- Reply to Ralph Weber
I still believe that this is a debate about philology and philosophy, and Dr. Weber has not convinced me that Billeter is in any way more philosophical. “Framing” has always had a metaphorical character and its only purpose is to highlight some (certainly subjective) points. They are subjective especially since they echo (as I explain) my personal observations of how philosophy is often dealt with today within the larger field of the human sciences. Weber’s question “Which China is Jullien actually talking about?” is precisely one of those questions that philosophers are asked by those more empirically minded humanists. I try to make clear that within certain abstract, philosophical contexts, such questions have less importance. It is thus not very useful to point out that the frame does not always fit in a literal sense. The frame could have been called “empirical versus speculative” (speculatio being the Latin translation of theoria), which would have eliminated references to concrete events in the history of philosophy.
It is also true that Jullien has attempted to design his own methodology, which he wants at times to push beyond the limits of the traditional “comparative” program, but seen through a wider and international lens Jullien’s writings still overlap very much with comparative philosophy.
The purpose of my comment was not to give grades to Billeter and Jullien and evaluate their merits in sinology, but to draw attention to a problem that concerns philosophy and the humanities in general. [End Page 237]