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2013, Vol., No.69

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    A Portrait of the Holy Philosopher in Porphyry’s Life of Plotinus

    Song Euree | 2013, (69) | pp.7~41 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    How are we to live? Socrates understands this question as follows: How are we to live in order to live well? He takes it for granted that we all want to live well. His answer to the question is that we are to live virtuously. Thus, virtue (aretê) is the key to the good life, namely happiness (eudaimonia). Socrates’ approach of aspiring to human excellence is opposed to one that is concerned with minimal decency. Most of the ancient philosophers share Socrates’ aspiration, but especially the Platonists cherish the extreme version of ethical idealism. They ambitiously define the goal of their philosophy as ‘assimilation to god’ and believe that it is virtue that leads to god. In order to become godlike or divine, we need to be virtuous. For the ancient Platonists, the ideal philosopher is a virtuous man (spoudaios) as well as a divine man (theios anêr). What does such an ideal philosopher look like? What is his virtue? How are we to conceive of the god whom he is emulating? To approach these questions, I suggest looking at a portrait of the ideal philosopher presented in Porphyry’s Life of Plotinus (Vita Plotini), a biography of a Platonist hailed as a pagan saint in Late Antiquity. It is shown that the biographer reconstructs the hero’s life in virtue of his theory of a scale of virtues representing different levels in an upward movement of divinization of the human soul, namely: (1) political, (2) purificatory, (3) theoretical virtues. Thereby the hero emerges as a perfect philosopher possessing all virtues. In addition, I argue that the portrait of the holy and divine Plotinus reflects much of the biographer’s own ascetic ideal of philosopher propounded in De abstinentia. Furthermore, it is noted that Porphyry attributes to Plotinus a divine power which goes beyond the levels of virtues. In conclusion, the holy philosopher portrayed in the Life of Plotinus is an ascetic and wonder-worker like the Christian saints, but, unlike them, a sage (sophos) embodying perfect virtue. The ideal of life envisaged by ancient Platonists like Plotinus and Porphyry offers an alternative or a challenge to the view that one can do philosophy without engaging in virtue and holiness, as well as to the view that one can be virtuous and holy without philosophy.
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    The De/Virtue(德) and Political Capacity of the People According to the Zhuangzi - Focusing on the Primitivist Writings of the Outer Chapters -

    Kim, Kyung-Hee | 2013, (69) | pp.43~77 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    In the philosophical tradition of East Asia, de (德) has generally been understood as a key concept of Confucian ethics only. However, Daoists had also developed their own ideas of de. In this article, I examine the unique idea of de, as it appears in the Primitivist chapters of Zhuangzi, and try to consider its political implications. Within Confucianism, de refers to the inner inclination and capacity to act morally. It has to attained through the process of self cultivation and learning. Confucius required it as a personal quality for politicians - a quality that is special and uncommon, and can only be attained by a small number of people. This implies that, within the political sphere, the qualified and unqualified must be distinguished, and that the people(民) - representing the majority of community members - are to be excluded from the political and public sphere so that they cannot be become political subjects. Against this Confucian thought, the Primitivist author of Zhuangzi defines de as the capacity to, and activity of, live spontaneously which people naturally have as part of their inborn nature(性). It is described as the capacity ‘to weave for their clothing, to till for their food’. In this sense, de is a capacity that is shared by everybody, and that which needs not to be developed but discovered. In Primitivist writings, there is a political idea that we must not overlook. It is the idea that people have the ability to discuss and debate with their own mouths. The mouths of the people not only have the function of eating to live, but also have the function of speaking, and only when the two capacities are unified, the people can be established as political subjects. The Primitivist author tries to overcome the elitism that Confucianism displays on the issue of the political subject and attempts to illustrate the clues that make it possible to think about the capacity of the people as political subjects. Through this examination we can approach the socio-political vision proper to Zhuangzi, thus going beyond the viewpoint that regards the book to read as a nonpolitical text.
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    A Virtuous Person as Portrayed by Huang Zongxi - One who Develops within Society -

