Learning from Chinese Philosophies engages Confucian and Daoist philosophies in creative interplay, developing a theory of interdependent selfhood in the two philosophical traditions. Karyn Lai draws on the unique insights of the two philosophies to address contemporary debates on ethics, community and government. Issues discussed include questions on selfhood, attachment, moral development, government, culture and tradition, and feminist queries regarding biases and dualism in ethics. Throughout the book, Lai demonstrates that Chinese philosophies embody novel and insightful ideas for addressing contemporary issues and problems.
’Karyn Lai’s book Learning from Chinese Philosophies is a wonderful example of current comparative philosophy. The book engages in multiple levels of comparison by detailing the contrasts between Confucianism and Daoism, uncovering the meta-theoretical assumptions of Chinese philosophy, juxtaposing ancient Chinese philosophy with modern ethical theory, and offering new philosophical insights into Confucianism and Daoism as well as into modern ethical theory. Lai offers an interesting and thought-provoking comparison of ancient and modern, Eastern and Western, and Confucian and Daoist philosophies. Managing these many levels of comparison is no small feat, and Lai offers innovative interpretations of Confucianism and Daoism to boot.’ Dao: Journal of Comparative Philosophy