzger

Publication Year: 2012

The Ivory Tower and the Marble Citadel opens up a new way of pursuing the critical development of political philosophy in today’s intercultural intellectual arena. Metzger holds that political philosophies are linguistically unavoidable efforts to infer the principles of morally legitimate government from a maximally enlightened conceptualization of the universal human condition. Because these efforts depend on a vocabulary embodying culturally inherited premises, textual analysis uncovering these premises and debate about how they should be revised are crucial for the improvement of political philosophy.

Published by: Chinese University Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 1-4


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pp. 5-6


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pp. vii-xv

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pp. xvii-xxiii

In this book I continue my effort in A Cloud Across the Pacific: Essays on the Clash between Chinese and Western Political Theories Today (2005) to understand the political philosophies produced by modern Chinese thought, putting them into sociological context by noting their causal relationship with paideia (socialization, education, propaganda) and so, in the long term, with political life; putting them into historical context by emphasizing the ...

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1. Introduction: Political Rationality and the Uncovering of Culturally Inherited Premises

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pp. 1-223

Fate has certainly been kinder to me than I deserve, but like many old persons, I think much about matters I regard as distressing, and it is these dark thoughts that have motivated the preparation of this book. These thoughts center on two parts of the world that have greatly benefited me: the U.S., which blessed me with enormous opportunities after I arrived here in 1941 as a Jewish ...

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2. The Problem of Factual and Normative Continuity with the Confucian Tradition in Modern Chinese Thought

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pp. 225-273

It is a great honor for me to return to my alma mater to help celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of a research institute that has been so central to one of the great chapters of American intellectual history and global sinology, namely the development at Harvard, brought about especially by John K. Fairbank and the equally incomparable L. S. Yang, of a new and fruitful approach to the study of China. ...

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3. Selfhood and Authority in Neo-Confucian Political Culture

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pp. 275-303

Despite much emphasis on the interplay of class interests, many scholars continue to believe that cultural orientations have greatly influenced the development of Chinese society in premodern and modern times. There is also a considerable consensus that despite China’s cultural heterogeneity, a single, tradition-rooted set of shared orientations has been extremely widespread and has played ...

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4. Confucian Thought and the Modern Chinese Quest for Moral Autonomy

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pp. 305-346

The relation between the Confucian tradition and modernization was first turned into a central intellectual problem when Chang Chih-tung (1837–1909) put forward his famous formula in 1898, “Chinese learning for the foundation, Western learning for instrumental adaptation” (Chung-hsueh wei t’i, hsi-hsueh wei yung). Gradually thereafter, there was an increasing tendency for Chinese ...

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5. Interpreting the Hermeneutic Turn: A “Neo-Hegelian” Critique of Hans-Georg Gadamer’s Hermeneutic Philosophy and of Liu Xiao-gan’s Critique of It

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pp. 347-443

Writing this essay about Liu Xiao-gan’s 2009 book on Chinese and hermeneutical philosophy1 has been an extraordinarily time-consuming and rewarding task, because this erudite, formidable, brilliant, and provocative study advances exploration of an exceedingly complex problem: how philosophy can help Chinese form a pattern of “inner” values (what Mou Zong-san called ...

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6. Mou Zong-san and the Four Premises: Putting His Political Philosophy into Critical Perspective

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pp. 445-508

Much influenced by the Great Modern Western Epistemological Revolution (GMWER) and its hermeneutic turn as discussed in chs. I and V, this book regards as a major, open question that of how to philosophize in our modern era of interacting cultures. Philosophizing, as I see it, is pursuing an enlightened understanding of an object that is metaphysical in that it cannot ...

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7. How Serious Is the Divergence between Western Liberalism and the Political Logic of Chinese Civilization? A Critique of Stephen C. Angle’s Human Rights and Chinese Thought: A Cross-Cultural Inquiry1

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pp. 509-534

The currently rising tide of Moslem hostility to the doings of the U.S. and its allies has various causes and was not necessarily inevitable, but it cannot but make one take seriously Samuel P. Huntington’s seminal book about the persisting divergences between the world’s major cultural complexes. Conversely, it cannot but make one react with some sadness and skepticism to the title of Alex Inkeles’s 1998 ...

