2015 Uehiro Graduate Student Philosophy Conference
Philosophy of Place—Place of Philosophy
“The Place of Intercultural Philosophical Thinking as Space in Motion”
Britta Saal, University of Vienna
As a starting point of my following reflections concerning the place of intercultural philosophical
thinking I would like to raise a question asked by Arjun Appadurai: “[W]hat is the nature of
locality as a lived experience in a globalized, deterritorialized world?”1
In the Cultural Sciences, as a result of the so called ‘Spatial Turn’, space became an
influential analytic category and is no longer understood merely territorial, but rather as a social
construction and as such dynamic, flexible, and process-related. In short: Space has become a
metaphor for cultural dynamics. Besides dynamism, another characteristic of space has been
described in the sense of unfolding. According to Michel de Certeau, “space is composed of
intersections of mobile elements” and is in a sense “actuated by the ensemble of movements
deployed within it”; there is no “univocity or stability”. On the other hand, “place is […] an
instantaneous configuration of positions” what implies “an indication of stability.” Certeau
describes this somehow contradictory relationship in a short, but very illuminative way: “Space is
a practiced place”. In this paper I will show that this description applies also and especially to the
inter-space to which the notion ‘intercultural’ corresponds to.
1Arjun Appadurai, Modernity at Large. Cultural Dimensions of Globalization (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1996), 52.
“Visiting Shared Futures: Creativity and Projection in Kant and Arendt”
Joel LeBel, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
In this paper I will provide both an articulation and encouragement for how we think about alternative political futures. In so doing I will take my philosophical bearing from the works of Hannah Arendt and Immanuel Kant, primarily on Arendt’s appropriation of Kantian notions of “going visiting” by means of an “enlarged mentality,” a process which is fundamentally driven by the creative and projective imagination. A brief introduction to some basic philosophical perspectives from the field of futures studies will be developed with the two-fold purpose of securing, firstly, a responsible articulation of the process of future thinking, and, secondly, a ground upon which creative thinking about alternative futures can be seen as relevant, meaningful, and even valid.
Further, three primary themes will be taken up in order to better understand the suggestion by Arendt (via Kant) that we project ourselves as visitors into the political and mental spaces of a plurality of others. First, I will argue that not only do we currently live in a world of our own creation, but that thinking about alternative political futures is an especially creative task, one in which we imaginatively configure future worlds in order to pursue those that are most meaningful or preferred.
Second, I will work through the notion of projection in this task, and the ways in which projection at once begins in particularity of our own circumstances while also providing the ground to recognize and confirm that our future is not merely our own, but one that is shared amongst a plurality of other persons. Thirdly, I will address and eliminate the common and natural objection that suggests imaginative creations grounded in particularity cannot be a source of validity with regards to what we
should do in terms of making decisions about shared political futures.
In the end I will be forced to take up a somewhat critical standpoint regarding Kant and Arendt’s philosophies concerning the process of visiting political futures. The critique does not lie in their methodologies, conceptions of imagination, or suggestions about the future, but rather in their not going far enough to articulate and defend this process as one of the most important to understand and most necessary to take up. Finally, I will encourage the development of our collective ability to project the spaces necessary to consider and enact the scenes of our preferred political futures.
“Extensive Minds and Social Cognition: On Intercorporeal Experience”
Josh Stoll, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
Where does cognition occur? Classical cognitivist intuitions say in the brain, or at least within the skin of a (most likely human) body. In challenging this classical cognitivist paradigm whereby cognition is the manipulation of internal representations by the brain, Clark and Chalmers (1998) argue that cognition can be distributed across the brain-body-environment system. This has been called the extended mind hypothesis. In making this suggestion, they leave the tantalizing possibility open that social cognition is itself dependent on this same sort of cognitive distribution: “Could my mental states be partly constituted by the states of other thinkers?” (Clark and Chalmers, 1998). This presentation will explore the latter question. First, the extended mind hypothesis under two guises: parity based and complementarity based hypotheses. Objections to each will then be explored. The result of this portion of the inquiry will be a distinction between cognitivist orientations to cognition and enactivist orientations. Following the “radical” line towed by Hutto and Myin (2013), it will be suggested that minds, in their basic capacities to intentionally navigate and grow through their world, are extensive rather than merely occasionally extended. This extensiveness has to do with the development of specialized skills which helps the organism get along in the world. The skills are built up by a process of scaffolding wherein ‘external’ items come to play an essential role in an organism’s life. With this notion in place, it will be suggested that basic social cognition is a perceptual matter where human neonates use the already established social skills of other humans as a scaffolding to develop their own social skills.
“The Maximally-Good Multiverse: How the Inherent Goodness of Free-Will Entails a Multiverse”
Leland Harper, University of Birmingham
Free-Will theodicists have argued for the inherent goodness of free-will but have generally avoided
ranking it among other goods. Looking at some of the claims made by free-will theodicists I argue that it is plausible to consider free-will as the greatest possible good and that, if this is the case, it may entail
the existence of a multiverse. Given the principle of plentitude it seems that more instantiations of free-will would yield a greater good, and for God to fulfil His requirement of producing a maximally-good universe, He would thus have to maximize the instantiations of free-will. This, however, is not possible in a single universe. Since all displays of free-will are not compatible with each other, in order for God to maximize the instantiations of free-will and create a maximally-good universe, He would need to create a multiverse that exhausts all possible instantiations of free-will being exercised. This would result in us merely being in one of an extremely large amount of imperfect, spatio-temporally independent universes that collectively comprise a maximally-good multiverse.
“Going Places: Analytic Phenomenology of Changing Place”
Ian Nicolay, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
Since they lack a sense of “here”, insentient beings simply reside in some place or other. Sentient beings are profoundly and almost perpetually aware of having someplace (“here”) to briefly reside in and disembark from, and someplace else (“there”) to go. This enactive idea of "someplace else to go to" is explored in this paper.
How does someone or something change place? Conscious subjects sometimes change place in a distinctive way: in contrast to insentient beings, humans (for example) can change their own place deliberately (but don’t always do so—contrast falling with walking down a slope). In what does this adverbial quality—the deliberateness of some bodily motions—consist?
Some impetus precedes any bodily change of place. Where the act is deliberate, some part or portion of this impetus will be conscious—to some degree, in some way (contrast an act of attention-consuming exertion with one arising from virtually tacit, yet voluntarily acquired, habits and dispositions.) As this presentation shows, a succession of three distinguishable mental acts is necessary (in that each is a necessary precondition for the next), before any such impetus can arise. These are, respectively, conception, projection, and evaluation.
Importantly, much of each of these activities is imaginative in nature. Sometimes—as when I imagine that there might be a beautiful waterfall at the back of some obscure valley—I haven’t even perceived, and hence must completely imagine, the place I conceive as possible.
When I’ve conceived a possible place—a place I could go—I must next determine whether I should go there, which requires first an act of projection (imagining myself into that place), and second an act of evaluation. Only once I have positively valued and prioritized being there will I begin to go there. Thus I must imaginatively be there before I go there—which is to say that I must be there while remaining someplace else (namely, here; this is genuinely puzzling).
This presentation will examine the imaginative process by which subjects deliberate changing place (“going there”). The deliberation process necessarily involves three distinct steps (each requiring its own—albeit infinitesimal—moment, or relative temporal place in a determinately structured sequence), before any bodily motion can begin to occur: conception, projection, and evaluation. Imagination of the place, both as a target (“over there”) and a future site (“here”) of the felt body, is an indispensible part of each of these activities. Thus, imagination is integrally involved in any deliberate change of place.
“W. G. Sebald and the Basho of Literature“
Shuchen Xiang, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
In his 1949 essay, "Cultural Criticism and Society," Theodore Adorno famously said, "To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric." Grounded in the larger context of the essay, what Adorno means to say is that, to persist producing monuments of the very culture which gave rise to Auschwitz, is to reconfirm that very culture. Adorno is thus not suggesting that art is impossible after human beings have led themselves along the path of self-destruction; rather art, as a continuum of the very culture which led us to self-destruction must never be the same again.
I want to suggest that the particular way which Sebald has dealt with the history of catastrophe
answers Adorno's injunctions about art. The relationship between place, historical memory and the
interior-less narrator in the novel, indeed the centrality of place in the evocation of collective history
and the creation of personal identity is no longer the "bourgeois subjectivity" of traditional literature.
Rather, the kind of subjectivity created through Sebald's writing can and should be understood against
the concept of Basho.
