The Significance of Indeterminacy: Perspectives from Asian and Continental Philosophy, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

The Significance of Indeterminacy

Perspectives from Asian and Continental Philosophy, 1st Edition

Edited by Robert H. Scott, Gregory S. Moss


388 pages

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Hardback: 9781138503106
pub: 2018-07-19
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pub: 2018-07-20
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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.


"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

Table of Contents

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

List of Contributors


About the Editors

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 Ernst Cassirer and the Autonomy of Language and translator for Markus Gabriel’s Why the World Does Not Exist. His forthcoming book Hegel’s Foundation Free Metaphysics: The Logic of Singularity is forthcoming with Routledge,

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Contemporary Philosophy

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