    Yi, Hye-gyung | 2013, (69) | pp.115~156 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    This paper considers the thought of Huang Zongxi - which is based upon the intellectual tradition of the Yangming School and also adheres to the idea that li (理) never existed on its own but was always a part of existing qi (氣) - by focusing on the notion of ‘virtue’ and examining how it is regarded within his writings. As the material existence of human beings comes from qi, and as the world is comprised of the movement of qi, the two are interlinked and move together. The mind that is able to sense what is good is also qi, and it constantly moves within a state of excess and deficiency. As such, individuals, as imperfect beings, must come together within society to keep in check, and compensate for, their shortcomings and to develop their virtues. Therefore, the formation of a society and the establishment of institutions that can provide a positive environment in which virtue can develop becomes an important moral and political task. The way in which Huang Zongxi focused on the development of virtue and how he combined this development of virtue with politics provides new insights for the field of modern virtue ethics, as well as demonstrating a way forward for Confucianism in the modern period.
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    Models about the Virtuous Person and Virtue Ethics

    Jang Dong-ik | 2013, (69) | pp.159~188 | number of Cited : 6
    Abstract PDF
    Virtue ethics has solved the disadvantages which come from Utilitarianism and Kantian ethics and so is esteemed as a rival ethical theory to normative ethics. It is much criticized by Utilitarian and Kantian ethics. Those who adhere to virtue ethics should be able to answer to the criticisms presented by utilitarian and Kantian ethics. In this paper, I present an explanation on the relation of the virtuous agent to right action, because this explanation allows room to understand how one may be a virtuous person and what are the things that a virtuous person does, this being one of the criticisms thrown towards virtue ethics. I first broadly examine the priority of aretaic evaluation in character trait over normative evaluation in action, because the relation between the virtuous agent and right action can be explained by different views in the priority of aretaic evaluation. I also consider the technical manual model, role model, and developmental model and suggest that the developmental model is the most appropriate as a proper model of being a virtuous agent in virtue ethics. While having argument about a formula about right action in virtue ethics’ and a condition “agent knows” on an act’s being done in Nicomachean Ethics.
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    The Significance and the Future - Task of E. Husserl’s Phenomenological Social Ethics -

    Nam-In Lee | 2013, (69) | pp.189~218 | number of Cited : 5
    Abstract PDF
    In the 1920’s, Husserl developed his phenomenological social ethics in his two manuscripts on “Gemeingeist” and his five articles on “the ethics of renewal”. It is the aim of this paper 1) to clarify the basic structure of Husserl’s phenomenological social ethics, 2) to highlight the significance of phenomenological social ethics, and 3) to delineate some important tasks that phenomenological social ethics has to solve in the future. Section I shows that there are various dimensions to phenomenological ethics such as empirical phenomenological ethics, regional phenomenological ethics, formal phenomenological ethics, and transcendental phenomenological ethics. Section 2 and Section 3 clarify, respectively, the general structure of phenomenological social ethics developed 1) in Husserl’s manuscripts on “Gemeingeist” and 2) in his five articles on “the ethics of renewal”. Section 4 shows the significance of phenomenological social ethics developed in the manuscripts on “Gemeingeist” and the five articles on “the ethics of renewal”, on the one hand, and the future tasks that this phenomenological social ethics has to solve, on the other hand.
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    Morality of a Work and its Moral Value - Criticizing Gaut’s Ethicism -

    Haewan Lee | 2013, (69) | pp.219~255 | number of Cited : 4
    Abstract PDF
    Can a work of art be artistically good or bad by virtue of its moral features? I critically examine Ethicism, Berys Gaut’s version of moralism, which partly claims that artwork is aesthetically defective in so much as it is morally defective. I find this is not a coherent position to maintain as it would face difficulties in handling some intuitively unfavorable cases. However, what I find more interesting is what lies behind this incoherence which stems from unclarity concerning how to judge the moral value of an artwork. It is my belief that we are not very attentive about a possible distinction between the ‘morality of a work’ and the relevant sense of the ‘moral value of the work.’ It is legitimate to evaluate a work in terms of moral standards, for example whether a work as a whole endorses a morally problematic point of view. This determines the morality of the work. However, I argue that this so-called ‘point-of-view morality’ does not determine the moral value of the work. A work’s moral value has to do with its capacity to influence the audience in morally significant ways. In order to decide the moral value, we may have to consider the effectiveness of the moral influence and artistic choices for this goal and not merely whether it endorses a certain point of view. For example, the audience would be able to utilize the immorality of the work to reflect upon their own moral sensitivity and scope, as immoralists claim. We can also think of a moral piece of work (that has a point of view morally praiseworthy) which has no moral influence to the audience reasons being; since it is too naive, too pedantic, too predictable, etc. Therefore, utilizing consequentialist’s view on moral value, I suggest how to evaluate a work’s moral value as an artistic value, where moral and artistic evaluation is one and the same. I believe Ethicism too, in spirit, wanted to establish this but was not able to do so due to its implicit identification of a work’s ‘point-of-view morality’ with its moral value.
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    Comparison between ‘The Repetition of the Sacred Name of Amitabha’ and ‘Jesus Prayer’ - Focusing on the Concept of ‘Deautomatization’ and ‘ASC: Altered States of Consciousness’ -

