Numer 32 (1/2014)
Editor: Bin You, Rafał Banka


Table of contents
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Bin You,
Rafał Banka
Preface
9 – 12
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Affiliation

1 Minzu University of China / Institute of Comparative Scripture and Inter Religious Dialogue
2 Jagiellonian University in Kraków / Centre for Comparative Studies of Civilisations
Marina Kravtsova
On Poetic Discourses and Ways of Expression of ‘Empty’ and ‘Silence’ Categories in the Chinese Lyric Poetry of Six Dynasties (Liu Сhao, III–VI A.D.) and Tang (VII–X) Ep
15 – 30
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Keywords

China, lyric poetry, poetic means, sensory perception, audial, visual, empty, silence, spiritual movement, self-concentration, verses with eremitic motifs, verses on amorous themes, Taoism, Buddhism

Abstract

The written Chinese language has a broad scale of lexical meanings for articulating the ‘empty’ and ‘silence’ categories in all their essential aspects. The present study is limited to a discussion of the kong 空 cognitive term, in its single semantic case only, as ‘empty’ (‘emptiness’), coinciding normally with ‘silence’ (ji 寂, jing 靜); and of two poetic scenarios, which can be roughly defined as ‘dwelling in empty mountains’ and ‘dwelling in [an] empty chamber.’ The first of these is most typical of Tang lyric poetry, especially the works of Wang Wei 王維 (ca 701‒ca 761); the second, of poetry on amorous themes beginning with the individual verses of the second century A.D. In this paper I argue that in spite of all essential differences between these scenarios ‒ one praising living alone as escaping from social existence, the other representing living alone as loneliness, i.e. having an utterly negative sense ‒ both are grounded at bottom on ancient views of vision and audial perception. Their archetypical background is formed by the idea of spiritual movement, implying the ‘cutting off’ of sensory perception in favour of self-concentration, which leads to the sharpening of receptive faculties for gaining keener and keener perception of all external things. Above all, the ‘empty’ and ‘silence’ categories appear to universally express the abundance of one’s surroundings and inner conditions, including mentality and feelings, which places these categories among the chief artistic techniques of Chinese lyric poetry.

Affiliation

Saint Petersburg State University, Russia / Department of Philosophy and Culture of Orient
Sandra A. Wawrytko
The Interpenetration of Art and Philosophy in East Asian Poetry: The Metaphysical Threat to the Platonic Hierarchy
31 – 50
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Keywords

China, Buddhism, Japan, Korea, philosophy, poetry

Abstract

Why should art matter to a philosopher? In the context of Asian philosophy it is clear that a distinctive aesthetic underlies artistic expression encountering reality in such diverse art forms as Japanese haiku, Chinese landscape paintings, contemporary Korean cinema, and even Bollywood films. Art has informed and guided politics in Asia, where artist philosophers continue to function as reformers and revolutionaries challenging the status quo en route to connecting with reality. This is especially true in the case of Asian poets. In sharp contrast, the Euro-centric tradition of philosophy has tended to marginalize and even denigrate the arts. Plato famously observed ‘there is an old quarrel between philosophy and poetry’ (Republic, 607b5‒6), seeking to circumscribe the role of poets in his ideal state. This essay will focus on East Asia, both in terms of its historical embrace of poetry and contemporary manifestations. Special emphasis will be given to Buddhist poets from China, Korea, and Japan who wield poetry as a form of upāya or skillful means to evoke, provoke, or document awakening. Buddhist epistemology challenges and dissolves the dualistic preconceptions that assume the existence of an insurmountable divide between ‘self’ and ‘other,’ inner and outer, human and Nature. This may also yield important insights into why Plato and his followers have been so obsessed with the inherent power of the poet to undermine their vision of philosophy and the task of the philosopher.

