Advertisement

A Stick Which may be Grabbed on Either Side: Sino-Hellenic Studies in the Mirror of Comparative Philosophy

  • Ralph WeberEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

Recently, Jeremy Tanner has published a highly informative review article in the Journal of Hellenic Studies, in which he introduces and advertises “Sino-Hellenic Studies” as a new and upcoming subfield in academic inquiry. Tanner particularly focuses on what he terms “Sino-Hellenic comparative philosophy,” while developing his perspective clearly from within contemporary Classicists’ academic parameters. In this paper, I approach the matter precisely from the other end, i.e. from within contemporary comparative philosophy, distinguishing four different approaches in comparative philosophy, pointing out some pitfalls in comparison and offering a perhaps provocative conclusion by provincializing and politicizing “Sino-Hellenic Studies”. The paper not only seeks to supplement Tanner’s review, but also and more importantly to introduce some fundamental methodological problems to be dealt with in any comparative inquiry.

Keywords

Sino-Hellenic Studies Comparative philosophy Pitfalls of comparison Jeremy Tanner 

Notes

Acknowledgements

An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Pacific Meeting of the American Philosophical Association in Seattle, 2012, and has profited from comments and criticism received from co-panelists and the audience. Particularly, I should like to thank Lisa Raphals, Loy Hui-chieh, and Wolfgang Behr. I am also much indebted to two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments and mindful warnings where my argument proved less solid than my rhetoric suggested.

References

  1. Ames, Roger T., “Indigenizing globalization and the hydraulics of culture: taking Chinese philosophy on its own terms” in Globalizations 1, no. 2 (2004): 171–180.Google Scholar
  2. Ames, Roger T., Confucian Role Ethics: A Vocabulary, Hongkong: The Chinese University Press and Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2011.Google Scholar
  3. Beecroft, Alexander Jamieson, “Review of Hyun Jin Kim, Ethnicity and Foreigners in Ancient Greece and China, London: Gerald Duckworth, 2009, VI + 217 pp.” in International Journal of the Classical Tradition 18, no. 4 (2011): 606–610.Google Scholar
  4. Foucault, Michel, “Of Other Spaces” in diacritics: a review of contemporary criticism 16, no. 1 (1986): 22–27.Google Scholar
  5. Foucault, Michel, The Order of Things: An Archeology of the Human Sciences, New York: Vintage Books, 1994.Google Scholar
  6. Gaillard, Françoise, “Du danger du penser” in Jean Allouch, Alain Badiou et al., Oser construire: Pour François Jullien, Paris: Le Seuil, 2007, 9–18.Google Scholar
  7. Habermas, Jürgen, “Israel or Athens: Where does Anamnestic Reason Belong?”, in Religion and Rationality: Essays on Reason, God and Modernity, Boston: The MIT Press, 2002, 129–138.Google Scholar
  8. Habermas, Jürgen, Nachmetaphysisches Denken: Philosophische Aufsätze, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1988. [engl.: Postmetaphysical Thinking: Philosophical Essays, Boston: The MIT Press, 1994.]Google Scholar
  9. Hall, David L. and Roger T. Ames, Anticipating China: Thinking Through the Narratives of Chinese and Western Culture, Albany: State University of New York Press, 1995.Google Scholar
  10. Hall, David L. and Roger T. Ames, Thinking from the Han: Self, Truth, and Transcendence in Chinese and Western Culture, Albany: State University of New York Press, 1998.Google Scholar
  11. Hall, David L. and Roger T. Ames, Thinking Through Confucius, Albany: State University of New York Press, 1987.Google Scholar
  12. Johnson, Peter, “Unravelling Foucault’s ‘different spaces’” in History of the Human Sciences 19, no. 4 (2006): 75–90.Google Scholar
  13. Jullien, François, Fonder la morale: Dialogue de Mencius avec un philosophe des Lumières, Paris: Grasset, 1995.Google Scholar
  14. Jullien, François, Détour et l‘accès: Stratégies du sens en Chine, en Grèce, Paris : Grasset, 1995.Google Scholar
  15. Lambert, Michael, The Classics and South African Identities, London: Duckworth Publishers, 2011.Google Scholar
  16. Little, Reg, “When Civilizations Compete: A Review of Steven Shankman & Stephen W. Durrant (eds), Early China/Ancient Greece: Thinking Through Comparisons (N.Y., State University of New York Press, 2002)”, in The Culture Mandala 6, no. 1 (2003), online.Google Scholar
  17. Lloyd, Geoffrey E. R., Ancient Worlds, Modern Reflections: Philosophical Perspectives on Greek and Chinese Science and Culture, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2004.Google Scholar
  18. Meynard, Thierry, “Review of François Jullien, A Treatise on Efficacy: Between Western and Chinese Thinking. Translated by Janet Lloyd. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2004, x + 202 pages and Du Xiaozhen 杜小真, To Go Afar and Return: Dialogue between Greece and China 遠去與歸來:希臘與中國的對話, Beijing: Zhongguo Renmin Daxue Chubanshe, 2004, 3 + 99 pages” in Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 7, no. 2 (2008): 215–219.Google Scholar
  19. Tanner, Jeremy, “Review of Fritz-Heiner Mutschler and Achim Mittag (eds.), Conceiving the Empire: China and Rome Compared, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009, XX + 481pp” in International Journal of the Classical Tradition 18, no. 2 (2011): 303–308.Google Scholar
  20. Tanner, Jeremy, “Ancient Greece, Early China: Sino-Hellenic Studies and Comparative Approaches to the Classical World: A Review Article” in Journal of Hellenic Studies 129 (2009): 89–109.Google Scholar
  21. Wardy, Robert, Aristotle in China: Language, Categories and Translation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.Google Scholar
  22. Weber, Ralph, “‘How to Compare?’–On the Methodological State of Comparative Philosophy’’ in Philosophy Compass, 2013.Google Scholar
  23. Weber, Ralph, “Comparative Philosophy and the Tertium: Comparing What with What, and in What Respect?” in Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy, 2014.Google Scholar
  24. Zhou, Lian, “The Most Fashionable and the Most Recent: A Review of Contemporary Chinese Political Philosophy” in Diogenes 56, no. 221 (2009): 128–137.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University Research Priority Program “Asia and Europe”University of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations