Reflective judgment vs. investigation of things – a comparative study of Kant and Zhu Xi

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Ou, Yangxiao
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University College Cork
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This thesis is devoted to studying two historical philosophical events that happened in the West and the East. A metaphysical crisis stimulated Kant’s writings during his late critical period towards the notion of the supersensible. It further motivated a methodological shift and his coining of reflective judgment, which eventually brought about a systemic unfolding of his critical philosophy via Kantian moral teleology. Zhu Xi and his Neo-Confucian contemporaries confronted a transformed intellectual landscape resulting from the Neo-Daoist and Buddhist discourses of “what is beyond the form”. The revival of Confucianism required a method in order to relocate the formless Dao back into daily life and to reconstruct a meta-ethical foundation within a social context. This led to the Neo-Confucian recasting of “investigation of things” from The Great Learning via complex hermeneutic operations. By the respective investigation on, as well as the comparative analysis of the two events, I reveal the convergence and incommensurability between the two distinct cultural traditions concerning the metaphysical quests, the mechanism of intellectual development, and moral teleology, so as to capture the intrinsic characteristics of philosophical research in general.
Kant , Teleology , Zhu Xi , Neo-Confucianism , Dilthey , Metaethics , Reflective judgment , Gewu , Investigation of things , Hermeneutic mechanism , Critique of judgment , The great learning , Chinese hermeneutics , Comparative philosophy , Metholody of comparative philosophy , The supersensible , Metaphysical quest , Li , Principle , Purpose , Chinese philosophy , Kantian philosophy , Philosophical creativity , Moral teleology
Ou, Y. 2016. Reflective judgment vs. investigation of things – a comparative study of Kant and Zhu Xi. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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