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Journal of Japanese Philosophy

Vol. 1 (2013) through current issue

The first international, peer-reviewed journal of Japanese philosophy.

Interest in Japanese philosophy has grown throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and this first international peer-reviewed journal serves to both develop these traditions of thought and enhance worldwide awareness of them and the resources they offer. The Journal of Japanese Philosophy is devoted to scholarly engagement with a wide range of philosophical texts and discourses, and aims to demonstrate the relevance of Japanese philosophizing for all fields of contemporary thought. All periods and areas of Japanese philosophy, classical to contemporary, as well as interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, and comparative studies are highlighted.

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K'ung-ts'ung-tzu

The K'ung Family Masters' Anthology

Yoav Ariel

In analyzing evidence indicating that K'ung-ts'ung-tzu was a forgery, Yoav Ariel questions current views of the Confucian school in the time between the Sage's death in the fifth century B.C. and the emergence in the eleventh century of Neo-Confucianism. The text, traditionally ascribed to a descendant of Confucius, K'ung Fu (264-208 B.C.), provides a setting for a series of philosophical debates between K'ung family members and representatives of such non-Confucian schools as Legalism, Mohism, and the School of Names. However, finding that this text was probably fabricated by the controversial Confucian master, Wang Su (A.D. 195-256), Ariel explains how it sheds light on the third-century philosophical milieu: Confucianism then is seen to have been not only Taoistically metaphysical, individualistic, and escapist, but also aggressive in advocating early Confucian values.

The first part of Ariel's book deals with the general characteristics, history, dating, authenticity, and authorship of the text. The second part is a fully annotated and analyzed translation of the first of the two traditional volumes that constitute the K'ung-ts'ung-tzu.

Originally published in 1989.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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The Kyoto School

An Introduction

Robert E. Carter

An accessible discussion of the thought of key figures of the Kyoto School of Japanese philosophy.

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Language in Indian Philosophy and Religion

Edited and Introduced by Harold G. Coward

The papers published in this volume were originally read and discussed at a three day seminar sponsored by the Canadian Society for the Study of Religion/Societie Canadienne des Sciences Religieuses at Laval University, Quebec City, Quebec, May 28th to 30th, 1976. This seminar served the important function of bringing together the majority of the Canadian scholars who specialize in Indian Philosophy and Religion. The topic, Language was chosen a year earlier so that advance study on a common theme could be undertaken by all who participated. Some thirty professors, as well as a few senior graduate students, engaged in the discussion. An additional and important feature of the seminar was that since it was held during the Learned Societies meetings, a number of Western scholars with an interest in language were able to listen in to the thinking of their Eastern colleagues. This provided the basis for some interesting and informed dialogue.

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Learning to Emulate the Wise

The Genesis of Chinese Philosophy as an Academic Discipline in Twentieth-Century China

Edited by John Makeham

Learning to Emulate the Wise is the first book of a three-volume series that constructs a historically informed, multidisciplinary framework to examine how traditional Chinese knowledge systems and grammars of knowledge construction interacted with Western paradigms in the formation and development of modern academic disciplines in China. Within this volume, John Makeham and several other noted sinologists and philosophers explore how the field of "Chinese philosophy" (Zhongguo Zhexue) was born and developed in the early decades of the twentieth century, examining its growth and relationship with European, American, and Japanese scholarship and philosophy. The work discusses an array of representative institutions and individuals, including FengYoulan, Fu Sinian, Hu Shi, Jin Yuelin, Liang Shuming, Nishi Amane, Tang Yongtong, Xiong Shili, Zhang Taiyan, and a range of Marxist philosophers. The epilogue discusses the intellectual-historical significance of these figures and throws into relief how Zhongguozhexue is understood today.

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Letting Go

translated and with an introduction by Peter Haskel

Of the many eccentric figures in Japanese Zen, the Soto Zen master Tosui Unkei (d. 1683) is surely among the most colorful and extreme. Variously compared to Ryokan and Francis of Assisi, Tosui has been called "the original hippie." After many grueling years of Zen study and the sanction of a distinguished teacher, Tosui abandoned the religious establishment and became a drifter. The arresting details of Tosui's life were recorded in the Tribute (Tosui osho densan), a lively and colloquial account written by the celebrated scholar and Soto Zen master Menzan Zuiho. Menzan concentrates on Tosui's years as a beggar and laborer, recounting episodes from an unorthodox life while at the same time opening a new window on seventeenth-century Japan. The Tribute is translated here for the first time, accompanied by woodblock prints commissioned for the original 1768 edition. Peter Haskel's introduction places Tosui in the context of the Japanese Zen of his period--a time when the identities of early modern Zen schools were still being formed and a period of spiritual crisis for many distinguished monks who believed that the authentic Zen transmission had long ceased to exist. A biographical addendum offers a detailed overview of Tosui's life in light of surviving premodern sources.

