Dao Companion to Neo-Confucian Philosophy
John Makeham Early in 2007, HUANG Yong approached me to see if I might be interested in editing a volume on Neo-Confucian philosophy as part of the new Springer book series, ‘‘Dao Companions to Chinese Philosophy. ’’ Unhampered by any realistic sense of what such a task might entail, somewhat naively I accepted the invitation and began to approach potential contributors to solicit advice on how the volume might be structured. The question of whether the volume should be arranged on the basis of philosophical themes and topics or organized on the basis of the philosophical thought of individual thinkers proved to be the first challenge. Intellectually the first option seemed to be the most rewarding (and difficult); it was also the one on which there was little consensus among contributors to the project about just how a thematic volume might be structured. The eventual decision to structure the volume on the basis of the philosophical thought of individual thinkers, in addition to being organizationally more straightforward, had the benefit of enabling authors to address issues of historical context more directly, and also to explore more systematically how individual thinkers had used particular combinations of concepts to frame their philosophical views. The choice of which thinkers to include was made through a combination of inviting the participation of contributors with acknowledged expertise on particular thinkers and also allowing contributors to choose the thinkers and ideas they wanted to introduce.
The first volume in English to provide a comprehensive introduction to the Neo-Confucian thought of representative Chinese thinkersCombines methodological approaches from both comparative philosophy and Chinese intellectual traditionsAddresses problematics from Western philosophical traditions and engages topics and debates that emanate from within Chinese traditionsProvides detailed insights into changing perspectives on key philosophical concepts and their relationship with one another