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Li Zehou. The Chinese Aesthetic Tradition
2009, Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press
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Added by: Meilin Chinn
Publisher's Note: The Chinese Aesthetic Tradition touches on all areas of artistic activity, including poetry, painting, calligraphy, architecture, and the "art of living." Right government, the ideal human being, and the path to spiritual transcendence all come under the provenance of aesthetic thought. According to Li this was the case from early Confucian explanations of poetry as that which gives expression to intent, through Zhuangzi’s artistic depictions of the ideal personality who discerns the natural way of things and lives according to it, to Chan Buddhist-inspired notions that nature and words can come together to yield insight and enlightenment. In this enduring and stimulating work, Li demonstrates conclusively the fundamental role of aesthetics in the development of the cultural and psychological structures in Chinese culture that define "humanity."

Comment: Li’s synthesis of Chinese aesthetic thought from ancient to early modern times. Li incorporates pre-Confucian, Confucian, Daoist, and Chan Buddhist ideas to discuss art and the central role of aesthetics in Chinese culture and philosophy. Government, self-cultivation and realization, and ethics are all approached here as aesthetic activities. This text is well-suited to an aesthetics or Chinese philosophy course in which there is some introduction to key philosophical concepts from Chinese philosophy. It provides excellent material for cross-cultural aesthetics.

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Li, Chenyang. The Confucian Philosophy of Harmony
2014, Routledge Studies in Asian Religion and Philosophy
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, Contributed by: Quentin Pharr
Publisher’s Note: Harmony is a concept essential to Confucianism and to the way of life of past and present people in East Asia. Integrating methods of textual exegesis, historical investigation, comparative analysis, and philosophical argumentation, this book presents a comprehensive treatment of the Confucian philosophy of harmony. The book traces the roots of the concept to antiquity, examines its subsequent development, and explicates its theoretical and practical significance for the contemporary world. It argues that, contrary to a common view in the West, Confucian harmony is not mere agreement but has to be achieved and maintained with creative tension. Under the influence of a Weberian reading of Confucianism as "adjustment" to a world with an underlying fixed cosmic order, Confucian harmony has been systematically misinterpreted in the West as presupposing an invariable grand scheme of things that pre-exists in the world to which humanity has to conform. The book shows that Confucian harmony is a dynamic, generative process, which seeks to balance and reconcile differences and conflicts through creativity. Illuminating one of the most important concepts in Chinese philosophy and intellectual history, this book is of interest to students of Chinese studies, history and philosophy in general and eastern philosophy in particular.

Comment: This text is the single best introduction and overview of the Confucian conception of harmony (hē), and how it compares with ancient Roman and Greek conceptions of the same. This text is best read with some familiarity of various Confucian texts and commentators. But, the author is quite generous to readers in explaining the background of whatever is under discussion. In general, this text is probably best as a further reading for students who are also reading Confucian texts, but it also stands up as an introductory and specialized overview of its subject matter as well.

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Locke, Alain LeRoy. The Philosophy of Alain Locke: Harlem Renaissance and Beyond
1989, Temple University Press.
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Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Lydia Patton

Publisher's Note: This collection of essays by American philosopher Alain Locke (1885-1954) makes readily available for the first time his important writings on cultural pluralism, value relativism, and critical relativism. As a black philosopher early in this century, Locke was a pioneer: having earned both undergraduate and doctoral degrees at Harvard, he was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford, studied at the University of Berlin, and chaired the Philosophy Department at Howard University for almost four decades. He was perhaps best known as a leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance.

