Thinking Through Confucian Modernity: A Study of Mou Zongsan’s Moral Metaphysics by Sebastien Billioud (review)

Thinking Through Confucian Modernity: A Study of Mou Zongsan’s Moral Metaphysics by Sebastien... the YogastrawouldmakeamarveloustextforagraduateseminarinIndianphilosophy,orinphilosophyfromacross-culturalperspective.Scholarswithaseriousinterestinthestudyofclassicalyogaandinphilosophyasprocesswillfinditrefreshing andthought-provoking,evenasitshouldintriguescholarswithapreviousacquaintancewithPatañjali. Thinking Through Confucian Modernity: A Study of Mou Zongsan's Moral Metaphysics. BySebastienBillioud.Leiden:Brill,2012.Pp.xii+255.isbn978-90-04-21553-5. ReviewedbyWing-cheuk Chan BrockUniversity wchan@brocku.ca AsaChineseKantian,MouZongsan(1909­1995)producedprobablythemostcreativeworkinChinesephilosophyofthetwentiethcentury,Phenomenon and Thing initself.Inthismagnum opusMouintroducedhismoralmetaphysics.Historically,if thistextistheoffspringofthemarriagebetweenKantianphilosophyandtheSchool ofMind(xin)representedbyLuXiangshanandWangYangminginSong-MingNeoConfucianism,thenHeideggerwasitsmidwife.AsMouacknowledged,hisproper reception of Kant was finally induced by his reading of Heidegger's Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics.Nonetheless,MouwashighlycriticalofHeidegger'sBeing and Time.InMou'seyes,HeideggerignoredtheKantianideaofanoumenalontology, despite his insightful interpretation of the difficult chapter on schematism in Critique of Pure Reason.Accordingly,MoublamedHeideggerforforgettingtheimportantproblemofbridgingthetranscendentaldistinctionbetweenthephenomenon and thing-in-itself.AsAristotle saw his life work in overcoming Plato's separation (chorismos) between ideas (eidos) and appearance, Mou aimed to fill the Kantian gap.So,althoughMouadmiredHeidegger'slucidaccountoftheKantianconceptof thing-in-itself in terms of the idea of e-ject, he categorically rejected Heidegger's projectoffundamentalontology. Instead,MouclaimedthatonlyhismoralmetaphysicscouldfulfillHeidegger's originalgoalofafundamentalontology.InMou'seyes,afundamentalontologymust beanoumenalontology.Therefore,althoughMouappreciatedHeidegger'ssignificantquotationsfromKant'sOpus postumuminpointingoutthatthedistinctionbetweenphenomenonandthing-in-itselfisonlya"subjective"one,hecouldnotfollow Heidegger's strictly phenomenological approach. Mou argued rather that only by returningtoConfucianismcanonediscoverthepossibilityofintellectualintuition. Onlythislattercouldserveasthefoundationforaviablefundamentalontology.For Mou,itisonlybydevelopingaConfuciansolutiontotheproblemofovercomingthe Kantian distinction between phenomenon and thing-in-itself that a Heideggerian fundamental ontology can be realized. Had Mou succeeded in this program, he wouldhavebeenabletodemonstratethesupremacyofChinesephilosophyonthe worldstage vernotonlyKant'stranscendentalphilosophybutalsoHeidegger's --o fundamentalontology. PhilosophyEast&WestVolume63,Number4October2013683­686 ©2013byUniversityofHawai`iPress Sebastien Billioud's Thinking Through Confucian Modernity: A Study of Mou Zongsan's Moral MetaphysicsrevisitsthisperhapsmostintriguingchapteroftwentiethcenturyChinesephilosophy.ItalsoprovidesacorrectiontoSerinaChan'sclaimthat "Mou did not see the possibility of a fruitful dialogue when his prime interest n onto-cosmology with a religious undertow lashed loudly with the philo--a --c sophicalpremisesofthenon-religiousHeidegger."1 TheIntroductionstartswithasurveyofMou'slinktoKant.Thetaskofchapter1 istoclarifyMou'sconceptofmoralsubjectbycomparingittotheKantianautonomouswill.Chapters2and3followwithanarticulationofMou'stransformationof Kant'sdoctrinesofintellectualintuitionandthing-in-itself.Onefindsherenotonly an analysis of Heidegger's influence on Mou's understanding of Kant, but also a highlightingofMou'sprogramtoreviveKantian"transcendentmetaphysics."Chapter4worksoutthechallengesMouraisedtotheHeideggerianfundamentalontology. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Philosophy East and West University of Hawai'I Press

