B R I A N       B R U Y A








New Life for Old Ideas
New Life for Old Ideas: Chinese Philosophy in the Contemporary World, A Festschrift in Honour of Donald J. Munro
co-edited with Yanming An
Chinese University of Hong Kong Press, 2019

Advances in both the science and theory of wisdom have made it possible to create sound wisdom curricula and test them in the classroom. This article is a report of one such attempt. We developed a curriculum consistent with theories of wisdom that espouse the following five methods: challenge beliefs; prompt the articulation of values; encourage self-development; encourage self-reflection; and groom the moral emotions—facilitated by the reading of narrative or didactic texts and fostering a community of inquiry. The texts used in class were the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, the Analects of Confucius, and the Dhammapada (along with some early Buddhist suttas). The requirements were reading the texts, writing reflection journals, active participation in class, and a personal philosophy of life summary. In this article, we explain each of these requirements, relate our particular methods to the more general methods, and speculate about how these methods may develop specific wisdom capacities.

Fostering Wisdom Part 1 Fostering Wisdom in the Classroom, Part 2: A Curriculum
co-authored with Monika Ardelt
Teaching Philosophy, Vol. 41, Issue 4 (Dec. 2018)

Advances in both the science and theory of wisdom have made it possible to create sound wisdom curricula and test them in the classroom. This article is a report of one such attempt. We developed a curriculum consistent with theories of wisdom that espouse the following five methods: challenge beliefs; prompt the articulation of values; encourage self-development; encourage self-reflection; and groom the moral emotions—facilitated by the reading of narrative or didactic texts and fostering a community of inquiry. The texts used in class were the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, the Analects of Confucius, and the Dhammapada (along with some early Buddhist suttas). The requirements were reading the texts, writing reflection journals, active participation in class, and a personal philosophy of life summary. In this article, we explain each of these requirements, relate our particular methods to the more general methods, and speculate about how these methods may develop specific wisdom capacities.

Fostering Wisdom Part
Fostering Wisdom in the Classroom, Part 1: A General Theory of Wisdom Pedagogy
co-authored with Monika Ardelt
Teaching Philosophy, Vol. 41, Issue 3 (Sept. 2018)

This article reviews the literature on theories of wisdom pedagogy and abstracts out a single theory of how to foster wisdom in formal education. The fundamental methods of wisdom education are found to be: challenge beliefs; prompt the articulation of values; encourage self-development; encourage self-reflection; and groom the moral emotions. These five methods of wisdom pedagogy rest on two facilitating methods: read narrative or didactic texts and foster a community of inquiry. This article is companion to two further articles, one on a practical wisdom curriculum and the other on a study of wisdom growth in college students.

Frontiers in Psychology Is Attention Really Effort? Revisiting Daniel Kahneman's Influential 1973 Book Attention and Effort
co-authored with Yi-Yuan Tang
Frontiers in Psychology, 2018

Daniel Kahneman was not the first to suggest that attention and effort are closely associated, but his 1973 book Attention and Effort, which claimed that attention can be identified with effort, cemented the association as a research paradigm in the cognitive sciences. Since then, the paradigm has rarely been questioned and appears to have set the research agenda so that it is self-reinforcing. In this article, we retrace Kahneman's argument to understand its strengths and weaknesses. The central notion of effort is not clearly defined in the book, so we proceed by constructing the most secure inferences we can from Kahneman's argument regarding effort: it is cognitive, objective, metabolic expenditure, and it is attention. Continuing, we find from Kahneman's argument that effort-attention must be a special case of sympathetic dominance of the autonomic nervous system that is also an increase in metabolic activity in the brain that has crossed a threshold of magnitude. We then weigh this conception of effort against evidence in Kahneman's book and against more recent evidence, finding that it does not warrant the conclusion that effort can be equated with attention. In support of an alternative perspective, we briefly review diverse studies of behavior, physiology and neuroscience on attention and effort, including meditation and studies of the LC-NE system, where we find evidence for the following: 1) Attention seems to be associated not with the utilization of metabolic resources per se but with the readying of metabolic resources in the form of adaptive gain modulation. This occurs under sympathetic dominance and can be experienced as effortful. 2) Attention can also occur under parasympathetic dominance, in which case it is likely experienced as effortless.