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Lodhi, Abdulaziz Y.. The Language Situation in Africa Today
1993, Nordic Journal of African Studies. 2 (1): 79–86.
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Added by: Sara Peppe and Björn Freter
Abstract: The African continent and the nearby islands constitute one-fourth of the land surface of the earth. Approximately 460 million people live in Africa which is about 11% of the world's population. Of the estimated 6,200 languages and dialects in the world, 2,582 languages and 1,382 dialects are found in Africa. Some languages in Africa are spoken by more than 20 or 30 million people, e.g. Hausa-Fulani, Oromo/Galla and Swahili. Arabic is the most widely spread language on the continent and it is the mothertongue of more than 110 million Africans, whereas in Asia there are only half as many native speakers of Arabic. More than 50 languages are spoken by more than one million speakers each; and a couple of hundred languages are spoken by small groups of a few thousand, or a few hundred people. These small languages are disappearing at a fast rate. Altogether only 146 vernaculars are used as "operative languages" in different situations, and 82 of them are classified by linguists as "highest priority languages", i.e. they are used as "local languages" in different contexts by various authorities, aid organisations and non- governmental organisations (NGOs) in their projects and campaigns. Of the latter, 41 languages are widely used as "lingua franca" for inter-ethnic, regional and/or international communication. All African languages compete with metropolitan/colonial languages, as well as with pidgin and creoles. However, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) has recommended 50 languages to be supported along with Arabic and Swahili as the only native African working languages. The lingua francas in Africa are of two types: Type A is spread by Africans, e.g. Amharic, Hausa, Swahili and Wolof; while Type B is spread through foreign influence, e.g. Lingala and Swahili during the colonial period. Most lingua francas have both Type A and B features, and the common denominator for them all is that they have been, and many of them are today, languages which were used by soldiers and warrior groups and African conquerors, languages which were later employed by European colonialists in their African armies.

Comment: This article provides an outlook on the languages of Africa, highlighting that the African continent is multi-lingual since there is a huge number of languages and dialects. Plus, the paper clarifies that together with the autochthonous languages, colonialism introduced European languages, increasing the number of languages used. The importance of this article is that it elucidates the impact of the acquis of languages in Africa on politics, education and development. This is linked with the issue of African languages in African philosophy too.

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Lovibond, Sabina. Feminism and pragmatism: a reply to Richard Rorty
2010, In Marianne Janack (ed.), Feminist Interpretations of Richard Rorty. Pennsylvania State University Press.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa
Abstract: This essay responds to a (1991) Tanner Lecture by Rorty in which he criticizes 'universalist-realist' views in ethics, as exemplified by the work of Lovibond up to 'Feminism and Postmodernism' (where he is discussed, along with Alasdair MacIntyre and Jean-Francois Lyotard, as a specimen postmodern thinker), and promotes his pragmatist philosophy as a congenial intellectual basis for feminism. The essay questions the claims of pragmatism in this respect, and reflects more generally on issues of realism, essentialism, conceptual innovation, and legitimation. It argues that to acknowledge the historically situated character of human existence is not to give up on the idea of an ethically orientated politics. Likewise, it suggests that the risk of flawed or irresponsible generality in political discourse is not all located on the side of realism. Finally, some consideration is given to the notion of gendered identity as a basis for feminist consciousness.

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Mabe, Jacob Emmanuel. The Situation of the Indigenous African Languages as a Challenge for Philosophy
2020, Philosophy Study. 10 (10): 667-677.
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Added by: Sara Peppe and Björn Freter
Abstract: In view of the increasing demands for the rehabilitation and promotion of indigenous African languages, a philosophical answer to the question of what can and should be done to effectively counteract the continuing marginalization of languages is often required. Despite the relatively successful coexistence of African and European languages, which has produced mixed languages, all measures must be taken to ensure that the native languages of Africa are used in the future as a means of expressing Africa’s identities and worldviews. This chapter tries to show how the philosophy of convergence can contribute to overcome the language dilemma in Africa.

Comment: This article treats the theme of the marginalization of African indigenous languages in African philosophy and proposes a way of solving this issue through transcription and semantic transmission applied in philosophical translation. Plus, the paper highlights that to solve marginalization, Africa urgently needs a policy on languages that encourages the use of native languages. This would be helpful for African philosophy since, in this way, African thinkers can express African patterns of thinking, values, cultural heritage and identity.