    Seong, Hae Young | 2013, (69) | pp.257~288 | number of Cited : 4
    Abstract PDF
    As a meditation technique, the ‘Jesus prayer’ of Christianity and ‘the repetition of the sacred name of Amitabha’ of Buddhism demonstrates unusual similarities. For both religious practices, ‘language’ functions as the most important key to changing the human consciousness. Both meditation techniques also imply that our everyday consciousness may not be all, and that the subliminal dimension of human consciousness may be revealed by means of the repetition of certain words. In this way, human language can be a crucial tool guiding us to the dimension that human language cannot represent. Furthermore, a comparison between ‘Jesus prayer’ and ‘the repetition of the sacred name of Amitabha’ provides us with some insights concerning meditation techniques. Indeed, the difference of meditation techniques should not be exaggerated. The unusual similarities clearly demonstrate that, as a mantra technique, ‘Jesus prayer’ and ‘the repetition of the sacred name of Amitabha’ are of the same kind. Both methods emphasize love and commitment and also emphasize the emotional aspects which have been neglected by the mainstream in both religious traditions. At the same time, both methods can be properly analyzed by the concepts of ‘deautomatization’ and ‘altered states of consciousness’. In that sense, the comparative study of meditation technique illustrates the need to adopt a more balanced stance towards inter-religious conflict regarding which of the two is the better meditation skill.
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    A Knowledge Collector’s Reading of Turkey - George Sandys’s Relation of a Journey -

    KIM, YOUN KYUNG | 2013, (69) | pp.343~378 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    A Relation of a Journey begun An. Dom. 1610 by George Sandys shows the flexibility of early modern travelogues and the 17th century British literary class’s attitude toward Ottoman Turkey. Though Ottoman Turkey, then a powerful empire, emerged as an important trade partner, Sandys’s contemporary British people sometimes failed to overcome age-old cultural, religious prejudices against the empire and its people. In his comprehensive travelogue Sandys, on the other hand, appreciates Turkish culture and landscape from his unique humanist point of view, without denying the Ottoman Empire at that time; he himself was not free from those prejudices, but he was greatly influenced by the humanist tradition and fairly interested in religious tolerance. In order to read the past and present Turkey more in depth within his rather limited frame, Sandys meticulously utilizes the excerpts from classical texts and makes his representation of Turkey multi-layered. While he suppresses his own authorial voice in the text, he enhances his experience and knowledge of Turkey with detailed analyses and meditation and presents general, universal messages.
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    Translation and Transcendental Language - Focusing on Siphyundamjuhae by Han Yong-un -

    Park, Hyun-Soo | 2013, (69) | pp.379~406 | number of Cited : 5
    Abstract PDF
    Walter Benjamin, in his essay “The task of the translator”, argues that the task of the translator does not depend on how well he does in translating the original text with his technical ability at the human level, but on how well does in demonstrating the ability to call and evoke the transcendental ‘pure language’ in the intermediate stage in languages. He found his ultimate goal in the discovery of transcendental language implicitly delivered through the meeting of these languages, ​​thereby excluding concern for secular languages. This means that he deals with the problem of language and translation from the point of view of extrinsic transcendence. Han Yong-un is noteworthy in that he establishes his view of language and translation by turning Benjamin’s extrinsic transcendence upside down. In the footnotes of his annotated book Siphyundamjuhae(십현담주해), Han Yong-un argues that his footnotes have been established by the interpretation of ‘unexpressed meaning’(言外之旨) in which the difference from others exists.(According to Roman Jakobson, translations such as this are a kind of ‘inner language translation’) His ‘unexpressed meaning’ is similar to Benjamin's ‘pure language’ in that it is not inherent within the text or the language but is supposed to be located outside. But when it is specifically reviewed, Han Yong-un’s ‘unexpressed meaning’ is a meaning that is inherent within the language and, at the same time, keeps the transcendental state rather than the meaning which exists irrelevant to the text. He calls this meaning in the translation of Buddhist scriptures ‘the sacred meaning'. The difference of views between Benjamin and Han Yong-un regarding transcendental language comes from the difference of views towards transcendence or world. Han Yong-un consistently argues for intrinsic transcendence while Benjamin puts stress on extrinsic transcendence. Han Yong-un regards the earth as the place where transcendence has already been accomplished, namely ‘beyond-here’. The ‘here’ in ‘beyond-here’ is not the target of ‘beyond’ but the consequence arrived through the ‘beyond’. It is not to go ‘there’ beyond or independent of ‘here’ but ‘here’ is the already reached place that has already passed through the several ‘beyond’ waves. His poem anthology, Nimui Chimmuk(님의 침묵) is the accumulation of this point of view. This anthology is the (poetically realized) philosophical response to the Siphyundamjuhae, that is, the consequence of the translation with the different language of ours. Therefore, the two translations are mutually complementary. Siphyundamjuhae is no more a translation responding poetically to the original poem than Nimui Chimmuk is translation as a different language. The intersection of the two is ‘beyond-here’ as the immanent transcendence. The achievement of Han Yong-un is conspicuous when we refer to the voice of Benjamin about translation.
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    Articulation of Knowledge and Politics of Enlightenment - Related with Laborers’ Education -