“When the Abyss Takes Place: Inquiry of Grigory Pomerants' Thought”
Veniamin TEN, Kyoto University
The current situation in East Ukraine and debates on Russia’s position in the international community are among the most difficult contemporary challenges. In that sense, I believe that intercultural dialogue mixed with philosophy can help find a way out of this predicament. At the same time, to understand this situation on a deeper level, an inner view from the Russian side is required and for that reason, the role of Russian intellectuals and their thoughts should not be underestimated. This paper focuses on the worldview of Russian thinker Grigory Pomerants
The central idea of this paper is that the notion “Abyss” (Russian: Бездна, Bezdna) plays a central role in Pomerants’ philosophy, giving an opportunity to develop an original interpretation of Russian literature in the 19th century. Furthermore, Abyss is a dynamic notion with a latent force that can bring an innerdepth of consciousness. Though Pomerants is not well-known outside Russia and Russian communities, his pluralistic worldview and thoughts can give a newperspective on solving actual global problems, and at the same time enrich the philosophical palette of a global intercultural dialogue.
“Knowing One's Place”
Nicholas Hudson, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
In this talk, I will describe two different accounts of knowing one's place, one
drawn from Chapter IV of Thackeray's The Book of Snobs, the other from Mengzi
V.B.7. While the stories are similar—both involve royalty interacting with their gamekeepers, who know their place, on a hunt—their messages at first seem opposed. In the first case “to know your place” is an afront to one's dignity; in the second it supposedly affirms it. Nowadays we are rightfully suspicious of the phrase “knowing one's place” and side almost automatically with Thackeray. Nonetheless, in this presentation I will show how not only is Mencius' account plausible, these two
seemingly contradictory accounts are in fact compatible. To do so, I will discuss the importance of place/位, particularly in the Mengzi.
We shall see that an important theme in both the Zhuangzi and Confucianism is becoming at home in the world, at realizing one's place. But while the Zhuangzi believes humans should find their place within the natural order like the swimmer in Chapter 19, for Confucians nature and man are interdependent and shape one another. Consequently, one's place is not pre-existing and you do not have to conform to it no matter what you feel. You help shape it, you help give it content.
This is quite unlike the idea of place when it is used to maintain class, gender, or racial distinctions. In those instances it is usually claimed that those positions are natural and unchangeable. This is of course paradoxical because if they were natural and unchangeable, people would not have to be told to know their place. With this understanding of place, being told to know your place is an afront to one's dignity because it is telling one not to act autonomously or, better yet, creatively. With the Confucian understanding of place, however, the opposite is true: one can only truly know and occupy one's place by creatively realizing it.
Finally, I will argue that this should not be too optimistic: while one should avoid the fixed places as in Thackeray's tales, just because one's place is creatively realized is no guarantee it is a place worth realizing. The constraints can be unfair and, equally important, one's place depends upon others—one's place is realized by creatively engaging with others. Nonetheless, knowing one's place is an important way in which one acquires dignity.
Matthew Fujimoto, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
Confucianism has never been limited geographically to China. It has influenced the intellectual traditions of practically every nation in Asia, an influence which can be seen even today. Japan is no exception. In this essay I will argue that, while Japan has been influenced by Confucianism, Japan has not simply bought wholesale into the tradition but rather has develop a uniquely Japanese form of Confucianism. This uniquely Japanese form of Confucianism is noticeable with regard to the idea of li (理 , ri in Japanese).1 In developing what I see as a uniquely Japanese form of Confucianism I will; (i) provide a brief description of the historical development of li in Chinese Confucianism, (ii) provide, as representatives of Japanese Confucianism at its height, Itō Jinsai’s and Ogyū Sorai’s interpretation and critique of li in Confucianism, and (iii) through comparison of the Chinese and Japanese interpretations of li, argue for the uniqueness of Japanese Confucianism.
“A Possible New Interpretation of Mou Zongsan”
Zhang Wei, University of Tokyo
The concept moral metaphysics is an extremely important concept of Mou Zongsan’s philosophy. However, people who try to understand Mou always tend to focus on the “metaphysics” of moral metaphysics but ignore the “moral” component to some degree. They just think of the “moral” as an extension of ethical moral concept. Therefore, the comments to moral metaphysics by them is “it made morals break through the boundaries of morality”. But, if we pay attention to the difference between metaphysics of morals and moral metaphysics, and read Mou’s book carefully, we can find an important change about the “moral”. In short, “moral” of moral metaphysics is not an ethical concept but an ontological one. Mou tried to explain the existence of all things through the concept moral metaphysics. Compared with the theory basho by Nishida Kitarō, we can find both of them shift topologically or ontologically from act to its vertical enfolding. This can be seen as a common point of modern East Asia philosophy.