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Man, Eva Kit Wah. Female bodily aesthetics, politics, and feminine ideals of beauty in China
2000, In Beauty Matters, Peg Zeglin Brand (ed.), Indiana University Press, p169-196.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Christy Mag Uidhir
Abstract: A long and scholarly piece by Eva Kitt Wah Man covers the history of Chinese conventions governing female 'beauty' from Confucius through Maoism to the present day. Classical manuals provide highly specific requirements forc ourtesans and concubines. The shrunken, pulpy appendages produced by foot-binding practiceswere regarded as the most sexually stimulating features of the female body. In 1949, following the inauguration of the Communist regime, women were expected to shun ornament and make-up, to have short hair, wear party uniforms, and to look as much like men as possible. The ideal for the contemporary Chinese woman is quite a lot like the ideal for the courtesan of tradition, but the de-tails are drawn from western fashion magazines. Wah believes that such liberation, although it has its advantages, is mainly nominal and fosters confusion. She writes: 'Although Chinese women today are developing new self-confidence, they do not seem to be aware of the fact that one can be-come a slave of the fashion industry, which merely repeats the bodily constraints of past times in a new form' (p. 194). [review by Mary Mothersill, 2001 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 59 (2):211-214.] Feminist Review volume 75, pages145-147, 2003)

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Mankiller, Wilma, et al.. Everyday is a Good Day: Reflections by Contemporary Indigenous Women
2004, Fulcrum Publishing.
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Added by: Sonja Dobroski and Quentin Pharr
Publisher’s Note: Nineteen prominent Native artists, educators, and activisits share their candid and often profound thoughts on what it means to be a Native American woman in the early 21st century. Their stories are rare and often intimate glimpses of women who have made a conscious decision to live every day to its fullest and stand for something larger than themselves.

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Maracle, Lee. I Am Woman: A Native Perspective on Sociology and Feminism
2002, Press Gang Publishers, Canada.
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Added by: Sonja Dobroski and Quentin Pharr
Publisher’s Note: I Am Woman represents my personal struggle with womanhood, culture, traditional spiritual beliefs and political sovereignty, written during a time when that struggle was not over. My original intention was to empower Native women to take to heart their own personal struggle for Native feminist being. The changes made in this second edition of the text do not alter my original intention. It remains my attempt to present a Native woman's sociological perspective on the impacts of colonialism on us, as women, and on my self personally.

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Masitera, Erasmus. Creating the Other in the Context of Land Redistributions. The Paradox of Decolonization and Common Good
2020, In: Imafidon, E. (ed.) Handbook of African Philosophy of Difference. Cham: Springer, 525-544
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Added by: Björn Freter

Abstract: In this chapter I argue for land redistribution that promotes common good and decolonisation for all humans. I achieve this by criticising land redistributions that are discriminatory, in that regard I particularise the issue to Zimbabwean land reform of 2000 onwards. I note that the particular land redistribution resulted in marginalisation, exclusion, thingification and disempowerment of certain groups of people based on their race, political, economic and social standing. Opposed to the discriminatory land redistribution, I argue (through the use of philosophical terms and systems) for land redistribution that aims at empowering and promotes well-being, common good and harmony among members of society.

Comment: In this chapter I argue for land redistribution that promotes common good and decolonisation for all humans. I achieve this by criticising land redistributions that are discriminatory, in that regard I particularise the issue to Zimbabwean land reform of 2000 onwards. I note that the particular land redistribution resulted in marginalisation, exclusion, thingification and disempowerment of certain groups of people based on their race, political, economic and social standing. Opposed to the discriminatory land redistribution, I argue (through the use of philosophical terms and systems) for land redistribution that aims at empowering and promotes well-being, common good and harmony among members of society.

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Matilal, Bimal Krishna. Perception: An Essay on Classic Indian theories of Knowledge
1986, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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Added by: Giada Fratantonio
Abstract: This book is a defence of a form of realism which stands closest to that upheld by the Nyaya-Vaid'sesika school in classical India. The author presents the Nyaya view and critically examines it against that of its traditional opponent, the Buddhist version of phenomenalism and idealism. His reconstruction of Nyaya arguments meets not only traditional Buddhist objections but also those of modern sense-data representationalists

Comment: This can be used as a reading for a course on indian philosophy, focusing on epistemology, and philosophy of science

