|About the Book|
Continues the author’s inquiry into the development of the Chinese philosophical concept Li, concluding in Song and Ming dynasty Neo-Confucianism.Beyond Oneness and Difference considers the development of one of the key concepts of Chinese intellectual history, Li. A grasp of the strange history of this term and its seemingly conflicting implications—as oneness and differentiation, as the knowable and as what transcends knowledge, as the good and as the transcendence of good and bad, as order and as omnipresence—raises questions about the most basic building blocks of our thinking. This exploration began in the book’s companion volume, Ironies of Oneness and Difference, which detailed how formative Confucian and Daoist thinkers approached and demarcated concepts of coherence, order, and value, identifying both ironic and non-ironic trends in the elaboration of these core ideas. In the present volume, Brook Ziporyn goes on to examine the implications of Li as they develop in Neo-Daoist metaphysics and in Chinese Buddhism, ultimately becoming foundational to Song and Ming dynasty Neo-Confucianism, the orthodox ideology of late imperial China. Ziporyn’s interrogation goes beyond analysis to reveal the unsuspected range of human thinking on these most fundamental categories of ontology, metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics.Brook Ziporyn is Professor of Chinese Philosophy, Religion, and Comparative Thought at the University of Chicago Divinity School. He is the author of several books, including The Penumbra Unbound: The Neo-Taoist Philosophy of Guo Xiang and Ironies of Oneness and Difference: Coherence in Early Chinese Thought- Prolegomena to the Study of Li, both also published by SUNY Press.