Learning and Instruction
Wisdom Can Be Taught: A Proof-of-Concept Study for Fostering Wisdom in the Classroom
co-authored with Monika Ardelt
Learning and Instruction
, Vol. 58 (2018)

We undertook a short-term longitudinal study to test whether a set of methods common to current theories of wisdom transmission can foster wisdom in students in a measurable way. The three-dimensional wisdom scale (3D-WS) was administered to 131 students in five wisdom-promoting introductory philosophy courses and 176 students in seven introductory philosophy and psychology control courses at the beginning and end of the semester. The experimental group was divided in two (“Wisdom 1” and “Wisdom 2”), and each was taught a distinct curriculum consistent with theories of wisdom education. Results of repeated measures MANOVA showed that over the course of the semester average 3D-WS scores decreased in the control classes, stayed the same in the Wisdom 1 classes, and increased in the Wisdom 2 classes. To our knowledge, this is the first time that a wisdom curriculum has been demonstrated to increase wisdom in a traditional higher education setting.

PEW Cover Ethnocentrism and Multiculturalism in Contemporary Philosophy
Philosophy East and West, Vol. 67, No. 4 (2017)

A case is made here for diversifying philosophy with regard to subject matter. First, a generic model of an innate human tendency toward ethnocentrism is described. Second, the ultimate advantage of diversity in the kinds of problem solving that philosophers do is demonstrated. Third, it is shown how mutliculturalism yields this kind of diversity. Fourth, it is shown how micromotives biased by ethnocentrism in philosophy currently hinder diversification in philosophy. Finally, ways are suggested of overcoming ethnocentric forces in favor of multicultural diversity.

Frontiers in Psychology Mechanisms of Mind-Body Interaction and Optimal Performance co-authored with Yi-Yuan Tang
Frontiers in Psychology, Vol. 8 (May 2017)

Based on recent findings, we propose a framework for a relationship among attention, effort and optimal performance. Optimal performance often refers to an effortless and automatic, flow-like state of performance. Mindfulness regulates the focus of attention to optimal focus on the core component of the action, avoiding too much attention that could be detrimental for elite performance. Balanced attention is a trained state that can optimize any particular attentional activity on the dual-process spectrum.

Appearance and Reality in The Philosophical Gourmet Report: Why the Discrepancy Matters to the Profession of Philosophy
Metaphilosophy, Vol. 46, Nos. 4-5 (2015)

This article is a data-driven critique of The Philosophical Gourmet Report (PGR), the most institutionally influential publication in the field of Anglophone philosophy. The PGR is influential because it is perceived to be of high value. The article demonstrates that the actual value of the PGR, in its current form, is not nearly as high as it is assumed to be and that the PGR is, in fact, detrimental to the profession. The article lists and explains five objections to the methods and methodology of the report. Taken together, the objections demonstrate that the report is severely flawed, failing to provide the information it purports to and damaging the profession overall. Finally, the article explains how several modifications may improve the PGR so that it can more legitimately and equitably play the role it already plays.


The Tacit Rejection of Multiculturalism in American Philosophy Ph.D. Programs
Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy, Vol. 14, No. 3 (2015), 369-389

At the confluence of the philosophy of education and social/political philosophy lies the question of how we should educate the next generation of philosophy professors.  Part of the question involves how broad such an education should be in order to educate teachers with the ability to, themselves, educate citizens competent to function in a diverse, globalized world.  As traditional Western education systems from elementary schools through universities have embraced multicultural sources over the last few decades, philosophy Ph.D. programs have bucked this trend, clinging tightly to traditional Western sources and problems.  While this claim will come as no surprise to those working in the field, there is little published evidence or discussion of the tacit rejection of multiculturalism by philosophy Ph.D. programs, and few people outside the field realize how Eurocentric these programs remain.  This article provides evidence and discussion of this fact, focusing on the case of Chinese philosophy in American Ph.D. programs.

