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 elements from them that reveal the fault lines of western thinking. This is an important book for students, scholars and practitioners alike across the Social Sciences.
Chapter IV: Reliability (vs Sincerity)
Reliability (vs Sincerity)
1 Sincerity is the response to freedom, such are the two demands placed on the constitution of an authentic subjectivity in Europe. The first reveals interiority as truth; the second frees us from all alienation coming from outside (including that within oneself). Sincerity would even initiate the great ethical division. Insofar as sincerity might be defined as ‘to say what you think and not tell lies’, we immediately see that Achilles is the ‘simplest’ of men and the most ‘sincere’, alethes ἀληθής; Ulysses is the cleverest as well as the most deceitful, pseudes ψευδής. From Achilles to Ulysses, in Homer: ‘I detest those who hide one thing in their mind and speak of something else as much as I ...