The Philosophical Challenge from China

The Philosophical Challenge from China

Edited by Brian Bruya

Rigorously argued and meticulously researched, an investigation of current topics in philosophy that is informed by the Chinese philosophical tradition.





Rigorously argued and meticulously researched, an investigation of current topics in philosophy that is informed by the Chinese philosophical tradition.

For too long, analytic philosophy discounted insights from the Chinese philosophical tradition. In the last decade or so, however, philosophers have begun to bring the insights of Chinese thought to bear on current philosophical issues. This volume brings together leading scholars from East and West who are working at the intersection of traditional Chinese philosophy and mainstream analytic philosophy. They draw on the work of Chinese philosophers ranging from early Daoists and Confucians to twentieth-century Chinese thinkers, offering new perspectives on issues in moral psychology, political philosophy and ethics, and metaphysics and epistemology. Taken together, these essays show that serious engagement with Chinese philosophy can not only enrich modern philosophical discussion but also shift the debate in a meaningful way.

Each essay challenges a current position in the philosophical literature—including views expressed by John Rawls, Peter Singer, Nel Noddings, W. V. Quine, and Harry Frankfurt. The contributors discuss topics that include compassion as a developmental virtue, empathy, human worth and democracy, ethical self-restriction, epistemological naturalism, ideas of oneness, know-how, and action without agency.

ContributorsStephen C. Angle, Tongdong Bai, Brian Bruya, Owen Flanagan, Steven Geisz, Stephen Hetherington, Philip J. Ivanhoe, Bo Mou, Donald J. Munro, Karyn L. Lai, Hagop Sarkissian, Bongrae Seok, Kwong-loi Shun, David B. Wong, Brook A. Ziporyn


$50.00 X ISBN: 9780262028431 432 pp. | 7 in x 9 in 5 b&w illus.


Brian Bruya

Brian Bruya is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Eastern Michigan University and Center Associate at the University of Michigan's Center for Chinese Studies. He is the editor of Effortless Attention: A New Perspective on the Cognitive Science of Attention and Action.


  • Bruya (Eastern Michigan Univ.) articulates his goal as fostering a relationship between analytic philosophy and Chinese philosophy. In this, he succeeds: the 13 solid essays have a good, coherent flow and make readers thirsty for more.


  • A fantastic collection of new articles that both question deeply held Western philosophical assumptions and bring Chinese insights to bear on contemporary Anglophone philosophy.

  • The philosophical challenge from China shows that Western philosophy can certainly be enriched and often challenged by Chinese thought. The quality of the papers ranges from good to excellent. Readers who expect general information about Chinese philosophers will be disappointed but this was never a goal of the book. The book can be of interest to philosophers in many subfields and to anyone who is open to non-Western ideas.

  • The Philosophical Challenge from China, edited by Brian Bruya, undoubtedly occupies an important place in the discourse about what practices and authorities are relevant to Philosophy as an academic discipline. Its confident reorientation of philosophical relevance in the context of Anglophone academics will hopefully speak meaningfully to any remaining skeptics of the usefulness of Chinese philosophy.

  • [P]resents a rich array of philosophical topics….Bruya has done a fine job of organizing the invited entries and making them connect with one another…Overall this book is very worth reading, and readers can draw differing inspiration from the rich ideas it introduces…This book will be very useful for scholars working in Chinese philosophy to learn the possible directions one can take.


  • Bruya's well-designed collection, which brings together many of the leading scholars in Chinese philosophy, offers a wide-ranging and persuasive account of how Chinese philosophy can be a resource for addressing current controversies in analytic philosophy. No other anthology can present a better showcase of the contemporary relevance and vitality of Chinese philosophy than this collection.

    Joseph Chan

    University of Hong Kong, author of Confucian Perfectionism: A Political Philosophy for Modern Times

  • Academic philosophy is gradually waking up from its dogmatic slumber and recognizing not only the existence of non-Western philosophical traditions, but also the fact that these traditions have very important things to say. This impressive volume explores the many dimensions of Chinese philosophy and how it bears on ancient philosophical questions, contemporary cognitive science, and contemporary political and ethical concerns. A must-read for anyone interested in philosophy in the twenty-first century.

    Edward Slingerland

    Professor of Asian Studies, Canada Research Chair, University of British Columbia