Philosophical Challenge from China
The Philosophical Challenge from China
MIT Press, 2015

This collection of new articles brings together major scholars working at the intersection of traditional Chinese philosophy and mainstream analytic philosophy.  For some 2,500 years, China's best minds have pondered the human condition, and yet their ideas are almost entirely ignored by mainstream philosophers and philosophy programs.  The proposed volume is intended to take a step in remedying that situation by directing sinological resources to current topics in philosophy and doing so in a manner that speaks to practicing philosophers.  Contributions  draw on a variety of sources across the Chinese tradition, from early Daoists and Confucians, to mid-imperial Buddhists and Neo-Confucians, right up to 20th Century philosophers.   Some of the contemporary or recent philosophers whose works are discussed or challenged in this volume include Susan Wolf, Simon Blackburn, Jesse Prinz, Shaun Gallagher, Nel Noddings,  John Rawls, Peter Singer, Stephen Buckle, Elizabeth Anscombe, Bernard Williams, Thomas Nagel, Graham Priest, Gilbert Ryle, W. V. Quine, Ernest Sosa, Harry Frankfurt, and David Velleman. 

Contributors: Stephen C. Angle, Tongdong Bai, Brian Bruya, Steven Geisz, Owen Flanagan, Stephen Hetherington, P. J. Ivanhoe, Karyn Lai, Bo Mou, Donald Munro, Hagop Sarkissian, Bongrae Seok, Kwong-loi Shun, David B. Wong, Brook Ziporyn

“Bruya’s well-designed collection, which brings together many of the leading scholars in Chinese philosophy, offers a wide-ranging and persuasive account of how Chinese philosophy can be a resource for addressing current controversies in analytic philosophy. No other anthology can present a better showcase of the contemporary relevance and vitality of Chinese philosophy than this collection.”
Joseph Chan, University of Hong Kong, author of Confucian Perfectionism: A Political Philosophy for Modern Times

"Bring[s] the current philosophical discussion to a higher level."

Hans Van Eyghen, Comparative Philosophy

“Academic philosophy is gradually waking up from its dogmatic slumber and recognizing not only the existence of non-Western philosophical traditions, but also the fact that these traditions have very important things to say. This impressive volume explores the many dimensions of Chinese philosophy and how it bears on ancient philosophical questions, contemporary cognitive science, and contemporary political and ethical concerns. A must-read for anyone interested in philosophy in the twenty-first century.”
Edward Slingerland, Professor of Asian Studies, Canada Research Chair, University of British Columbia and author of Trying Not to Try

Philosophical Challenge from China
Action without Agency and Natural Human Action: Resolving a Double Paradox
The Philosophical Challenge from China, 2015

In the philosophy of action, it is generally understood that action presupposes an agent performing or guiding the action.  Action is also generally understood as distinct form the kind of motion that happens in nature.  Together these common perspectives on action rule out both action without agency and natural action.  And yet, there are times when action can seem qualitatively both natural and lacking a sense of agency.  Recently, David Velleman, referring to work by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Zhuangzi, has considered the possibility of agency without agency.  In this chapter, I build on Velleman's work and posit the notion of self-organization (which in the natural sciences serves as the basis for many familiar kinds of motion in nature) to also serve as the basis for human behavior.  If action is a variety of behavior, conceiving of human behavior as fundamentally an instance of self-organization unifies human action with nature from the beginning and allows us to conceptualize the possibility of human action without presupposing the necessity of agency.  I go on to entertain three types of human behavior in which the sense of agency is significantly absent and which progressively qualify as action. 


Review of Bongrae Seok's Embodied Moral Psychology and Confucian Philosophy
Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy, 2014

Bongrae Seok is one of the few philosophers working today who has an extensive background in cognitive science and is able to bring that knowledge to bear on issues in Chinese philosophy.  This book under review is a showcase of his talent and insight.

