•  5
    On not meeting in savannah
    Journal of Chinese Philosophy 47 (3-4): 269-270. 2020.
    Journal of Chinese Philosophy, Volume 47, Issue 3-4, Page 269-270, September–December 2020.
  •  8
    Fostering Wisdom in the Classroom, Part 2
    with Monika Ardelt
    Teaching Philosophy 41 (4): 349-380. 2018.
    Advances in both the science and theory of wisdom have made it possible to create sound wisdom curricula and test them in the classroom. This article is a report of one such attempt. We developed a curriculum consistent with theories of wisdom that espouse the following five methods: challenge beliefs; prompt the articulation of values; encourage self-development; encourage self-reflection; and groom the moral emotions—facilitated by the reading of narrative or didactic texts and fostering a com…Read more
  •  9
    New Life for Old Ideas (edited book)
    with Yanming An
    The Chinese University Press. 2019.
    Over five decades, Donald J. Munro has been one of the most important voices in sinological philosophy. Among other accomplishments, his seminal book The Concept of Man in Early China influenced a generation of scholars. His rapprochement with contemporary cognitive and evolutionary science helped bolster the insights of Chinese philosophers and set the standard for similar explorations today. In this festschrift volume, students of Munro and scholars influenced by him celebrate Munro’s body of …Read more
  •  38
    Fostering Wisdom in the Classroom, Part 2: A Curriculum
    with Monika Ardelt
    Teaching Philosophy. forthcoming.
    Advances in both the science and theory of wisdom have made it possible to create sound wisdom curricula and test them in the classroom. This article is a report of one such attempt. We developed a curriculum consistent with theories of wisdom that espouse the following five methods: challenge beliefs; prompt the articulation of values; encourage self-development; encourage self-reflection; and groom the moral emotions—facilitated by the reading of narrative or didactic texts and fostering a com…Read more
  • In the philosophy of action, it is generally understood that action presupposes an agent performing or guiding the action. Action is also generally understood as distinct form the kind of motion that happens in nature. Together these common perspectives on action rule out both action without agency and natural action. And yet, there are times when action can seem qualitatively both natural and lacking a sense of agency. Recently, David Velleman, referring to work by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi a…Read more
  •  36
    The Philosophical Challenge from China (edited book)
    MIT Press. 2015.
    This collection of new articles brings together major scholars working at the intersection of traditional Chinese philosophy and mainstream analytic philosophy. For some 2,500 years, China's best minds have pondered the human condition, and yet their ideas are almost entirely ignored by mainstream philosophers and philosophy programs. The proposed volume is intended to take a step in remedying that situation by directing sinological resources to current topics in philosophy and doing so in a m…Read more
  •  578
    In this Introduction, I identify seven discrete aspects of attention brought to the fore by by considering the phenomenon of effortless attention: effort, decision-making, action syntax, agency, automaticity, expertise, and mental training. For each, I provide an overview of recent research, identify challenges to or gaps in current attention theory with respect to it, consider how attention theory can be advanced by including current research, and explain how relevant chapters of this volume o…Read more
  •  85
    At the confluence of the philosophy of education and social/political philosophy lies the question of how we should educate the next generation of philosophy professors. Part of the question involves how broad such an education should be in order to educate teachers with the ability to, themselves, educate citizens competent to function in a diverse, globalized world. As traditional Western education systems from elementary schools through universities have embraced multicultural sources over th…Read more
  •  29
    Ethnocentrism and Multiculturalism in Contemporary Philosophy
    Philosophy East and West 67 (4): 991-1018. 2017.
    There has recently been much talk of the dangers of implicit bias and speculation about how to diminish it.1 I took a couple of the implicit bias tests on the Harvard website2—tests on bias toward women and toward African Americans—and found to my dismay that I am not as unbiased as I would hope to be. My own implicit bias can have significant ramifications toward my colleagues and co-workers and especially toward my students—I don't want my personal biases to negatively influence their educatio…Read more
  •  25
    Wisdom Can Be Taught: A Proof-of-Concept Study for Fostering Wisdom in the Classroom
    with Monika Ardelt
    Learning and Instruction 58 106-114. 2018.
    We undertook a short-term longitudinal study to test whether a set of methods common to current theories of wisdom transmission can foster wisdom in students in a measurable way. The three-dimensional wisdom scale (3D-WS) was administered to 131 students in five wisdom-promoting introductory philosophy courses and 176 students in seven introductory philosophy and psychology control courses at the beginning and end of the semester. The experimental group was divided in two (“Wisdom 1” and “Wisdom…Read more
  •  65
    Daniel Kahneman was not the first to suggest that attention and effort are closely associated, but his 1973 book Attention and Effort, which claimed that attention can be identified with effort, cemented the association as a research paradigm in the cognitive sciences. Since then, the paradigm has rarely been questioned and appears to have set the research agenda so that it is self-reinforcing. In this article, we retrace Kahneman's argument to understand its strengths and weaknesses. The centra…Read more
  •  44
    Fostering Wisdom in the Classroom, Part 1: A General Theory of Wisdom Pedagogy
    with Monika Ardelt
    Teaching Philosophy 41 (3): 239-253. 2018.