Affiliation

San Diego State University, United States of America / Department of Philosophy
Rafał Mazur
Spontaneous Expression and Spontaneous Improvisation: What Contemporary Improvising Artists Can Learn from Chinese Artists-Philosophers
53 – 66
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Keywords

spontaneous expression, spontaneous/free improvisation, Daoist strategy, Chinese aesthetics

Abstract

Spontaneous expression is a unique method of artistic creation that emerged from within a circle of Chinese Confucian scholar-philosophers for whom artistic creation complemented their philosophical activities. Free improvisation is a new phenomenon of the European art scene. It is typified by spontaneous, often ad hoc creation, without prior preparation of the act or the object. I want to illustrate the similarities in the strategies of creation between ‘spontaneous expression’ and ‘free improvisation’ and the extent to which the philosophical foundations and resulting strategies of the former can be used in the latter, demonstrating the philosophical basis for this artistic discipline. I will primarily consider the mind of the creator, and justify the thesis that the state of mind, or mental attitude, necessary for the practice of spontaneous expression could be useful in the development of the practice of free improvisation in contemporary art (European art here would be inaccurate). A ‘method without method’ built on the basis of Chinese philosophy can help generate a strategy to develop and improve the skills of improvisation among contemporary European artists and contribute to the development of a contemporary philosophy of free improvisation. It is my opinion that these are fields that lie fallow. This would be an attempt to adapt the strategy of creation borne of original Chinese philosophy to contemporary artistic activities and aesthetic studies: a kind of transcultural bridge.

Affiliation

Jagiellonian University in Kraków / Faculty of Philosophy
Jinli He,
Rafał Banka
The Great Body Has No Shape, the Great Art Is Embodied. Conception of Body in Zhang Huan’s Performance Art
67 – 78
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Keywords

body, Zhang Huan, contemporary Chinese art, Chinese philosophy

Abstract

Zhang Huan (b. 1965) can be considered a pioneering contemporary performance artist in China. His position on the Chinese art scene is highly regarded not only from a historical perspective. The use of the artist’s body as a means of expression can serve multiple purposes, which can touch upon, e.g. social or political issues, and seldom reflects the role of the human body as a vehicle for mediation. Through his artistic activity, the artist tries to discuss this issue based on the Chinese philosophical intuitions of this aspect of human existence. In our paper, we shall try to examine the theoretical foundations of the artist’s approaches to performance and illustrate them with selected works.

Affiliation

1 Trinity University, United States of America / Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
2 Jagiellonian University in Kraków / Centre for Comparative Studies of Civilisations
Marta Kudelska
The Hierarchy of the Transcendentals According to Advaita Vedānta
81 – 96
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Keywords

advaita, nirguna, transcendental, satyam, dharma, bonum, ananda

Abstract

In advaita vedānta, the status of real existence is ascribed to the Brahman only. The Brahman is the transcendental ultimate reality and it is not possible to describe it by any attribute. The present paper will focus on the problem of values. What is the status of values according to the pure monistic system? When advaita vedāntists call the empirical world sad-asad-anirvacanīya (real-unreal-indefinable), are we entitled to speak about the existence of values? And if they are real, what does ‘real’ mean in this context?

All the attributes by which we describe the world can be grasped in groups. This division depends on the way in which we experience the world. One group encompasses objects experienced by the external organs, by the senses; its realm is responsible for aesthetic values. The second group leads to discrimination; its domain is ethics. The third prejudges the status of the world and advances metaphysical arguments. These three groups are arranged hierarchically. This order includes the cosmological and the soteriological model as well; thus the vision of the world in classical Indian thought appears as total harmony.

Affiliation

Jagiellonian University in Kraków / Centre for Comparative Studies of Civilisations
Katarzyna Pażucha
Notes Towards Defining ‘Theory’ (Śāstra) in Sanskrit; Systematic Classification Presented in Rājaśekhara’s Kāvyamīmāṃsā
97 – 116
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Keywords

Śāstra, theory, Rājaśekhara, Kāvyamīmāṃsā, Vedas, vedāṅga-s, vidyā-s, vidyāsthāna-s, theoretical writing

Abstract

Even though the genre of śāstra is one of the most familiar and important constituents of the cultural and intellectual history of South Asia, it did not receive the proper attention and the term itself remains obscure. Also in the tradition of Sanskrit letters itself the scope and nature of śāstra, it would seem, is not precisely delineated. Using the discussion presented by Rājaśekhara, the tenth century poet and theoretician, in his Kāvyamīmāṃsā, this article will try to bring together recent evaluations of the genre with a contextualized discussion of the tradition’s selfunderstanding.

