Review by Choice Review
Kupperman (Univ. of Connecticut) applies analytic ethics to the formation and fluidity of self, the scope and demands of ethics, and the nature of philosophy. He holds that in Confucian and Buddhist philosophies, as in Plato, there is a core set of philosophical judgments with interconnections and experiential connections that together constitute an argument. Believing that any philosophical tradition can help any other with its problems, he uses "eclectic borrowing" and is good at picturing and packaging his overall points on Chinese philosophy: the Taoist view of history is seen as "inverted Hegelianism" (wherein syntheses give way to opposed pairs of thesis and antithesis) and Zen "gravitates toward moral psychology while the metaphysics is dramatized rather than argued for." Comments on Indian philosophy are generally less developed, and details less accurate than those on Chinese philosophy. In a Buddhist ethics section, Arjuna is misspelled; works by H. Aronson, P. DeSilva, K.N. Jayatilleke, and K.N. Upadlhyaya go unmentioned. Linguistic niceties such as the use of diacritics for P=ali and Sanskrit (as well as the use of Chinese pictograms) are unobserved. However, Kupperman provides thoughtful philosophical discussions with an analytic focus on desire, choice, and reason, applied to Chinese and Indian thought. Overall, an engaging and stimulating work; recommended for undergraduates and general readers. F. J. Hoffman; West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.