Pragmatism and East-Asian Thought

Submitted by James Miller on Sun, 02/22/2009 - 13:32
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TitlePragmatism and East-Asian Thought
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsShusterman, R.
Date Published2004
ISBN Number0026-1068
KeywordsConfucianism, Democracy, Dewey, Philosophy, pluralism, Pragmatism, Somaesthetics, Taoism

This essay focuses on several themes that pragmatism shares with classical Chinese philosophy. Among the interrelated themes explored are the primacy of practice, the emphasis on pluralism, context, and flux, a recognition of fallibilism, an appreciation of the powers of art for individual, social, and political reconstruction, the pursuit of perfectionist self-cultivation in the art of living, and the crucial role of embodiment in this melioristic pursuit. The last section defends this somaesthetic emphasis against some likely criticisms and closes with an example of how Occidental and East-Asian somatic thinking can be productively integrated. (edited)