    This article reviews the literature on theories of wisdom pedagogy and abstracts out a single theory of how to foster wisdom in formal education. The fundamental methods of wisdom education are found to be: challenge beliefs; prompt the articulation of values; encourage self-development; encourage self-reflection; and groom the moral emotions. These five methods of wisdom pedagogy rest on two facilitating methods: read narrative or didactic texts and foster a community of inquiry. This article i…Read more
  •  40
    Mechanisms of Mind-Body Interaction and Optimal Performance
    with Yi-Yuan Tang
    Frontiers in Psychology 8. 2017.
    Based on recent findings, we propose a framework for a relationship among attention, effort and optimal performance. Optimal performance often refers to an effortless and automatic, flow-like state of performance. Mindfulness regulates the focus of attention to optimal focus on the core component of the action, avoiding too much attention that could be detrimental for elite performance. Balanced attention is a trained state that can optimize any particular attentional activity on the dual-proces…Read more
  •  92
    This dissertation is an attempt to analyze an indigenous concept of early Chinese Philosophy in its own context, interpreting it outside of a contemporary Western philosophical framework , then to comb the history of Western philosophy for related concepts, in order to finally enrich the contemporary philosophical landscape by incorporating this concept through a useful and familiar set of conceptual tools. ;The concept in question is ziran, rendered spontaneity, a central notion of early Chines…Read more
  •  158
    Can we conceive of disorder in a positive sense? We organize our desks, we discipline our children, we govern our polities--all with the aim of reducing disorder, of temporarily reversing the entropy that inevitably asserts itself in our lives. Going all the way back to Hesiod, we see chaos as a cosmogonic state of utter confusion inevitably reigned in by laws of regularity, in a transition from fearful unpredictability to calm stability. In contrast to a similar early Chinese notion of chaotic …Read more
  •  278
    Emotion in pre-Qin ruist moral theory: An explanation of "dao begins in Qing"
    with Tang Yijie and Hai-ming Wen
    Philosophy East and West 53 (2): 271-281. 2003.
    There is a view that Ruists never put much emphasis on qing and even saw it in a negative light. This is perhaps a misunderstanding, especially in regard to pre-Qin Ruism. In the Guodian Xing zi ming chu, the passage "dao begins in qing" (dao shi yu qing) plays an important role in our understanding of the pre-Qin notion of qing. This article concentrates on the "theory of qing" in both pre-Qin Ruism and Daoism and attempts a philosophical interpretation of "dao begins in qing," and in the proce…Read more
  •  132
    Li Zehou's Aesthetics as a Marxist Philosophy of Freedom
    Dialogue and Universalism 13 (11-12): 133-140. 2003.
    After being largely unknown to non-siniphone philosophers, Li Zehou's ideas are gradually being translated into English, but very little has been done on his aesthetics, which he says is the key to his oeuvre. In the first of three sections of this paper, I briefly introduce the reader to Kant's aesthetics through Li's eyes, in which he develops an implicit notion of aesthetic freedom as political vehicle through the notions of subjectivity, universalization, and the unity of the cognitive facul…Read more
  •  43
    Emotion in pre-Qin ruist moral theory: An explanation of "dao begins in qing"
    with Yijie Tang and Haiming Wen
    Philosophy East and West 53 (2): 271-281. 2003.
    : There is a view that Ruists never put much emphasis on qing and even saw it in a negative light. This is perhaps a misunderstanding, especially in regard to pre-Qin Ruism. In the Guodian Xing zi ming chu, the passage "dao begins in qing" plays an important role in our understanding of the pre-Qin notion of qing. This article concentrates on the "theory of qing" in both pre-Qin Ruism and Daoism and attempts a philosophical interpretation of "dao begins in qing," and in the process offers philos…Read more
  •  134
    Strawson and Prasad on Determinism and Resentment
    Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research 18 (3): 198-216. 2001.
    P. F. Strawson's influential article "Freedom and Resentment" has been much commented on, and one of the most trenchant commentaries is Rajendra Prasad's, "Reactive Attitudes, Rationality, and Determinism." In his article, Prasad contests the significance of the reactive attitude over a precise theory of determinism, concluding that Strawson's argument is ultimately unconvincing. In this article, I evaluate Prasad's challenges to Strawson by summarizing and categorizing all of the relevant arg…Read more
  •  237
    This is the first book to explore the cognitive science of effortless attention and action. Attention and action are generally understood to require effort, and the expectation is that under normal circumstances effort increases to meet rising demand. Sometimes, however, attention and action seem to flow effortlessly despite high demand. Effortless attention and action have been documented across a range of normal activities--from rock climbing to chess playing--and yet fundamental questions abo…Read more
  •  122
    Qing (情) and Emotion in Early Chinese Thought
    Ming Qing Yanjiu 2001 151-176. 2001.
