Peimin NI


As one of the most influential comparative philosophers of our time, Henry Rosemont, Jr. is known for his unrelenting criticisms against Western libertarian ideas, and for advocating ideas derived from classic Confucian thought. One of the criticisms against him is that his views are one-sided, and hence unfair to Western libertarian ideas. In this paper, I argue that Rosemont’s one-sidedness is deliberate. His theory is not intended to be a balanced account. I will illustrate that Rosemont’s way of conceiving the human self is not peculiar to him, but characteristic of those who take philosophy as a way of life, such as Mencius and Sartre. I shall argue that their practices suggest a gong-fu perspective, with which we evaluate philosophical theories according to their functions in shaping people’s behaviors and with consideration of the context of their uses.