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Knowledge and Conduct: Zhi and the Epistemic Landscape in the Xunzi

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Title:Knowledge and Conduct: Zhi and the Epistemic Landscape in the Xunzi
Authors:Chen, Kuan-Hung
Date Issued:Dec 2016
Publisher:[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2016]
Abstract:This dissertation focuses on reexamining the epistemic landscape of Xunzi’s philosophy. Starting with the notion of person-in-relationship (to which relationship is a built-in, rather than an add-on, element), I part ways with epistemic atomism and explore the most significant aspects of the Xunzian conception of knowledge-and-wisdom (zhi) in the communal context: knowing how and knowing who. I argue that both knowing how and knowing who in the Xunzi point to a certain kind of cultivated responsiveness. While epistemic atomism aims at representational accuracy and certainty, Xunzi’s exclusive attention on responsiveness instead of representation is intimately associated with the cosmology that reality is a continual transformational process. Such an emphasis on responsiveness extends to his positive treatment towards metaphor (linguistic responsiveness), imagination (intellectual responsiveness), and wisdom (practical responsiveness). Since wisdom is a unifying intellectual virtue and it is almost impossible to understand wisdom in an impersonal way, I then return to the very notion of the Xunzian person and articulate the core intellectual virtues from Xunzi’s perspective. I argue that Xunzi’s regarding of exemplars as epistemic paradigms provides valuable insights for the exemplarist turn in virtue epistemology.
Description:Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2016.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Philosophy

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