James Garrison, "Reconsidering the Life of Power: Ritual, Body, and Art in Critical Theory and Chinese Philosophy" (SUNY Press, 2021)


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Reconsidering the Life of Power: Ritual, Body, and Art in Critical Theory and Chinese Philosophy by James Garrison (SUNY Press 2021), argues that the tradition of Confucian philosophy can provide resources for theorists like Judith Butler and Michel Foucault in understanding what it is to be a subject in the social world. Garrison’s interlocutors are intercultural, from Confucius to Kant, Arendt to Butler, Hegel to Nietzsche. His book argues that Confucianism offers a relational, discursive, bodily, and ritualistic conception of the self. Through philosophers like Mencius, Xún Zǐ, and Lǐ Zéhòu, Confucianism’s emphasis on embodied aesthetic experiences presents new ways of thinking about how human beings can resist passivity in the face of society and instead learn how to consciously and bodily gain purposeful self-awareness.

Malcolm Keating is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Yale-NUS College. His research focuses on Sanskrit philosophy of language and epistemology. He is the author of Language, Meaning, and Use in Indian Philosophy (Bloomsbury Press, 2019) and host of the podcast Sutras (and stuff).

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