CR What Is Self-Consciousness?
Labirinti della mente: Visioni del mondo, edited by Grazia Marchiano, 2012

Current theories of self-consciousness tend to view self-consciousness as a necessary feature of consciousness: consciousness=awareness of being conscious=self-awareness=self-consciousness. If not an outright error, this way of thinking is at best imprecise.  This article attempts to define self-consciousness, isolating and explaining seven key steps, then examining what it would mean, under this description, to be conscious without being self-conscious.  The seven steps are: 1) functional awareness of the self as a person, 2) awareness of an event or circumstance in the world, 3) awareness that the event is not causally isolated, 4) inference that the event may impinge on one's person, 5) inference that the effect of the event on one's person may have a normative valence with respect to one's person, 6) inference that the normative valence may be significant, 7) inference from (1) and (6) that the effect on one's person will be an effect on one's self.  A lapse in any one of these steps precludes self-consciousness from occurring.  

Journal of
                        Chinese Philosophy & Culture
倫 理、推理與 經驗科學 [Ethics, Reasoning, and Empirical Science]
Special Editor, The Journal of Chinese Philosophy and Culture, No. 9, 2011
Contributors: David B. Wong, Edward Slingerland, Brian Bruya, Hagop Sarkissian

In this special section of the journal, authors were selected who had published work in English on the relevance of empirical science to issues in Chinese philosophy.  Their work was translated into Chinese for a Chinese readership.  The pieces selected were David Wong's "Reasons and Analogical Reasoning in Mengzi,"  (from Liu and Ivanhoe, Essays  on the Moral Philosophy of Mengzi), Edward Slingerland's "Toward and Empirically Responsible Ethics: Cognitive Science, Virtue Ethics, and Effortless Attention in Early Chinese Thought" (from Bruya, Effortless Attention), Brian Bruya's "The Cognitive Science of Wu Wei" (see below), and Hagop Sarkissian's "Minor Tweaks, Major Payoffs: The Problems and Promise of Situationism in Moral Philosophy" (Philosopher's Imprint, vol. 10, no. 9).

Journal of
                        Chinese Philosophy & Culture
' 无为' 的认知科学研究 (The Cognitive Science of Wu Wei)
Journal of Chinese Philosophy and Culture, No. 9, 2011

认 知科学对 人类大脑和行为的研究,能有助我们更细致精妙地了解 早期中国思想中
“无为”这个常见的人类行为。早期中国典籍中对“无为”的含蓄描述,亦同时可以令我们更 明白当代认知心理学在理论上、预设上的限制,以及可行的出路。本文将沿着上述的两个方向发挥。文章的第一部分,根据 《庄子》里与“无 为 ”行为有关的主要篇章,为“无为”的内容分类。“无为”可分为 “完整性 ”(wholeness) 和“流畅性”(fluency) 两大范 畴,当中“完整性”可细分作“集中”(collection) 和 “排除”(shedding), “流畅性”则可细分作 “回应性”(responsiveness) 和 “轻易”(ease)。 本文的 主要预设是,《庄子》里描述的“无为 ”(甚至是其他典籍里的相关描述)是一种不受文化制约的人类行为。订立一套准确的分类方法,有助我们借此审视当代心 理学和认知科学的 文献中, 曾述及的类似行为。本文继而在已订立的分类方法上,与齐 克森米哈里(Csikszentmihalyi) 的“自 成目的体验 ”(autotelic experience) 观念相互比较,而“自 成目的体验 ” 观 念乃可通 向当代认知科学研究的桥梁。本文第三部分引用了不少 科学研究,以解释“无为”行为的各个面向。最后,本文对汉学研究如何可为推动认知科学和当代哲学发展作出贡献, 提出了建议。

Effortless Attention: A New Perspective in the Cognitive Science of Attention and Action
MIT Press, 2010
This is the first book to explore the cognitive science of effortless attention and action. Attention and action are generally understood to require effort, and the expectation is that under normal circumstances effort increases to meet rising demand. Sometimes, however, attention and action seem to flow effortlessly despite high demand. Effortless attention and action have been documented across a range of normal activities--from rock climbing to chess playing--and yet fundamental questions about the cognitive science of effortlessness have gone largely unasked.