“Society and Individual in Nishida Philosophy”
Taizo Yokoyama, Kyoto University
This thesis elucidates the relations between “society” and “individual” in Nishida philosophy with his works written in Meiji and early Taisho period, especially with “Society and individual”（「社会と個人」） which he released in “Philosophy Study 73” (April,1922) and is also one of a compilation work, “Art and Morality”（『芸術と道徳』） (1923).
Throughout the whole period since Nishida built his philosophy, many criticisms we find on Nishida philosophy has common inclinations. For instance, Miki Kiyoshi (三木清) indicated Nishida’s philosophy “did not sufficiently discuss from the standpoint of practical time, and the meaning of process of dialectic therefore is weakened“ in his ”Property of Nishida Philosophy” (『西田哲学の性格について』1936, 10-410-413), and on this issue Yoshitomo Takeuchi （竹内良知）also pointed out “Absolute Nothingness” (絶対無) and reflection directly derived from it can not produce any action or practice even with Nishida’s typical concept like “Action-Intuition”(行為的直観). So both “Absolute Nothingness” and “Action-Intuition” is nothing more than a meditational concept, and Nishida’s emphasis on “Eternal presence”(永遠の今) has no reality in the actual world.
These critical comments assert his logic of “Self-Identity of Absolute Contradiction”(絶対矛盾的自己同一) between individual and “Absolute Nothingness” lacks the description for the process. He did not sufficiently establish how self-reflection in transcendental place can have relations with outside world. It ended up being an abstractive discourse which was severely criticized as having “no concrete contents with a simplest logic”. We recall the biggest opponent for Nishida was his one of his closest pupildisciples, Hajime Tanabe(田辺元). He tried to build his original logics as an alternative by focusing on “Social existence” as seen in his first title symbolically named “Logics of Social Existence”『社会存在の論理』 (released during 1934-1935). I think it is quite natural because the process between individual and absolute world lies on the society and social existence. Tanabe stated:
Logics that attribute the relations between totality and individuality to one between universality and diversity and consider an individual as a limit of specification from universality attempt conversely to apprehend the totality as the expansion of an individual. According to this logic, the society as totality, as the collective of individuals as its factors, does not take it into account such principle that conflicts and resists individuals.
The quote clarifies the importance of social existence to overcome Nishida Philosophy. On the other hand, I think Nishida surely would have the counter arguments on such criticism as well. We can see it in his notebook (No date recorded), the scribble in which states “We always start from “Place”, never from obscure logic”.(13-456)
However these criticisms apparently lack the sufficient analyze of society and individual in Nishida philosophy. In the later part of this thesis I will analyze how Nishida described “society” and “individual” in his early works as an initial step on my future study of comparing research with the above critics.
“Affection to a certain place: An Introduction to "Histo-topo-philia"
Maki Sato, University of Tokyo
Why is our society protecting certain places (often with a given name) and ignoring other places as to over exploit natural resources or to dump wastes from our daily life? Why cannot we protect our natural environment in general when we are warned by the scientists of the undeniable fact that we are facing environmental crisis in our modern society? By looking into the different notion of space and place, the paper deals with the fundamental reason why we tend to have affectionate feeling to a certain place, in comparison to space. By making an attempt to connect temporal and experimental notion to spatial, the paper argues that chronological implication also needs deliberate cognition. It suggests that in addition to “topophilia”, a new perspective of “histo-topo-philia” should be considered to effectively protect our natural environment in general.
“Dominion as Seen Through the Atmosphere”
Jonathan McKinney, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
The environment on Earth is as dynamic and complex as any system that can be conceptualized. Nature has a long history of fluctuation and balance, both serving to promote the conditions of growth of new species and collapsing such conditions, annihilating whole species. Harmony and balance with nature comes at the cost of being vulnerable to its fluctuations and temperament. Humanity, having learned through many years of struggle, has made it a priority to master its local surroundings, controlling or consolidating the effects of storms, droughts, and predatory population cycles. Artificiality and modernity were the keys to the safety of each civilization willing to embrace technology and autonomy from nature. There is a cost for each.