    Yunjeong Jo | 2013, (69) | pp.407~445 | number of Cited : 12
    Abstract PDF
    By considering Nodongyahakdokbon(勞動夜學讀本), this paper reveals the double meaning of the concept of labor inherent in enlightenment logic and the meaning and the limits of the sense of identity of the intellectual from a political and cultural viewpoint. There are, at the same time, two different kinds of concepts about laborers in Nodongyahakdokbon(勞動夜學讀本). One is a laborer as a member of the Chosun nation and another is a laborer as a neglected class of people. This occurred as a result of the situation under which nation ideology had been combined with the concept of labor introduced and settled in the age of the time of enlightenment. This paper compares Nodongyahakdokbon with Namgung Ok’s Gyoyukwolbo(敎育月報) and Yagakdokuhon, by Horie Hideo and Godai Sigeru, which were published around the same time. This study also deals with the acceptance of the theory of social evolution and the thought of Confucius and Mencius which influenced the publication of the textbook of Yu Giljun. In addition, this work finds as the root cause of the insufficient response of the laborers towards Nodongyahakdokbon in its high price, unpractical and difficult contents, and coercion towards the figure of adaptive labor. In this aspect, Nodongyahakdokbon acts as important data in exposing the concept and value of labor and the importance of the education of laborers in the development of modern society. But it had an obvious limit in that it could not envisage the possibility of the independent educational participation of laborers or the making of the culture of the laborers.
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    A Study on Daozhang as a Prototypical Text of a Classical Novel

    Kim, Sooyoun | 2013, (69) | pp.447~476 | number of Cited : 3
    Abstract PDF
    Daozhang, which is a series of Taoist books and scriptures, is not only a treasure house of enormous thoughts and stories but also a book on religious thought. It has different kinds of images and imagination systems, and also talks about oriental philosophical experiences and the facts of life in various ways. Therefore, the narrative imagination of Daozhang represents much, as an origin of literary imaginations. Studies on Korean Classical Novels have examined the relation between Taoism and Taoist imagination, but current scholarship has not yet approached issues such as the origin of imagination or the prototypical text. In China, a national compilation of Daozhang was undertaken on a large scale, covering Taoist hermit tales embodying early Taoist thought to Taoist scriptures of the periods of the North and South Dynasties, Sui and Tang, as well as later offshoots. In Korea, efforts at publishing or translating were not undertaken autonomously, but from the Three Kingdoms period, Taoism and Daozhang were introduced and Taoist scriptures were enjoyed and passed down widely amongst literary people. Taoist thoughts have a longer history than Buddhism, and in case of China it was a state religion for a while. However, in its dissemination, it played an important role as a folk religion in the basic culture. As the thoughts of the people, Taoism is associated with a fictitious outlook on the world. Novels are also linked with Taoism in terms of their closely private and non-mainstream characteristics, as well as their expressive techniques, such as allegories or comparisons. It is possible to look for Taoist imaginations in Korean or Chinese novels, and novelist such as Kim Siseup pored over the Taoist Scriptures, making use of them in his writings. Some views that suggest Daozhang as a prototypical text of classical novels demonstrate the huge potential for new possible explorations in the study of classical novels, which until now have been focused on Confucian discussion and vision. In addition, we can broaden the scope of East Asian comparative narratology and present a profound viewpoint for it.
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