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Confucian Experience And Philosophical Discourse: Reflections On Some Aporiae In Contemporary Neo-Confucianism

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents a few critical comments on one of the most remarkable attempts to champion a form of modern thought which is both simultaneously and equally "philosophical" and "Confucian," that of "contemporary neo-Confucianism" as illustrated particularly by the philosopher Mou Zongsan. An initial consequence of the transformation of neo-Confucianism into a philosophy is therefore to encourage a speculative approach to teachings which are thus severed from their "material" infrastructure and so from their very conditions of possibility. There is another consequence to this evolution: it is the problematic character which henceforth characterizes the relation of the subject of the philosophical discourse to the subject of the practice of wisdom. The analogy presented in the chapter deals only with a difference: that which separates into non-superimposable areas philosophical discourse and "symbolic practices". The authors advance the hypothesis of a neo-Confucian (or Taoist, or Buddhist) anti-philosophy.

Keywords: Confucian; contemporary neo-Confucianism; philosopher Mou Zongsan; philosophical discourse; symbolic practices



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