This book draws from the disciplines of cognitive psychology, neurophysiology, behavioral psychology, genetics, philosophy, and cross-cultural studies. Starting from the premise that the phenomena of effortless attention and action provide an opportunity to test current models of attention and action, leading researchers from around the world examine topics including effort as a cognitive resource, the role of effort in decision making, the neurophysiology of effortless attention and action, the role of automaticity in effortless action, expert performance in effortless action, and the neurophysiology and benefits of attentional training.

Contributors: Joshua M. Ackerman, James H. Austin, John A. Bargh, Roy F. Baumeister, Sian L. Beilock, Chris Blais, Matthew M. Botvinick, Brian Bruya, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Marci S. DeCaro, Arne Dietrich, Yuri Dormashev, László Harmat, Bernhard Hommel, Rebecca Lewthwaite, Örjan de Manzano, Joseph T. McGuire, Brian P. Meier, Arlen C. Moller, Jeanne Nakamura, Evgeny N. Osin, Michael I. Posner, Mary K. Rothbart, M. R. Rueda, Brandon J. Schmeichel, Edward Slingerland, Oliver Stoll, Yiyuan Tang, Töres Theorell, Fredrik Ullén, Robert D. Wall, Gabriele Wulf.

"The chapters in Bruya's book represent an extraordinary breadth and diversity of approaches to the study of control of thought, word, and deed. The ideas presented in this volume are grounded in historical approaches to attention and yet they benefit from the most modern work in cognitive science and neuroscience. This book should be on the shelf of every serious student of how the mind works."
Randall W. Engle, Editor, Current Directions in Psychological Science, Georgia Institute of Technology

"Brian Bruya’s new book brings together an impressive collection of essays that explore [effortless] experiences within the context of contemporary cognitive science, focusing especially on the implications of effortless attention for current models of attention and action control….  Evidence of effortless attention is simply too large to dismiss, and Bruya’s book provides a tantalizing glimpse of the ways in which cognitive science models of attention and action control might grow to account for its existence.   Cognitive scientists would do well to extend their models to account for [effortless attention], and Bruya’s book is a promising first step in that direction."
Nathaniel Barrett, IBCSR


Together these essays provide a substantial amount of insight into the phenomena of flow and effortless attention.  Firstly, they emphasize the importance of distinguishing between effort and attention.  Secondly, many of the essays note the conditions under which effortless attention takes place, such as when an activity is cognitively demanding, and a subject's actual performance matches the expected cognitive demands of the activity.  Thirdly, several authors highlight the role of pre-established, automatic, action programs in producing the conditions required for effortless attention, including the kinds of automatic activity required. An impressive collection of insightful and original essays."
—Sam Wren-Lewis, Metapsychology

                        Attention Introduction: Toward a Theory of Attention that Includes Effortless Attention
Effortless Attention, 2010
In this Introduction, I identify seven discrete aspects of attention brought to the fore by by considering the phenomenon of effortless attention: effort, decision-making, action syntax, agency, automaticity, expertise, and mental training.  For each, I provide an overview of recent research, identify challenges to or gaps in current attention theory with respect to it, consider how attention theory can be advanced by including current research, and explain how relevant chapters of this volume offer such advances.

                        Attention Apertures, Draw, & Syntax: Remodeling Attention
Effortless Attention, 2010
Because psychological studies of attention and cognition are most commonly performed within the strict confines of the laboratory or take cognitively impaired patients as subjects, it is difficult to be sure that resultant models of attention adequately account for the phenomenon of effortless attention. The problem is not only that effortless attention is resistant to laboratory study. A further issue is that because the laboratory is the most common way to approach attention, models resulting from such studies are naturally the most widely propagated, these models naturally tend to be biased toward features of attention most amenable to laboratory study, and these models by their implications set the agenda for future study that leads back to the laboratory. In this self-reinforcing system, features of attention not amenable to laboratory study are naturally neglected by researchers. In this chapter, I suggest an alternative model of attention as a heuristic for opening paths to further profitable research. The features of attention emphasized in this model are not new, but the synthesis is novel and sheds some light on issues relevant to the topic of effortless attention. I begin with the five following observations:

1. One naturally pays attention to a task of current interest.
2. There are (at least) two distinct modes of attention—selective and diffuse.
3. Attention is a constantly shifting avenue for the assimilation of information.
4. Information is not forced in from outside but is captured through internal sensitization.
5. Human information processing is fundamentally syntactic.

