Genealogy as Meditation and Adaptation with the Han Feizi

The Monist 105 (4):452-469 (2022)
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This paper focuses on an early Chinese conception of genealogical argumentation in the late Warring States text Han Feizi and a possible response it has to the problem of genealogical self-defeat as identified by Amia Srinivasan —i.e., the genealogist cannot seem to support their argument with premises their interlocutor or they themselves can accept, given their own argument. The paper offers a reading of Han Fei’s genealogical method that traces back to the meditative practice of an earlier Daoist text the Zhuangzi and its communicative strategy, providing a conception of genealogy aimed at undoing fixations on political systems in order to bring about a more adaptive state—specifically, genealogy that does not require epistemological commitment to its premises.
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First archival date: 2022-01-01
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