Karen Warren (1990) described one key cost as the “Logic of Dominion,” which describes how one morally justifies the dominion of another person or thing based on an inference of generalizable inferiority. She argues that societies across the world tend to subjugate women and nature, and this kind of thinking is major cause for concern as a face of patriarchy. Specifically, I highlight the importance of history, or the initial conditions, when evaluating how to act in a dynamic world. Using Warren’s framework for a strong Ecofeminist environmental ethic, I apply dynamical systems theory to reinforce her claims regarding how a complex being should act in a macro-complex-world of systems. Furthermore, I move to expand the explanatory power of Warren’s argument by shifting the focus from human disposition to general systemic tendency and stagnation. Natural complex systems, ranging from a single human being to larger systems like rivers or storms, follow a set of tendencies, which establish boundary conditions and paths of least resistance. I argue that dominion is the result of the establishing of boundary conditions, which worked in the past, and the failure to update those conditions in the present. Over time, systems tend to repeat processes which succeeded in the past, and with each passing success of this pattern, further facilitates the continued repetition in the future. For an ecofeminist environmental ethic, this means that dominion is natural but it is not inevitable. I return to Warren’s work to reinforce the importance of having a framework which respects both the dynamic present and its history of prevalent and complex boundary conditions which must be taken into account.
“Place with Rhythms: Watsuji’s Analysis of Space and Time and its Significance for Environmental Ethics”
Yu Inutsuka, University of Tokyo
This paper is informed by two key objectives. I seek firstly and principally to question the long-lasting dichotomy between “human” and “natural” in environmental ethics. Secondly, I seek to question the static understanding of the concept “place.” I will pursue these objectives through an examination of the philosophy of Tetsuro Watsuji (1889-1960), who elaborated his theory of space-time on the basis of an investigation of human existence.
“Locating a Place for Ecological Ethics: Local Answers to a Global Crisis or Global Solutions to Local Problems?”
Andrew Soh, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
The environmental crisis is a global problem, one that transcends borders—whether they be political, geographic, cultural, or economic borders. Our experience of environmental disasters attests to this assertion, for example, the contamination from the damaged nuclear reactors in Fukushima, the downstream effect of the Chernobyl and Bhopal disasters, the melting of the polar ice caps and its effect on the sea level rise that endangers Kiribati, and the health problems that Indonesia's neighbors suffer as a result of the forest and peat fires in Sumatra.
Given the global nature of environmental problems, governments and communities have found it very difficult to tackle them. Is there a lack of concerted effort to address them? Or perhaps there is also a lack of trickle down effect of broad ambitious programs down to the community level. Could it be that universal and general solutions proposed actually fail to address many problems that appear at the local level—many of which require specialized knowledge of local realities and histories? On the other hand, local communities are coming together to create awareness and to respond to the environmental ills that plague the places where they live. But can we apply one strategy that works in a small community in Kauaʻi to a small town in Indonesia? This highlights an undeniable tension in the attempt to respond to a global environmental crisis, namely, the tension between the global and the local, or said another way, the universal and the particular.
This study aims to address this tension by asking the questions: How do we bridge the gap between the universal and the particular in our response to the environmental crisis? How can we universalize the very particular/unique realities and responses? How can we particularize the universal? Is this even possible?
This study is a philosophical reflection on this seemingly dichotomous realities. To aid me in this study, I will draw on insights gained in an interdisciplinary study of philosophy, climate science and a focused reflection on the lived world experience of Hawaiʻi, by drawing on the local wisdom of native Hawaiians in their relation to the land. I will draw on the philosophical insights from Daoism and the Japanese philospher, Watsuji Tetsuro, especially Watsuji’s insight of the intrinsic relationality of all things. I will also draw on the deep lived wisdom of the native Hawaiians’ relation with ʻaina. Through this reflection, I will expand my reflection to examine some important ideas from current climate science and how its insights and findings can help us in our attempt to bridge the gap of the universal and the particular. Through my reflection, I would like to propose that the intersection of the universal and the particular, the global and local can be realized in a deeper appreciation of the relationality of insistent particulars that challenge and invite us to search for solutions that are attentive to and respectful of these particulars. I believe that the insights of Daoism and Watsuji’s philosophy can point us toward the way.