Combining these five observations yields an explanatory model of attention that is not only consistent with the data from the many studies on attention in recent decades but also allows us to investigate the neglected phenomenon of effortless attention. The model relies on the notions of apertures, draw, and syntax and is explicated by addressing each of the above observations in turn.  In the final part of the chapter, I explore how the model expands our understanding of effortless attention.

PEW Cover
The Rehabilitation of Spontaneity: A New Approach in Philosophy of Action
Philosophy East and West, 2010
Scholars working in philosophy of action still struggle with the freedom/determinism dichotomy that stretches back to Hellenist philosophy and the metaphysics that gave rise to it. Although that metaphysics has been repudiated in current philosophy of mind and cognitive science, the dichotomy still haunts these fields. As such, action is understood as distinct from movement, or motion. In early China, under a very different metaphysical paradigm, no such distinction is made. Instead, a notion of self-caused movement, or spontaneity, is elaborated. In this article a general conception of spontaneity from early Daoism is explained, detailing its constituent aspects. Similar notions appeared from time to time in Western philosophy, and these instances are pursued, exploring how their instantiations differed from Daoist spontaneity and why. Based on these approximate examples of spontaneity and on early Daoist spontaneity, new criteria are postulated for a plausible theory of action that dispenses with presuppositions that eventuate in a freedom/determinism dichotomy, and instead the possibility is offered of a general model of action that can be applied smoothly across current philosophical and cognitive scientific subdisciplines.

Educations Education and Responsiveness: On the Agency of Intersubjectivity
Educations and Their Purposes, 2008
In typical monotransitive verbs, such as "to touch," the patient is a passive recipient of action.  In this paper, I discuss a special class of monotransitive verbs in which the patient is not, and cannot be, just a passive recipient of action.  These verbs, such as "to educate," hinge on intersubjective experience.  This intersubjectivity throws a wrench into classical descriptions of grammatical transitivity, transforming the recipient of action from a passive patient receiving the action into an active agent accepting the action.  As such, light is thrown on other "intertransitive" verbs and the experiences they describe, with special attention paid to education.

ChinaReview Review of Text and Ritual in Early China
China Review International, 2007/2008
In this full length review, I create a running parallel between Martin Kern's Text and Ritual in Early China and Mark Edward Lewis'  Writing and Authority in Early China.  Both books cover the same nexus of texts and their sociopolitical milieu, with Kern's book acting as a sort of update to Lewis'.  I group the articles in Kern's book under the following headings: Texts and Authority (Nylan, Falkenhausen, Brashier), Textual Emergence (Boltz, Kern), and Ritual in Literary Genres (Schaberg, Csikszentmihalyi, Gentz), summarizing the content of each article and relating it to Lewis' seminal work.  Three further sections, under the heading of "Terminological Precision," are dedicated to issues raised by both books: the performative in ritual (gestures that presuppose a common set of cultural norms and that gain their efficacy from general community acceptance of such norms), the ritual (and performative) dimension of divination, and a functionalist perspective on ritual.

Schools that 'Flow'
Education Week, 2006
When skill, challenge, and interest are at an appropriate balance, students can find flow, and they are able to accomplish tasks with less work and effort, even while processing more information. Performance improves through immediate feedback about how they are doing—feedback that’s given with improvement, not sorting, in mind.