    In a 1967 article, A. C. Graham made the claim that 情 qing should never be translated as "emotions" in rendering early Chinese texts into English. Over time, sophisticated translators and interpreters have taken this advice to heart, and qing has come to be interpreted as "the facts" or "what is genuine in one." In these English terms all sense of interrelationality is gone, leaving us with a wooden, objective stasis. But we also know, again partly through the work of Graham, that interrelati…Read more
  •  309
    This article is a data-driven critique of The Philosophical Gourmet Report, the most institutionally influential publication in the field of Anglophone philosophy. The PGR is influential because it is perceived to be of high value. The article demonstrates that the actual value of the PGR, in its current form, is not nearly as high as it is assumed to be and that the PGR is, in fact, detrimental to the profession. The article lists and explains five objections to the methods and methodology of t…Read more
  •  147
    In typical monotransitive verbs, such as "to touch," the patient is a passive recipient of action. In this paper, I discuss a special class of monotransitive verbs in which the patient is not, and cannot be, just a passive recipient of action. These verbs, such as "to educate," hinge on intersubjective experience. This intersubjectivity throws a wrench into classical descriptions of grammatical transitivity, transforming the recipient of action from a passive patient receiving the action into…Read more
  •  54
    无为的认知科学研究 [The Cognitive Science of Wu Wei]
    Journal of Chinese Philosophy and Culture 2011 (9). 2011.
    认 知科学对 人类大脑和行为的研究,能有助我们更细致精妙地了解 早期中国思想中 “无为”这个常见的人类行为。早期中国典籍中对“无为”的含蓄描述,亦同时可以令我们更 明白当代认知心理学在理论上、预设上的限制,以及可行的出路。本文将沿着上述的两个方向发挥。文章的第一部分,根据 《庄子》里与“无 为 ”行为有关的主要篇章,为“无为”的内容分类。“无为”可分为 “完整性 ”(wholeness) 和“流畅性”(fluency) 两大范 畴,当中“完整性”可细分作“集中”(collection) 和 “排除”(shedding), “流畅性”则可细分作 “回应性”(responsiveness) 和 “轻易”(ease)。 本文的 主要预设是,《庄子》里描述的“无为 ”(甚至是其他典籍里的相关描述)是一种不受文化制约的人类行为。订立一套准确的分类方法,有助我们借此审视当代心 理学和认知科学的 文献中, 曾述及的类似行为。本文继而在已订立的分类方法上,与齐 克森米哈里(Csikszentmihalyi) 的“自 成目的体验 ”(autotelic experience) 观念相互比较,而“自 成目…Read more
  •  176
    In a 1967 article, A. C. Graham made the claim that 情 qing should never be translated as "emotions" in rendering early Chinese texts into English. Over time, sophisticated translators and interpreters have taken this advice to heart, and qing has come to be interpreted as "the facts" or "what is genuine in one." In these English terms all sense of interrelationality is gone, leaving us with a wooden, objective stasis. But we also know, again partly through the work of Graham, that interrelati…Read more
  •  284
    Because psychological studies of attention and cognition are most commonly performed within the strict confines of the laboratory or take cognitively impaired patients as subjects, it is difficult to be sure that resultant models of attention adequately account for the phenomenon of effortless attention. The problem is not only that effortless attention is resistant to laboratory study. A further issue is that because the laboratory is the most common way to approach attention, models resulting …Read more
  •  288
    Scholars working in philosophy of action still struggle with the freedom/determinism dichotomy that stretches back to Hellenist philosophy and the metaphysics that gave rise to it. Although that metaphysics has been repudiated in current philosophy of mind and cognitive science, the dichotomy still haunts these fields. As such, action is understood as distinct from movement, or motion. In early China, under a very different metaphysical paradigm, no such distinction is made. Instead, a notion of…Read more
  •  146
    In this article, I explore the relationship between desire and emotion in Descartes, Zhu Xi, and Wang Yangming with the aim of demonstrating 1) that Zhu Xi, by keying on the detriments of selfishness, represents an improvement over the more sweeping Cartesian suggestion to control desires in general; and 2) that Wang Yangming, in turn, represents an improvement over Zhu Xi by providing a more sophisticated hermeneutic of the cosmology of desire.
  •  136
    What Is Self-Consciousness?
    In Labirinti della mente: Visioni del mondo, Società Bibliografica Toscana. pp. 223-233. 2012.
    In this article, I delineate seven aspects of the process of self-consciousness in order to demonstrate that when any of the aspects is compromised, self-consciousness goes away while consciousness persists. I then suggest that the psychological phenomenon of flow is characterized by a loss of self-consciousness. The seven aspects are: 1) implicit awareness that the person and the self are identical; 2) awareness of an event or circumstance in the world internal or external to the person; 3) a…Read more