Zhang Zai's Philosophy of Qi

Zhang Zai's Philosophy of Qi : A Practical Understanding

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Qi ("vital energy") is one of the most important concepts in Chinese philosophy and culture, and neo-Confucian Zhang Zai (1020-1077) plays a pivotal role in developing the notion. An investigation of his philosophy of qi is not confined to his particularity, but sheds light upon the notion of qi as it is understood within Chinese and East Asian thought in general. Yet, his position has not been given a thorough philosophical analysis in contemporary times. The purpose of this book is to provide a thorough and proper understanding of Zhang Zai's philosophy of qi. Zhang Zai's Philosophy of Qi: A Practical Understanding focuses on the practical argument underlying Zhang Zai's development of qi that emphasizes the endeavor to create meaningful coherence amongst our differences through mutual communication and transformation. In addition to this, the book compares and engages Zhang Zai's philosophy of qi with John Dewey's philosophy of aesthetic experience in order to make Zhang Zai's position more plausible and relevant to the contemporary Western audience.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 132 pages
  • 154 x 226 x 16mm | 339.99g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 1 Tables, unspecified
  • 0739192361
  • 9780739192368
  • 2,279,587

Table of contents

Chapter One: Introducing the Notion Qi, the Philosopher Zhang Zai, and the Text Zhengmeng (Rectifying the Ignorant) Chapter Two: Zhang Zai's Critique of the Buddhist Chapter Three: Zhang Zai's Vertical Development of Qi and His Critique of the Buddhist Chapter Four: Zhang Zai's Critique of the Ordinary Person Chapter Five: Zhang Zai's Horizontal Development of Qi and His Critique of the Ordinary Person Chapter Six: Zhang Zai and John Dewey on Realizing Vital Harmony Chapter Seven: Zhang Zai and So Kyongdok's Philosophy of Qi
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Review quote

There is no concept more fundamental to Chinese cosmology generally than qi, and yet there is no term more persistently misunderstood. In Zhang Zai's Philosophy of Qi: A Practical Understanding, Jung-Yeup Kim uses a close revisonist reading of Zhang Zai to challenge the standard monistic interpretations of a putative homogenous ontology with a dynamic organic pluralism that not only accounts for both the continuity and complexity of the content of the human experience, but also for the capacity of human beings to optimize the creative possibilities of this experience to live significant lives. -- Roger T. Ames, University of Hawai'i This illuminating and creative work builds upon current scholarships of Zhang Zai's philosophy and the variety study of qi, and arrives with refreshing and innovative ways to construct Zhang Zai's vertical and horizontal development of qi, rigorously unfolding a few debatable philosophical issues in a Neo-Confucian period. This book will offer a new impulse for fruitfully navigating Chinese and comparative philosophy and a deeper understanding of polarity, correlativity, and organic unity of qi. It is a timely and valuable contribution to the field. -- Robin R. Wang, Loyola Marymount University
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About Jung-Yeup Kim

Jung-Yeup Kim is assistant professor of philosophy at Kent State University.
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