Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
On Ethics and HistoryEssays and Letters of Zhang Xuecheng$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Philip J. Ivanhoe

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804761284

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804761284.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

The Analogy of Heaven

The Analogy of Heaven

(p.64) Essay 6 The Analogy of Heaven
On Ethics and History
Stanford University Press

This chapter presents the English translation of an essay, which argues for the similarity between examples of what we today would distinguish as ethical and scientific knowledge. Zhang believes that attempts to capture the development and expression of ethical norms with a formal, unvarying theory or system will develop similar problems over time, as Heaven is something beyond the ken of human beings—we only see traces of its workings in the phenomenal world—and its operation and future trajectory are things we can at best only approximate. The most we can do is sketch its basic nature, discern its general direction, cultivate ourselves to be sensitive to the inevitable drift that is bound to come, and be prepared to respond to and accommodate such deviations. While this argument does not present a wholly compelling account of the natural sciences, it can be seen as a very sensible stance toward the ongoing process of history.

Keywords:   Zhang Xuecheng, essay, ethical knowledge, scientific knowledge, history

Stanford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.