Ideas of Bryan van Norden, by Theme

[American, fl. 2011, Professor at Vassar College.]

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1. Philosophy / B. History of Ideas / 2. Ancient Thought
The Dao (Way) first means the road, and comes to mean the right way to live
     Full Idea: The 'Dao' (tr 'Way) has five meanings: 1) path or road, 2) mode of doing something, 3) account of how to do something, 4) the right way to live, and 5) the ultimate metaphysical entity responsible for nature, and how it should be.
     From: Bryan van Norden (Intro to Classical Chinese Philosophy [2011], 1.III)
     A reaction: [compressed] So it is essentially metaphorical, just like the English 'way to do a thing'. Number 5 seems a rather large leap from the others, and most discussion seems to centre on number 4. The Chinese hoped for consensus on the Dao.
1. Philosophy / H. Continental Philosophy / 3. Hermeneutics
The hermeneutic circle is either within the text, or between text and biased reader
     Full Idea: The first type of hermeneutic circle operates inside the text, studying relationships between sentences. …The second type is between the text and the reader, …who brings assumptions about what it means.
     From: Bryan van Norden (Intro to Classical Chinese Philosophy [2011], App A.I)
     A reaction: The first kind is an essential aspect of reading well. Readers are biased, but I get very tired of those who do nothing but search for bias, and ignore the truth a text has to offer. If everything is bias, intellectual life is dead.
Heremeneutics is either 'faith' (examining truth) or 'suspicion' (looking for hidden motives)
     Full Idea: A 'hermeneutics of faith' treat a text as a candidate for truth. ….A 'hermeneutics of suspicion' looks not for truth but for explanations of why someone makes certain claims, …particularly to serve their ulterior interests.
     From: Bryan van Norden (Intro to Classical Chinese Philosophy [2011], App I.1)
     A reaction: As far as I can see, the suspicious approach was a legitimate development in sociology, which studies the sources of ideas, but is absurdly offered by some philosophers as a total replacement of the faith approach.