By Eliot Deutsch, Ron Bontekoe
This amazing quantity deals scholars, academics and basic readers an entire introductory survey of the key non-western philosophical traditions.
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In regard to the essential, he is broad and comprehensive, profound and unrestrained. In regard to the fundamental, he may be said to have harmonized all things and penetrated the highest level. However, in his response to change and his understanding of things, his principle is inexhaustible, traceless, dark and obscure, and unfathomable. (Chan, p. 177) Daoism was ostensibly a critique of Confucian humanism but, since it was taken absolutely seriously by the Confucians, it became gradually absorbed in the Confucian responses themselves.
We have only just begun to see indications that Chinese thinkers are recovering from this externally imposed and internally inflicted malaise. With all of its boundless energy and creative impulse, the Enlightenment mentality is incapable of reflecting on things at hand, oblivious to the "holy rite" of human-relatedness, and ignorant of self-cultivation as an art of living. The collapse of the former Soviet Union may have destroyed the Chinese Communist faith in the inevitable historical process precipitated by the revolutionary vanguard in the strategy of class struggle for universal equality.
It may not be far-fetched to characterize the Zisi-Mencian line as an exemplification of this. Among the Confucian disciples, the thought and action of Confucius' most beloved disciple, Yanhui, seemed to have had the strongest Daoist flavor. It is not accidental that he features prominently in Zhuangzi as a truly accomplished master of the Dao. There may have been a Confucian transformation of the Daoist discourse as well. The Disputers of the Way A. C. Graham, in his thought-provoking account of classical Chinese thought, characterizes the shapers of the ancient Chinese world of ideas the Confucians, Daoists, Mohists, Yangists, Cosmologists, and Legalists as "disputers" of the Dao (Way).