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8. The Contemporary Predicament of Political Philosophy East and West: The Epistemological Implications of Culture

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pp. 535-607

As illustrated by the publications of Leo Strauss and his school, the idea of “political philosophy” in modern times has usually been applied to many famous, mostly Western writings ranging from those of Thucydides (c. 460–c. 400 B.C.) and Plato (427–347 B.C.) to those of John Locke (1632–1704), Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712– 1778), John Stuart Mill (1806–1873), and even Martin Heidegger ...

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9. Limited Distrust of Reason as a Prerequisite of Cultural Convergence: Weighing Professor Lao Sze-kwang’s Concept of the Divergence between “The Confucian Intellectual Tradition” and “Modern Culture”1

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pp. 609-666

A central feature today of the intellectual scene east and west continues to be the dialogue between Alex Inkeles, with his thesis of the increasing “convergence” of all modernizing societies, and Samuel P. Huntington, with his emphasis on the persisting divergences between culturally different civilizations.2 Undoubtedly referring to an important aspect of global history, the thesis of ...

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10. In Defense of Political Philosophy: Responding to Some Recent Remarks by Professor Donald J. Munro

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pp. 667-682

So graciously phrased, Professor Donald J. Munro’s challenging response (Zhong-guo zhe-xue yu wen-hua, vol. 4) to my critique of some of Professor Lao Sze-kwang’s thought (Zhong-guo zhe-xue yu wen-hua, vol. 3) does not take issue with the premise shared by Professor Lao and me, namely that humankind, divided as it is into a number of nations or civilizations with diverging ...

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11. The Cunning of Unreason in the Ivory Tower as well as the Marble Citadel: A Review of John Dunn’s Setting the People Free: The Story of Democracy

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pp. 683-706

Professor of political theory at the University of Cambridge, John Dunn is a famous, brilliant scholar with an extraordinary talent for producing highly readable, aesthetically enticing prose. His many books, so far as I can see, have developed the most thoughtprovoking assessment of Western modernity since Max Weber’s. Yet his work has more often been either innocently admired or ...

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12. Overdosing on Iconoclasm: A Review of Sam Harris, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason1

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pp. 707-715

Except for the superficiality of its closing pages on Eastern mysticism, Harris’s 2004 book is an unusually interesting one full of remarkably fresh formulations challenging beliefs prevalent in the liberal West. One of its strengths lies in the statistics with which it notes what is often brushed aside, namely, the fact that the modern era is not an age of secularization, because most of the world’s ...

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13. Rethinking U.S.-Chinese Relations (2007)

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pp. 717-729

Many today pondering U.S.-Chinese relations worry about problems that in fact are probably manageable, such as the trade deficit, intellectual property, the continuing tension between Beijing and Taipei, balance in the relations between the U.S., Japan, and China, peace on the Korean peninsula, and respect for international law in the ocean area off China’s south-east coast. ...

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14. Understanding the Taiwan Experience: An Historical Perspective (1989)

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pp. 731-758

Three main views about Taiwan’s historical development are currently prominent. One is prevalent in American and West European scholarly circles. It has been summed up by America’s most prominent China scholar, John K. Fairbank.1 He holds that Taiwan is part of China, but only a peripheral part. In 1949, it became “the island refuge of the defeated Nationalists,” that is, ...

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15. Acknowledgments and Advertisements: A 1994 Self-Appraisal

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pp. 759-774

Richard Kluckhohn died some years ago. He was an anthropologist, a very dynamic and distinctive person. It’s a different world without him. He was a close friend of mine since the 1940s, when we both were in the fourth grade at Shady Hill, a well-known “progressive” school in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was from Dick that I, absolutely incredulous, first learned about the mechanics of sexual ...

Glossary and Index

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pp. 775-795

E-ISBN-13: 9789629969110
Print-ISBN-13: 9789629964887

Page Count: 820
Illustrations: N
Publication Year: 2012