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Levinas and Asian Thought

edited by Leah Kalmanson, Frank Garrett & Sarah Mattice

While influential works have been devoted to comparative studies of various Asian philosophies and continental philosophers such as Nietzsche, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Derrida, this collection is the first to fully treat the increased interest in intercultural and interdisciplinary studies related to the work of Emmanuel Levinas in such a context. Levinas and Asian Thought seeks to discover common ground between Levinas’s ethical project and various religious and philosophical traditions of Asia such as Mahāyāna Buddhism, Theravādic Buddhism, Vedism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Islam. In these 13 essays, contributors draw on resources as diverse as the self-sacrificial ethic of bushidō, Islamic jurisprudence, and contemporary research in cognitive science. The essays are organized around three primary themes of enduring ethical, political, and religious importance. The first set of essays considers a dialogue between Levinasian and Asian accounts of the self, others, and the intersubjective relationship. Through a conversation with a variety of non-Western traditions, the second group of essays addresses the question of Levinas’s extreme portrayal of the self’s responsibility to the other and its potential limits. Finally, the collection ends with essays that utilize Asian thought and culture to consider ways in which Levinas’s ethics of alterity might be put into practice in the sphere of politics, social norms, and institutions. Levinas and Asian Thought is not only a comprehensive attempt to bring Levinas into conversation with the philosophies of Asia, but it also represents a focused effort to recognize, address, and overcome Levinas’s own Eurocentrism. Overall, the thoughtful investigations collected here chart new territory, pushing Levinas’s practice of philosophy outside its familiar European and Jewish contexts, expanding our understanding of key Levinasian terms, thus furthering the thinking necessary for ethics as first philosophy. This volume will be of interest to a wide range of scholars and students, as it builds connections among Levinas studies, Asian philosophy, comparative philosophy, continental philosophy, and ethics.

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Li Zhi, Confucianism, and the Virtue of Desire

A philosophical analysis of the work of one of the most iconoclastic thinkers in Chinese history, Li Zhi, whose ethics prized spontaneous expression of genuine feelings.

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Living Zen Remindfully

Retraining Subconscious Awareness

James H. Austin, M.D.

This is a book for readers who want to probe more deeply into mindfulness. It goes beyond the casual, once-in-awhile meditation in popular culture, grounding mindfulness in daily practice, Zen teachings, and recent research in neuroscience. In Living Zen Remindfully, James Austin, author of the groundbreaking Zen and the Brain, describes authentic Zen training—the commitment to a process of regular, ongoing daily life practice. This training process enables us to unlearn unfruitful habits, develop more wholesome ones, and lead a more genuinely creative life. Austin shows that mindfulness can mean more than our being conscious of the immediate “now.” It can extend into the subconscious, where most of our brain’s activities take place, invisibly. Austin suggests ways that long-term meditative training helps cultivate the hidden, affirmative resource of our unconscious memory. Remindfulness, as Austin terms it, can help us to adapt more effectively and to live more authentic lives. Austin discusses different types of meditation, meditation and problem-solving, and the meaning of enlightenment. He addresses egocentrism (self-centeredness) and allocentrism (other-centeredness), and the blending of focal and global attention. He explains the remarkable processes that encode, store, and retrieve our memories, focusing on the covert, helpful remindful processes incubating at subconscious levels. And he considers the illuminating confluence of Zen, clinical neurology, and neuroscience. Finally, he describes an everyday life of “living Zen,” drawing on the poetry of Basho, the seventeenth-century haiku master.

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Master Sorai's Responsals

An Annotated Translation of Sorai Sensei Tomonsho

Samuel H. Yamashita

Master Sorai's Responsals was to eighteenth-century Japan what The Prince was to Renaissance Italy. Like Machiavelli, Ogyu Sorai (1666-1728) was a humanist scholar who served a prince (one of the shogun's chief lieutenants) and drew on his experiences as a house philosopher and on his vast knowledge of history and political affairs in his work. In 1720, when he began to write the letters that comprise this text, the Tokugawa regime was more than a hundred years old and beset with grave administrative and fiscal problems, about which Sorai had much to say.Samuel Yamashita's impressive translation of this work offers modern readers a rare glimpse of the prevailing political discourse of the day and the specific concepts that rulers had at their disposal as they struggled to manage their domains, find talented men for their bureaucracies, create new sources of revenue, and keep their subjects well fed and happy.Sorai himself, of course, is a presence in the text. He is by tunes earnest, frank, impatient, utterly confident, and occasionally condescending. Unlike his Renaissance counterpart, he is something of an optimist: he was convinced that the introduction of archaic Chinese culture and institutions to Japan would solve its myriad problems.Well-versed in Chinese history, philosophy, religion, medicine, and belles lettres, Sorai holds forth on everything from archaic Chinese divination to Sung poetry and prose. He offers advice on how to become a Confucian gentleman, how to learn to read classical Chinese, and which books to read and which to avoid. He even discusses his belief in a sentient, Chinese-style "heaven," a topic not well understood by modern scholars. Long regarded as one of Sorai's best works, Master Sorai's Reponsals bristles with the sharp and clear opinions of the most influential thinker of Tokugawa Japan.

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