A tacit form of Comparative Philosophy : reflection on a case in rational choice theory

Yujian ZHENG

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


The main objective of this paper is to offer some methodological reflection on a certain form of doing philosophy in a comparative spirit that has no explicit aim for doing comparative philosophy in the familiar sense, i.e., the sense of comparative work between different philosophical traditions, or between full-fledged theories well-acknowledged as philosophical or its equivalent in different cultures. Nevertheless, the special form of comparative philosophy I shall consider will have obvious as well as potential implications for comparative philosophy in that familiar sense. In other words, I am not twisting the notion of comparative philosophy into some far-stretched sense in which any cross-paradigmatic or even cross-theoretical
study could count as doing philosophy in a comparative spirit. Rather, my broad or more inclusive sense of comparative philosophy will still keep a central feature intact it must draw on "genetic" or intellectual raw materials of different cultures to make hypotheses and get inspirations for new ideas. This may still sound very vague, and it is rightly so; this so-called "tacit" form of comparative philosophy can hardly be stated in dearer abstract terms without demonstration through some study of a concrete case in a particular area of philosophical research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-309
Number of pages19
JournalDao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003


  • Choice Setting
  • Normative Approach
  • Rational Choice Theory
  • Objectivist Approach
  • Comparative Philosophy


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