Affiliation

University of Chicago, United States of America / South Asian Languages and Civilizations Department
Anna Iwona Wójcik
The Image of the World in the Yijing 易经 – an Attempt to Identify the Intellectual Context Proper to Chinese Philosophy
117 – 136
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Keywords

Confucianism, Daoism, images of world, ways of thinking of Chinese philosophy, thing, truth, world

Abstract

Before we think about reality, before we talk about it or remain silent, first we have some of the most basic images. What do philosophers brought up in the given culture have in mind when they use the term ‘reality’? In this article I attempt to identify and elaborate the intellectual context proper to Chinese (especially Confucian and Daoist) philosophical culture, by presenting its most general features. How deep must we probe to find the internal network of sense that is the basis of Confucian, and Daoist images of reality? What we are looking for can be found by trying to think in a context that is broader than the merely linguistic context. This broader context is that provided by philosophical understanding of the terms: ‘world,’ ‘individual being,’ ‘thing,’ ‘truth,’ ‘wisdom.’

Affiliation

Jagiellonian University in Kraków / Faculty of Philosophy
Agnė Budriūnaitė
The Tension Between Illusion and Reality in Zhuangzi’s ‘Dream of the Butterfly.’ Philosophical Analysis of Western Reception
137 – 152
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Keywords

allegories in Daoism, Zhuangzi, illusion, reality, forgetting

Abstract

One of the most important allegories of Daoism is the ‘Dream of the Butterfly’ in the second chapter of the Zhuangzi (Qi wu lun). Sometimes it is supposed to be a representation of all Daoist or even all Chinese philosophy in the West. This allegory encompasses fundamental Daoist notions, such as spontaneity, ‘free and easy wandering,’ non-action (wu wei), natural self-alternation (ziran), the no-perspective of a sage and the understanding of correlation between life and death. The purpose of this paper is a philosophical analysis of the relationship between illusion and reality in the Zhuangzi looking from the ‘Western’ perspective. To achieve this, I will review some of the most distinct English translations of the allegory that show possible multiple meanings of the allegory and many fundamentally different, sometimes opposite interpretations of it and discuss the significance of the relationship between illusion and reality. There is a huge body of academic literature about translating and interpreting the texts ascribed to the Zhuangzi. I will mention only some of the commentaries and will pay more attention to other stories of the Zhuangzi, looking there for the explication and explanation of the main ideas found in the ‘Dream of the Butterfly.’

Affiliation

Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania / Department of Philosophy
Bin You
To Be Harmonious with the Heaven, the Others and the Self: Late-Ming Christian Literati Li Jiugong’s Meditation and His Comparative Scriptural Interpretation
155 – 174
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Keywords

comparative scripture, interreligious dialogue, Catholic literati, Li Jiugong

Abstract

From the perspective of comparative scripture, this paper is using the Shen si lu (Meditations) by Catholic Literati Li Jiugong as a case study to investigate the dialogue and interaction between Confucianism and Christianity in the late-Ming period. Li’s theology, incorporating the three aspects of being in harmony with Heaven, other people, and oneself, is expressed in Confucian terminology. It represents the late-Ming Chinese theological understanding of God, human nature, and society. The paper analyses Li’s strategy of comparative scripture by which Confucian scriptural resources were reinterpreted, appropriated, and intertwined with the Christian meaning system. Finally, the paper also discusses the significance of using the methodology of comparative scripture in interreligious dialogue and in furthering the indigenization of Christianity in China.

Affiliation

Minzu University of China / Institute of Comparative Scripture and Inter Religious Dialogue
Chengyou Liu
The Virtue Reality of Humanistic Buddhism by Ven. Yinshun
175 – 186
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Keywords

Humanistic Buddhism, samadhi, virtue reality

Abstract

Samadhi is one of the most important ways in Buddhist practice. Why must we practice samadhi? What is the effect of practicing samadhi? Has it limitations? Ven. Yinshun, who was called the spiritual mentor of the Humanistic Buddhism, had written an important article named To Practice samadhi: To Practice One’s Mind and Idealist Mystery. According to Ven. Yinshun, someone will easily lead to deviating from the Buddhism if he practices meditation without prajnā. I think this is the problem about the virtue reality in Humanistic Buddhism.

Affiliation

Minzu University of China / School of Philosophy & Religious
Leszek Sosnowski
Body – Tradition – Expression. Remarks on Japanese Culture
187 – 198
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Keywords

body, Japan, Europe, culture, expression

Affiliation

Jagiellonian University in Kraków / Faculty of Philosophy
Pobierz cały numer
1 – 202
PDF (12)
Instytut Filozofii, Uniwersytet Jagielloński
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