Dialogue and
                        Universalism Li Zehou's Aesthetics as a Marxist Philosophy of Freedom
Dialogue & Universalism, 2003
After being largely unknown to non-siniphone philosophers, Li Zehou's ideas are gradually being translated into English, but very little has been done on his aesthetics, which he says is the key to his oeuvre. In the first of three sections of this paper, I briefly introduce the reader to Kant's aesthetics through Li's eyes, in which he develops an implicit notion of aesthetic freedom as political vehicle through the notions of subjectivity, universalization, and the unity of the cognitive faculties.  In the second section, I introduce Marx's notions of 'human nature as practice' and 'freedom as practice', as outlined in his early manuscripts.  I conclude that Marx's politics take free practice as the highest expression of humanity, which is finally, ideally, self-legislating.  In the final section, I present Li's interpretation of Marx as a remedy for Kant, introducing some of Li's specialized vocabulary and demonstrating his final synthesis of Kant and Marx in a notion of aesthetic freedom that presupposes political freedom.

Review of On the Epistemology of the Senses in Early Chinese Thought
China Review International, 2003
This is a full length review in which I discuss the strengths and weaknesses of Jane Geaney's On the Epistemology of the Senses in Early Chinese Thought.  Geaney's strengths lie in her refusal to import Western epistemological presuppositions into depictions of Early Chinese philosophy, her meticulous canvassing of key Warring States texts, and her insightful reconstruction of Early Chinese epistemology as based on perception rather than abstract concepts.  Her weaknesses are the limited range of her representative texts and her occasional overgeneralizations.  In the first half of the review, I summarize Geaney's solid conclusions: knowledge in Warring States texts was stated in terms of, and even constituted by, seeing and hearing (as opposed to the primacy of sight in the West); seeing and hearing were referred to in paired tropes; the epistemology of seeing and hearing generally involved moral evaluation; and the heartmind had a triple role in this process as verifier, as ruler, and as a sense in its own right.  In the second half of the review, I demonstrate the limitations of Geaney's methodology, using her example of the relationship of qi and wind.

JODI Chinese Collections in the Digital Library
Journal of Digital Information, 2002
The articles in this special issue of JoDI discuss the special issues faced by digital libraries working in the Chinese script. Christian Wittern presents an overview of the
Chinese Buddhist Electronic Text Association (CBETA) project, including  details of his work producing XML texts and an insightful section on the difficulties that prevent the production of an 'ideal' version of the CBETA texts. The Chinese University of Hong Kong's Chinese Ancient Texts (CHANT) project has put an enormous amount of effort into producing a sterling set of critical primary resources. Che Wah Ho's overview includes discussions of challenges maintaining accuracy and of producing distinct databases from source media as diverse as oracle bones, bronzes, and excavated bamboo strips. Michel Mohr, of the International Research Institute for Zen Buddhism, discusses his work attempting to provide unique identifiers for Zen texts and personages, working in several languages spanning more than 13 centuries. Mohr's analysis of the need for ISBN-like numbers for pre-modern works applies as well to textual traditions in all languages, and his provocative coda on classification challenges XML and other types of electronic classification as belonging to an outdated, pre-electronic mode of thinking. Charles Muller developed a influential dictionary of pre-modern Chinese terms. He and collaborator Michael Beddow offer their views on the task of converting Muller's database into XML and running it in XSLT, utilizing XLink and XPointer technologies.

                          and Chaos

Chaos as the Inchoate: The Early Chinese Aesthetic of Spontaneity
Conoscenza Religiosa, 2011 (reprint)
Aesthetics & Chaos
, 2002
Can we conceive of disorder in a positive sense? We organize our desks, we discipline our children, we govern our polities--all with the aim of reducing disorder, of temporarily reversing the entropy that inevitably asserts itself in our lives. Going all the way back to Hesiod, we see chaos as a cosmogonic state of utter confusion inevitably reigned in by laws of regularity, in a transition from fearful unpredictability to calm stability. In contrast to a similar early Chinese notion of chaotic disorder (luan), early Daoists posit a type of chaos that is to be cultivated rather than feared. This chaos is a primal disorder, akin to Hesiod's, but rather than threatening disruption, it is replete with creative potential and through spontaneous action yields orderly processes that proceed from the concretion of things to their dissolution and back, in a complex web of relations. This processional activity, although taken in one sense as cosmogonic, in a more important sense is immanent at every moment of activity. This article identifies terms of chaos, such as dun dun 沌 沌, hundun 渾 沌, and xingming 涬 溟 in Laozi and Zhuangzi and examines the passages in which they occur. Analyzing these passages brings us to a better understanding of "chaos" in a Chinese sense and to a familiarity with related terms in its semantic field, such as xuan  (dark, mysterious), miao  (subtle/profound), wei  (minute/inchoate), xiao 小 (small/minute), and pu  (uncarved block). We see that the Daoist ideal is to return to a chaotic inchoateness by melding with the cosmos and there finding a repository of creative potential. This notion of chaos as the inchoate is used as a springboard for understanding the origins of Daoist spontaneity.

