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Knowing to Act in the Moment: Examples from Confucius’ Analects

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Many scholars note that the Analects, and Confucian philosophy more generally, hold a conception of knowing that more closely approximates ‘knowing-how’ than ‘knowing-that’. However, I argue that this description is not sufficiently sensitive to the concerns of the early Confucians and their focus on self-cultivation. I propose that a particular conception of knowing—knowing to act in the moment—is better suited to capturing the Analects’ emphasis on exemplary lives in actual contexts. These investigations might also contribute to discussions on know-how in epistemology in western philosophy.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-11-01

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