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Book Chapter: The Mohist conception of reality

TitleThe Mohist conception of reality
Authors
KeywordsMoism.
Issue Date2015
PublisherCambridge University Press
Citation
The Mohist conception of reality. In Li, C & Perkins, F (Eds.), Chinese Metaphysics and Its Problems. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015 How to Cite?
AbstractThe paper will explore the understanding of reality that emerges from Mohist doctrines concerning Tian 天 (Heaven), ghosts and spirits, the san fa 三法 (three models), and ming 命 (fate), touching on metaphysical, metaethical, and epistemological issues. Reality for the Mohists is reliably knowable through sense perception, inference, and historical precedent. It follows fixed, recognizable patterns. Agents are able to autonomously affect the course of events—and thus have a form of free will—and to identify and act on objective ethical norms. Ethical norms are a human-independent feature of reality, and indeed reality itself operates according to the same ethical norms that apply to human activity. The Mohist dao thus purports to be the dao of reality itself, grounded in supposedly reliable knowledge of the world. The paper will discuss the philosophical significance of these metaphysical views, the problems they raise, and how they set the agenda for much pre-Qin philosophical discourse, especially the Xunzi and the Zhuangzi. The paper will also inquire whether the later Mohist “Dialectics” abandons the strongly realist stance of earlier Mohist thought.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/190993
ISBN

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorFraser, CJ-
dc.date.accessioned2013-09-17T16:04:49Z-
dc.date.available2013-09-17T16:04:49Z-
dc.date.issued2015-
dc.identifier.citationThe Mohist conception of reality. In Li, C & Perkins, F (Eds.), Chinese Metaphysics and Its Problems. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015-
dc.identifier.isbn9781107093508-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/190993-
dc.description.abstractThe paper will explore the understanding of reality that emerges from Mohist doctrines concerning Tian 天 (Heaven), ghosts and spirits, the san fa 三法 (three models), and ming 命 (fate), touching on metaphysical, metaethical, and epistemological issues. Reality for the Mohists is reliably knowable through sense perception, inference, and historical precedent. It follows fixed, recognizable patterns. Agents are able to autonomously affect the course of events—and thus have a form of free will—and to identify and act on objective ethical norms. Ethical norms are a human-independent feature of reality, and indeed reality itself operates according to the same ethical norms that apply to human activity. The Mohist dao thus purports to be the dao of reality itself, grounded in supposedly reliable knowledge of the world. The paper will discuss the philosophical significance of these metaphysical views, the problems they raise, and how they set the agenda for much pre-Qin philosophical discourse, especially the Xunzi and the Zhuangzi. The paper will also inquire whether the later Mohist “Dialectics” abandons the strongly realist stance of earlier Mohist thought.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherCambridge University Press-
dc.relation.ispartofChinese Metaphysics and Its Problems-
dc.subjectMoism.-
dc.titleThe Mohist conception of reality-
dc.typeBook_Chapter-
dc.identifier.emailFraser, CJ: fraser@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.authorityFraser, CJ=rp01221-
dc.identifier.hkuros221549-
dc.publisher.placeCambridge-

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