JICPR Strawson and Prasad on Determinism and Resentment
Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research, 2001
P. F. Strawson's influential article "Freedom and Resentment" has been much commented on, and one of the most trenchant commentaries is Rajendra Prasad's, "Reactive Attitudes, Rationality, and Determinism."  In his article, Prasad contests the significance of the reactive attitude over a precise theory of determinism, concluding that Strawson's argument is ultimately unconvincing.  In this article, I evaluate Prasad's challenges to Strawson by summarizing and categorizing all of the relevant arguments in both Strawson's and Prasad's pieces. 

Strawson offers four types of arguments to demonstrate that determinism and free agency cannot be incompatible, showing that the reactive attitude is natural and desirable and the objective attitude is not natural, not desirable, not sustainable, and not compatible with the reactive attitude. Prasad targets Strawson's incompatibilist arguments, showing that determinism and free agency are incompatible. Of Prasad's seven types of arguments, four target Strawson's four above. Three of these succeed and one fails. The remaining three target Strawson's support of the reactive attitude, and of these, one succeeds, and the others fail.  Although Prasad's arguments miss the mark at times, he does succeed in putting forth a legitimate challenge to Strawson's notion that determinism is no inhibitor of the reactive attitude.


Qing () and Emotion in Early Chinese Thought  (award winning)
Chinese Philosophy and the Trends of 21st Century Civilization, 2003 (reprint)
Ming Qing Yanjiu
, 2001

In a 1967 article, A. C. Graham made the claim that qing should never be translated as "emotions" in rendering early Chinese texts into English.  Over time, sophisticated translators and interpreters have taken this advice to heart, and qing has come to be interpreted as "the facts" or "what is genuine in one."  In these English terms all sense of interrelationality is gone, leaving us with a wooden, objective stasis.  But we also know, again partly through the work of Graham, that interrelationality was of fundamental importance in the early Chinese cosmology and that qing, by later carrying the meaning of "emotions," expressed that interrelationality.  I take as my project in this article the recovery of an emotional adumbration in the qing of early Chinese texts, notably the Mencius, from which Graham begins his discussion.  With an eye to explicating qing in the Mencius, and with a sensitivity to an implied notion of interrelationality in early texts, I survey early literature from the Shu Jing to late commentaries on the Yi Jing.  I find that usages of qing and contexts in which qing is used inevitably illuminate it as key term in the evocation of interrelationality, shading it with emotional overtones.  Emotions, of course, are inherently interrelational, and even more so in a Chinese world in which the internal and the external are in constant communication by way of a cosmic interchange of arousal and response among all things.  That qing had a centuries old convention of emotional connotation prior to its explicit definition as emotion should come as no surprise.  The corroboration of this supposition entails a complex investigation and analysis, however, and it is a preliminary step in this investigation and analysis that I undertake here.

MingQing Emotion, Desire, and Numismatic Experience in Descartes, Zhu Xi, and Wang Yangming
Ming Qing Yanjiu, 2001
In this article, I  explore the relationship between desire and emotion in Descartes, Zhu Xi, and Wang Yangming with the aim of demonstrating 1) that Zhu Xi, by keying on the detriments of selfishness, represents an improvement over the more sweeping Cartesian suggestion to control desires in general; and 2) that Wang Yangming, in turn, represents an improvement over Zhu Xi by providing a more sophisticated hermeneutic of the cosmology of desire. 



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