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A comparative analysis of Confucianism and the American Transcendentalist and Pragmatist traditions.
In this highly original work, Mathew A. Foust breaks new ground in comparative studies through his exploration of the connections between Confucianism and the American Transcendentalist and Pragmatist movements. In his examination of a broad range of philosophers, including Confucius, Mencius, Xunzi, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Charles Peirce, William James, and Josiah Royce, Foust traces direct lines of influence from early translations of Confucian texts and brings to light conceptual affinities that have been previously overlooked. Combining resources from both traditions, Confucianism and American Philosophy offers fresh insights into contemporary problems and exemplifies the potential of cross-cultural dialogue in an increasingly pluralistic world.
“Authoritative and insightful, this book fills two lacunae in East-West comparative studies. First, it rounds out several general thematic connections by taking a broad view, rather than focusing narrowly on just one figure from each tradition. And, in so doing, it sheds much needed light on Confucian comparisons that have been previously understated or completely unnoticed.” — Christopher C. Kirby, editor of Dewey and the Ancients: Essays on Hellenic and Hellenistic Themes in the Philosophy of John Dewey
Mathew A. Foust is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Central Connecticut State University. He is the author of Loyalty to Loyalty: Josiah Royce and the Genuine Moral Life and the coeditor (with Sor-hoon Tan) of Feminist Encounters with Confucius.
Table of Contents
On Comparative Philosophy
American Philosophy as World Philosophy
Confucius and Dewey
Broadening a Comparative Horizon
1. Confucianism and Emerson: Friendship
“Have no friend unlike yourself ”
Confucianism in Emerson’s “Friendship”
2. Confucianism and Thoreau: Civil Disobedience
Introduction Analects 8.13 and Mencius 4A5
On Civil Disobedience
Confucianism in “Civil Disobedience”
On Confucian Civil Disobedience
3. Confucianism and Peirce: Inquiry and Belief
Doubt, Inquiry, and Belief
Peirce’s Four Methods of Belief Fixation
Confucius and the Method of Tenacity
Confucius and the Method of Authority
Confucius and the A Priori Method
Confucius and the Scientific Method
4. Confucianism and James: Human Nature and Morality
Mencius and Xunzi on Human Nature and Morality
James on Human Nature and Morality
The Healthy-Minded and the Sick-Souled
Human Nature, Violence, and Peace
5. Confucianism and Royce: Shame and Atonement
Shame in the Thought of Royce
Shame in the Thought of Confucius and Mencius
Theories of Atonement
Atonement in the Thought of Royce
Atonement in the Thought of Confucius