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 V: Tenacity (vs Will)
Tenacity (vs Will)
1 Who would doubt that he possesses within himself a ‘will’, so much does this capacity define man in his very being and constitute his sovereign spirit? Isn’t it what I most initially – most intimately – perceive about myself, and doesn’t this mean that this experience must be one that is most universally shared? The will is, furthermore, the only thing within man that has the dimension of infinity, rendering him similar to God, as Descartes proposed. Its purity alone is absolute. For, acting by my will, I no longer feel there is ‘any external force’ that is ‘constraining’ me: my own causality takes me out of the causality of things and conditions and reveals my freedom to ...