Thinking Through Confucian Modernity: A Study of Mou Zongsan’s Moral Metaphysics by Sebastien Billioud (review)

Philosophy East and West, Volume 63 (4) – Oct 23, 2013

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Copyright © 2008 University of Hawai'i Press.
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Abstract

the YogastrawouldmakeamarveloustextforagraduateseminarinIndianphilosophy,orinphilosophyfromacross-culturalperspective.Scholarswithaseriousinterestinthestudyofclassicalyogaandinphilosophyasprocesswillfinditrefreshing andthought-provoking,evenasitshouldintriguescholarswithapreviousacquaintancewithPatañjali. Thinking Through Confucian Modernity: A Study of Mou Zongsan's Moral Metaphysics. BySebastienBillioud.Leiden:Brill,2012.Pp.xii+255.isbn978-90-04-21553-5. ReviewedbyWing-cheuk Chan BrockUniversity wchan@brocku.ca AsaChineseKantian,MouZongsan(1909­1995)producedprobablythemostcreativeworkinChinesephilosophyofthetwentiethcentury,Phenomenon and Thing initself.Inthismagnum opusMouintroducedhismoralmetaphysics.Historically,if thistextistheoffspringofthemarriagebetweenKantianphilosophyandtheSchool ofMind(xin)representedbyLuXiangshanandWangYangminginSong-MingNeoConfucianism,thenHeideggerwasitsmidwife.AsMouacknowledged,hisproper reception of Kant was finally induced by his reading of Heidegger's Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics.Nonetheless,MouwashighlycriticalofHeidegger'sBeing and Time.InMou'seyes,HeideggerignoredtheKantianideaofanoumenalontology, despite his insightful interpretation of the difficult chapter on schematism in Critique of Pure Reason.Accordingly,MoublamedHeideggerforforgettingtheimportantproblemofbridgingthetranscendentaldistinctionbetweenthephenomenon and thing-in-itself.AsAristotle saw his life work in overcoming Plato's separation (chorismos) between ideas (eidos) and appearance, Mou aimed to fill the Kantian gap.So,althoughMouadmiredHeidegger'slucidaccountoftheKantianconceptof thing-in-itself in terms of the idea of e-ject, he categorically rejected Heidegger's projectoffundamentalontology. Instead,MouclaimedthatonlyhismoralmetaphysicscouldfulfillHeidegger's originalgoalofafundamentalontology.InMou'seyes,afundamentalontologymust beanoumenalontology.Therefore,althoughMouappreciatedHeidegger'ssignificantquotationsfromKant'sOpus postumuminpointingoutthatthedistinctionbetweenphenomenonandthing-in-itselfisonlya"subjective"one,hecouldnotfollow Heidegger's strictly phenomenological approach. Mou argued rather that only by returningtoConfucianismcanonediscoverthepossibilityofintellectualintuition. Onlythislattercouldserveasthefoundationforaviablefundamentalontology.For Mou,itisonlybydevelopingaConfuciansolutiontotheproblemofovercomingthe Kantian distinction between phenomenon and thing-in-itself that a Heideggerian fundamental ontology can be realized. Had Mou succeeded in this program, he wouldhavebeenabletodemonstratethesupremacyofChinesephilosophyonthe worldstage vernotonlyKant'stranscendentalphilosophybutalsoHeidegger's --o fundamentalontology. PhilosophyEast&WestVolume63,Number4October2013683­686 ©2013byUniversityofHawai`iPress Sebastien Billioud's Thinking Through Confucian Modernity: A Study of Mou Zongsan's Moral MetaphysicsrevisitsthisperhapsmostintriguingchapteroftwentiethcenturyChinesephilosophy.ItalsoprovidesacorrectiontoSerinaChan'sclaimthat "Mou did not see the possibility of a fruitful dialogue when his prime interest n onto-cosmology with a religious undertow lashed loudly with the philo--a --c sophicalpremisesofthenon-religiousHeidegger."1 TheIntroductionstartswithasurveyofMou'slinktoKant.Thetaskofchapter1 istoclarifyMou'sconceptofmoralsubjectbycomparingittotheKantianautonomouswill.Chapters2and3followwithanarticulationofMou'stransformationof Kant'sdoctrinesofintellectualintuitionandthing-in-itself.Onefindsherenotonly an analysis of Heidegger's influence on Mou's understanding of Kant, but also a highlightingofMou'sprogramtoreviveKantian"transcendentmetaphysics."Chapter4worksoutthechallengesMouraisedtotheHeideggerianfundamentalontology.

Journal

Philosophy East and WestUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Oct 23, 2013

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