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Mihesuah, Devon. Repatriation Reader: Who Owns American Indian Remains?
2000, Devon Mihesuah (ed.), University of Nebraska Press.
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Added by: Sonja Dobroski and Quentin Pharr
Publisher’s Note: In the past decade the repatriation of Native American skeletal remains and funerary objects has become a lightning rod for radically opposing views about cultural patrimony and the relationship between Native communities and archaeologists. In this unprecedented volume, Native Americans and non-Native Americans within and beyond the academic community offer their views on repatriation and the ethical, political, legal, cultural, scholarly, and economic dimensions of this hotly debated issue. While historians and archaeologists debate continuing non-Native interests and obligations, Native American scholars speak to the key cultural issues embedded in their ancestral pasts. A variety of sometimes explosive case studies are considered, ranging from Kennewick Man to the repatriation of Zuni Ahayu:da. Also featured is a detailed discussion of the background, meaning, and applicability of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, as well as the text of the act itself.

Comment: Offers various opinions on the ethical, legal, and cultural issues regarding the rights and interests of Native Americans, including discussion on the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.

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Misak, Cheryl. The American Pragmatists (The Oxford History of Philosophy)
2013, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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Added by: Jamie Collin
Publisher's Note: Cheryl Misak presents a history of the great American philosophical tradition of pragmatism, from its inception in the Metaphysical Club of the 1870s to the present day. She identifies two dominant lines of thought in the tradition: the first begins with Charles S. Peirce and Chauncey Wright and continues through to Lewis, Quine, and Sellars; the other begins with William James and continues through to Dewey and Rorty. This ambitious new account identifies the connections between traditional American pragmatism and twentieth-century Anglo-American philosophy, and links pragmatism to major positions in the recent history of philosophy, such as logical empiricism. Misak argues that the most defensible version of pragmatism must be seen and recovered as an important part of the analytic tradition.

Comment: A good primary reading for courses on pragmatism or the history of American philosophy. Useful for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

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Misak, Cheryl. Truth and the End of Inquiry: A Peircean Account of Truth
2004, Oxford University Press
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, Contributed by: Quentin Pharr
Publisher’s Note: C.S. Peirce, the founder of pragmatism, argued that truth is what we would agree upon, were inquiry to be pursued as far as it could fruitfully go. In this book, Misak argues for and elucidates the pragmatic account of truth, paying attention both to Peirce's texts and to the requirements of a suitable account of truth. An important argument of the book is that we must be sensitive to the difference between offering a definition of truth and engaging in a distinctively pragmatic project. The pragmatic project spells out the relationship between truth and inquiry; it articulates the consequences of a statement's being true. The existence of a distinct pragmatic enterprise has implications for the status of the pragmatic account of truth and for the way in which philosophy should be conducted.

Comment: For students wanting to know more about Peirce's conception of truth, as it relates to the end of inquiry, Misak's book is an excellent first book to study. It is highly readable and authoritative. It is also a great book for understanding some of the major differences between Peirce and James, as early proponents of pragmatism who disagreed on the nature of truth. Prior readings of Peirce's philosophy will help - but, by and large, Misak provides everything that is needed for a first appreciation of the substance of his views. It is also a helpful guide for students to gather a sense of how pragmatists who are not necessarily Jamesians believe we should philosophize and inquire.

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Mukherji, Parul Dave. Who is afraid of Mimesis? Contesting the Common Sense of Indian Aesthetics through the Theory of ‘Mimesis’ or Anukaraṇa Vâda
2016, In Arindam Chakrabarti (ed.). The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Indian Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 71-92.
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Added by: Meilin Chinn
Summary: A rejoinder to the claim that mimesis is unimportant in Indian art and aesthetics. Dave-Mukherji seeks to decolonize Indian aesthetics from its internalized Western ethnocentrism, according to which mimesis belongs to the domain of Western art and aesthetics, and open new, non-binary terrain for comparative aesthetics. She seeks to revive the complex theory of visual representation theorized in ancient Indian art treatises, particularly the concept of anukrti, a term she considers cognate to mimesis.

Comment: This text is appropriate for a course in aesthetics and/or comparative aesthetics. It provides an excellent background for a cross-cultural discussion of mimesis.

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