1st Edition

The Significance of Indeterminacy Perspectives from Asian and Continental Philosophy

Edited By Robert H. Scott, Gregory S. Moss Copyright 2019
    404 Pages
    by Routledge

    402 Pages
    by Routledge

    While indeterminacy is a recurrent theme in philosophy, less progress has been made in clarifying its significance for various philosophical and interdisciplinary contexts. This collection brings together early-career and well-known philosophers—including Graham Priest, Trish Glazebrook, Steven Crowell, Robert Neville, Todd May, and William Desmond—to explore indeterminacy in greater detail. The volume is unique in that its essays demonstrate the positive significance of indeterminacy, insofar as indeterminacy opens up new fields of discourse and illuminates neglected aspects of various concepts and phenomena. The essays are organized thematically around indeterminacy’s impact on various areas of philosophy, including post-Kantian idealism, phenomenology, ethics, hermeneutics, aesthetics, and East Asian philosophy. They also take an interdisciplinary approach by elaborating the conceptual connections between indeterminacy and literature, music, religion, and science.

    Introduction: The Emerging Philosophical Recognition of the Significance of Indeterminacy

    Gregory S. Moss and Robert H. Scott

    Part I: The Significance of Indeterminacy in German Idealism

    1. Overdeterminacy, Affirming Indeterminacy, and the Dearth of Ontological Astonishment

    William Desmond

    2. Determinacy, Indeterminacy, and Contingency in German Idealism

    G. Anthony Bruno

    3. Free Thinking in Schelling's Erlangen Lectures

    Gregory S. Moss

    4. Indeterminacy, Modality, Dialectics: Hegel on the Possibility Not to Be

    Nahum Brown

    Part II: The Significance of Indeterminacy for Phenomenology, Natural Science, and Ethics

    5. Determinable Indeterminacy: A Note on the Phenomenology of Horizons

    Steven G. Crowell

    6. Climate Science, Indeterminacy, and Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Trish Glazebrook and Michael Goldsby

    7. Genetic Phenomenology and the Indeterminacy of Racism

    Janet Donohoe

    8. Indeterminacy as Key to a Phenomenological Reinterpretation of Aristotle’s Intellectual Virtues

    Robert H. Scott

    9. The Effability of the Normative

    Todd May

    Part III: The Significance of Indeterminacy for Hermeneutics and Aesthetics

    10. Indeterminacy, Gadamer, and Jazz

    Bruce E. Benson

    11. Hermeneutic Priority and Phenomenological Indeterminacy of Questioning

    Nathan Eric Dickman

    12. Against the Darkness: Beauty and Indeterminacy in John Williams’s Stoner

    Phillip E. Mitchell

    13. Confidence without Certainty

    J. Aaron Simmons

    Part IV: Asian Perspectives and Cosmological Concerns

    14. Heidegger and Dōgen on the Ineffable

    Graham Priest and Filippo Casati

    15. The Nietzschean Bodhisattva--Passionately Navigating Indeterminacy

    George Wrisley

    16. Body and Intimate Caring in Confucian Ethics

    Qingjie James Wang

    17. Indeterminacy in Chinese Thought: Spontaneity and the Dao

    Robert Neville

    18. Cosmological Questions

    Ricki Bliss and Filippo Casati


    Robert H. Scott is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Georgia. His research focuses on phenomenology and environmental ethics, and in his recent published work he has developed a phenomenological theory of ecological responsibility. Dr. Scott currently serves as the President of the Georgia Philosophical Society.

    Gregory S. Moss is currently an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Chinese University of Hong Kong. He specializes in Post-Kantian German philosophy, and has published in a variety of philosophical journals, such as Idealistic Studies, International Philosophical Quarterly, the Journal for the British Society for Phenomenology, Journal of Speculative Philosophy, and the Northern European Journal of Philosophy (forthcoming). Before completing his PhD on Hegel’s Logic of the Concept under Richard Winfield, he was a Fulbright Fellow with Markus Gabriel at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn. He is author of Hegel’s Foundation Free Metaphysics: The Logic of Singularity (Routledge, 2020), Ernst Cassirer and the Autonomy of Language, and translator for Markus Gabriel’s Why the World Does Not Exist.

    "This anthology is well organized and provides the reader with a grasp of the notion indeterminacy in both continental European and Asian philosophy . . . Although the theme is one previously neglected concept and the contributions are written by experts, most chapters are highly accessible and well structured . . . It brings into focus that indeterminacy has always played an important role in philosophical thinking ever since Aristotle in the West and Daoism in the East, and thereby opens up new areas for inter-disciplinary investigation in a global context. In short: it is determined to inspire in-depth philosophical reflection on an important theme."Philosophy East & West

    "This topical and diverse collection of essays extends the critical and consequential problem of indeterminacy into both Continental and Comparative traditions. Creative yet rigorous, these essays enliven our sense of philosophy’s powers, defending the delicate ambiguity yet resonant force of philosophical claims as well as extending it to include traditions as varied as Buddhism and climate change policy." Jason M. Wirth, Seattle University, USA