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This new English translation of François Jullien’s work is a compelling summation of his thinking on the comparison between Western and Chinese thought. The title, From Being to Living, summarises his essential point: that western thinking is obsessed by – and determined as well as limited by – the notion of Being, whereas traditional Chinese thought was always situated in Living. Organized as a lexicon around some 20 concepts that juxtapose Chinese and Western thought, Jullien explores the ways the two have historically evolved, and how many aspects of Chinese thought developed in complete isolation from the West, revealing a different way of relating to the world. Translated by Michael Richardson and Krzysztof Fijalkowski, this text explores Chinese thinking and language in order to excavate ...

Propensity (vs Causality)
Propensity (vs Causality)

1 In order to think about things we have needed to separate Being and becoming – does this ‘we’ only mean the Greeks? And when I speak of ‘things’, it is of course lives as much as things that are at stake, and it applies as much to natures and behaviours as well – its indetermination gives the term its most general sense. From an initial gesture which seems to be controlled by the approach of the mind, we have decided between the static and the dynamic, states that are either stable or shifting, with the latter even being regarded as contradictory due to the fact that it changes. Not that the inevitability of language inescapably stabilises things (in ...

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