“Embodied Cognition, Profanity, & the Philosophy of Place”
Katelyn Hallman, University of North Florida
George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, in their book titled Philosophy in the Flesh, give evidence to support the thesis that “The mind is inherently embodied.”1 By “embodied” Lakoff and Johnson mean that the human mind “arises from the nature of our brains, bodies, and bodily experiences.”2 Lakoff and Johnson argue that our brains, bodies, and bodily experiences largely influence the way we think, the way we conceptualize abstract concepts, and the way we talk about our concepts and ideas. In order to support this claim, they set out to show how our “abstract concepts are largely metaphorical”3 by discussing metaphorical concepts such as time, events and causes, the mind, the self, and morality.
What they found is that these abstract concepts are defined using complex metaphors; without complex metaphor our concepts would be hollow and insubstantial, and that these metaphors are largely rooted in the “sensorimotor system of our brain.”4 Since philosophy is made up of these embodied, metaphorical concepts, they argue that philosophy, too, must be embodied.
In this paper, I expand upon Lakoff and Johnson’s concept of embodied philosophy by presenting evidence for the embodiment of language. Language, like our metaphorical concepts, is important to the practice of philosophy and is also largely influenced by our brains, bodily experiences, psychology, culture, social statues—language is embodied. In order to demonstrate this, I show how the language act of profanity is influenced by culture and social context, brain structure, and psychology. As Lakoff and Johnson have argued, our concepts are deeply rooted in metaphor and metaphor is deeply rooted in our brains, bodies, and bodily experiences. If one’s bodily experiences have a large influence on how one thinks and speaks, then it appears that the place where one lives and grows up can greatly affect the content of and the way one does philosophy. I end with the following question: what does this embodiment mean for how we practice philosophy? The answer, I argue, is epistemic humility.
“Healing Space, Healing Place: Philosophy as Consolation”
Katrina England, Binghamton University (SUNY)
Numerous philosophers have found uses for their discipline aside from expelling suffering, but Epicurus’ statement is provocative—that philosophy, the pursuit of wisdom, can help those who suffer. More, philosophy’s place, its proper purpose, lies in consolation. The thesis I propose seeks to shed light on answers to three meta-philosophical questions on this topic: What sort of consolation can philosophy provide? To whom? And how?
Drawing from ancient stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius and contemporary feminist philosopher bell hooks, I argue that philosophy as a practice offers a unique consolation for injustices by encouraging us to both understand and articulate what makes us suffer. More specifically, philosophical reflection helps us understand our suffering by enabling us to trace and locate the cause of our suffering within an ideological and historical context, and articulate our suffering on a communicable level by reassuring us with ideas that resonate and challenging us with ideas that feel dissonant with our own experiences. As a result, consolation via philosophy spurs us to seek help from others who have the capacity to amend such injustice, or at least take the first step of acknowledging that such social problem exists. This explicit naming and sharing of injustice, which philosophy alone offers, provides a consolation uniquely sharable with others. Further, with its ability to encourage our understanding and articulation of suffering on these accounts, I argue that philosophy offers an empowering consolation by showing how our grieving attitudes lie within our control and are therefore malleable.
“Carefree Wandering as "Heart-Mind Fasting" (無心) – A Study of the Phenomenology of Zhuangzi’s Xiaoyaoyou (逍遥游)”
Jacob Bender, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
For this paper, I will be describing the mindful practices and the aesthetic experiences of the Daodejing as well as the “Inner Chapters” of the Zhuangzi by using the insights of western Phenomenology. By doing so, I hope to bring greater clarity to the mindfulness practices in each
text and the consequent experiences that are possible through these practices. Of these possible
experiences, I will show that the cultivation of the aesthetic dispositional attunement of xiaoyaoyou as illustrated in the Zhuangzi can best be understood as a pliability and responsiveness achievable through a “forgetting of the self” via a series of “noetic reversals”.
This “heart-mind fasting” is simultaneously the experience of being one with the world and being lost to oneself consciously. It is a practiced forgetting of the “reflective sense of self”; (in other words) a momentary conscious absence of the cogito and “cognitive reflection” from consciousness. Finally, I will use this insight of the practices to help shape a different interpretation of the first story in the Inner Chapters of the Zhuangzi.