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Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Contemporary Issues

Volume 29, 2008
Philosophy in Asia and the Pacific

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articles in english
1. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 29
Ali Naqi Baqershahi Ultimate Reality in Indian Philosophical Systems
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The thrust of this article is to give a brief account of the ultimate reality as viewed by Indian philosophical system namely, Vedic philosophy, Upanisads, Buddhism, Jainism and Charvaka. Though the root of this issue is traceable to the Vedic hymns, there are various interpretations of these hymns concerning the nature of ultimate reality, for instance some of the orientalists introduces henotheism as a transitional stage from polytheism to monotheism in Indian philosophy but according to some of the Indian thinkers neither polytheism nor henotheism nor even monotheism can be taken as the keynote of the early vedic philosophy. This article has not covered the views of six Indian well-known schools of philosophy, i.e., Nimansa, Vedanta, Shankhya, Yoga, Nyaya and Vaisheshika particularly those of Shankara and Ramanuja concerning the nature of Brahma which are very interesting and thought-provoking.
2. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 29
Guangyun Cheng, Nianxi Xia Ideology Fading Out, Scholarship Highlighting: Academic Turn of Philosophy in Mainland China Today
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In Mainland China, due to dominant status and decisive function of Marxism philosophy, philosophy has developed as the state ideology since the foundation of People’s Republic of China in 1949. However, since the 1990s the humanities and social sciences have been experiencing an obvious academic turn in Mainland China. The event first set in with a debate on academic norms and with the debate the academic norms have gradually become the mainstreamin Mainland China. In accordance with the division of disciplines in Mainland China, philosophy as the first-level discipline is subdivided into eight second-level disciplines: Marxist philosophy, Chinese philosophy, foreign philosophy, logic, ethics, aesthetics, religion, and philosophy of science and technology. Roughly speaking, aesthetics, ethics and Marxist philosophy have a remarkable turn, while others just have a weak one. The turn signifies the achievement of the academic autonomy of philosophy in China; and the turn also means that philosophy scholars have realized their transition to professional status.
3. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 29
Pham Van Duc Reflections on Philosophical Research in Vietnam in the Present Globalizing Epoch
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Philosophy in Vietnam is defined as a system of the most universal points of view on the world and the place of man in this world. Philosophy often plays a key role it plays in one’s worldview and methodology. The question is: on what problems should philosophy focus in order to successfully carry out its worldview andmethodological role in the present context? Firstly, if international philosophers are focusing their research on problems caused by globalization, Vietnamese philosophers should orient their research on the practical problems raised by building and developing our country in the context of globalization and international economic integration. Secondly, one of the important tasks for Vietnamese philosophers is to research the philosophical thought of Vietnam. Thirdly, one of the no less important tasks for people engaging in research and teaching of philosophy in Vietnam is to investigate the trends and ideas of preeminent world philosophers, both in the East as well as in the West.
4. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 29
Dong Jin Jang Rawls and Natural Justice: The Law of Peoples in View of the Yin Yang Theory in the Book of Change
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John Rawls presents a liberal conception of international justice in his book The Law of Peoples, and this liberal conception of international justice has inspired a variety of responses from various perspectives. However, it seems that most such responses come from western perspectives, and that there is hence a corresponding paucity of seriously challenging responses based on non-western traditions. This paper aims to analyze Rawls’s liberal conception of international justice in view of the concept of natural justice expressed within the Book of Change in order to illuminate the limitations and problems of Rawls’s conception in practice as well as in theory. Rawls employs the idea of political liberalism to construct a liberal conception of international justice that can be applied to a society of societies. Rawls addresses the eight principles for justice among free and democratic peoples, which have been historically accepted by western peoples. He admits that these principles are incomplete. There is no theoretical order among the eight principles equivalent to the lexical order of the two principles of justice in A Theory of Justice. There are no guidelines or basic principles for resolving the problem of priority that arises when the principles are themselves in conflict with one another. This situation may generate competing conceptions of justice within the society of peoples. Rawls mentions natural justice in his explanation for the extension of liberal political principles to decent hierarchical peoples. He takes as an example of natural justice the rule of formal equality that “similar cases be treated similarly.” He does not develop any further the idea of natural justice for his theory of international justice, which could potentially span the gap between his ideal theory and non-ideal theory, or enhance the reasonableness of his international justice, especially for non-liberal peoples. The Book of Change expresses the idea of natural justice that underlies the principle of Yin-Yang, which differs fundamentally from the liberal contract paradigm. The paper will argue that the idea of natural justice should be seriously considered for justice among peoples since it can provide the bedrock for criticizing non-public reason as well as public reason.
5. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 29
Jeong Hyoung Wook The Global Ecological Crisis and the Ideology of Gaebyeok and Sangsaeng
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The contemporary age is approaching the downfall of human civilization due to the rapid collapse of the global ecology. As the popular obsession with industrial development, triggered by the Western modernization of the 18th century, expands across the entire world, minor regional environmental crises have merged intoan irremediable global ecological crisis. This suggests that human society has lost its ability to harmonize with nature and is driving itself to a crisis of survival, dangling on the brink of a fatal cliff. The resolution of the global ecological crisis, which has been exacerbated primarily by Western civilization, requires an alternative thought paradigm that appeared in Korea over 100 years ago, one that can be characterized as ‘the ideology of Gaebyeok.’ This ideology proclaimsthat the global ecological crisis of our times is not simply a crisis of civilization sparked by energy over-consumption, but is rather an inevitable cyclical phenomenon stemming from a change in the universe’s natural order. The ideology of Gaebyeok, refined by a Korean Philosopher, Gim Il-Bu (1826-1898) in his work Jeongyeok (Right Change) and eventually brought to full blossom by Gang Jeung-San (1871-1909), suggests an excellent alternative way of thinking which offers a new hope to the citizens of the contemporary world who cannot 􀏐ind an escape from their risky societies. My paper will discuss this enlightened vision of global hope.
6. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 29
Tsuneo Kato Significance of Chomin Nakae as the “Rousseau of the East”
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Chomin Nakae (Japanese thinker,1847-1901) has been called “the Rousseau of the East” by both Japanese and Chinese because he translated Jean-Jacque Rousseau, for instance, the Social Contract into Japanese and Chinese. It would be natural to suppose that Chomin read Rousseau’s books as an overseas student in France from 1872 to 1874 after the time of “ the Paris Commune”. It seems that many Chinese overseas students in Japan read Rousseau’s books in Chinese and Japanese translated by Chomin and accepted democratic and revolutionary thoughts originally born in the West and brought them home. Adding to the fact, it is insisted that the substance of Chomin’s thought is rather Confucian-biased democracy to be governed morally by both people and the sovereign than pure popular supremacy, which was gotten through examining the results of the recent research.
7. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 29
Nobuo Kazashi Passions for Philosophy in the Post-Hiroshima Age: A Critique of Nishida’s Philosophy of History
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Nishida’s analyses of human bodily existence, anticipating Merleau-Ponty’s, led him to accomplish his own “return to the lifeworld.” The later Nishida wrote: “I have now come to regard what I used to call the world of pure experience as the world of historical reality. The world of action-intuition is none other than the world of pure experience.” But Nishida’s attempt at a radical reconstruction of philosophy seems to suffer from a metaphysical optimism deriving from his notion of the “place of absolute nothingness”; in 1945, when Japan’s defeat and his own death were approaching him as if competing with each other, Nishida wrote: “A world war must be a world war which aims to negate a world war and to contribute to eternal peace.” "Our motivation for philosophizing must be, not wonder, but the deep sorrow of life"---Nishida's often-quoted metaphilosophical prescription was meant to be a critique of Western philosophy's penchant to objectify Being. It is said, however, that the "philosophy in search of peace" in the "Post-Hiroshima Age" was occasioned with "fear." By way of critical reconsideration of Nishidaphilosophy, this paper intends to search for a new philosophy of history, one prerequisite for which would be to comprehend concretely the relationships between the various “dimensions of reality.” And it would be nothing but those cardinal questions accompanied with wonder, sorrow, or fear that can bring into lightthe principal dimensions structuring the multiple-reality of our times.
8. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 29
Kamala Kumari, Mukta Singh Pragmatic Need of Mind-control as Propounded in Indian Philosophy
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The Indian philosophers lay emphasis on mind-control. Mind-control is not only negative practice. For, we are not only required to check and curb our evil tendencies but also employ them for a better purpose. The lower constituents of human beings can not be annihilated but can only be tamed and reformed. Cessation of bad tendencies is coupled with cultivation of good tendencies and is followed by good actions. According to Jainism & Buddhism, the path of liberation from sufferings starts with mind-control. The Jainas emphasize on right faith, right knowledge and right conduct which are regarded as Triratnas, three Jewels. Right conduct consists in abstinence from injury, falsehood, stealing, self-indulgence and attachment. According to Buddhism, way to Nirvan (cessation from suffering) consists in eight-fold path which is nothing but self-control. It starts from right views, right determination and right speech and proceeds through right conduct to right livelihood to right effort and to right mindfulness. This process of self-control finally culminates in right concentration. The Upanishadic thinkers and the systems based on Upanishadic traditions have also recognised the importance of self-control. In view of the importance of mind-control in familial, social, moral and spiritual lives we should consistently and constantly make endeavour to practice mind-control and should fight despondency with enthusiasm in the event of some initial failures.
9. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 29
Michel Dalissier Nishida Kitaro and Japanese Philosophy
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The remarkable destiny of Japan’s philosophical adventure during the XXI century invites us, in the person of its first great actor, Nishida Kitaro (1870‐1945), to consider a spiritual unification gesture, illustrated in the first place by a stunning reading of history of Western Philosophy, meditating in return the Oriental Thought as its nurturing soil. Second, these uncommon researches had a rather underground stake: to search for the very place in which a deeper understanding of metaphysics could spread in this beginning of the third Millennium. It seems that, for Nishida, the extent of such a project needs to question more radically a certain notion of « nothingness », irreducible to both Western ontologies as well as Confucians, Buddhist and Taoist philosophical speculations.
10. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 29
Valeria – Alina Miron The Conflict of Values in Southeast Asia: East Timor case
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This article aims to identify the main cultural factors that have contributed to East Timor’s conflict with Indonesia by increasing vulnerability, instability and violence and at presenting the structural fazes of the conflict. Please note that despite being grouped into categories, many of the cultural conflict factors are, infact, closely inter - linked and often act to reinforce one another.
11. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 29
Chang-hee Nam Hado-Nakseo Model and Nuclear Arms Control: A Constructivist Element in the Yinyang Inversion Process
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The theory of Yin and Yang and the Five Movements is based on the concept of cyclical time. This ancient cosmological model postulates that when expansive energy reaches its apex, mutual life-saving relations prevail over mutually conflictual societal relations, and that this cycle repeats. This cosmic change model was first presented in ancient Korea and China, by Hado-Nakseo, via numerological configurations and symbols. The Hado diagram was drawn by a Korean thinker, Bok-hui (?-BC3413), also known as Great Empeor Fuzi or Fu-hsi in Chinese mythology. Confucius once recognized him as the father of I Ching (Book of Changes). The Eastern cosmology was further developed by King Wen and the Duke of Zhou and compiled by Confucius (BC551?-BC 479) during the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period. Nakseo diagram was first discovered by the famous King Wu of China, who founded the Xia dynasty. In contrast to the harmonious mathematical matrix of Hado, Nakseo symbolizes the conflictual and dynamic expansion of the universe. In the Nakseo world, masculine energy is structurally greater than feminine energy, continuously breeding disequilibrium and conflict. The Yin and Yang model suggests that everything in the universe exists as a combination of opposing dynamics. At any given time, one of the two dynamics grows while the other declines. When Yang energy is at its peak, Yin energy is at its nadir; then, a reversal occurs; and envetually the whole cycle repeats. It would thus be logical to express that when conflictual energy has reached its apex harmonious energy begins to wax. It can be argued that since the state of disequilibrium within the universe represented by Nakseo cannot indefinitely sustain its dynamic of expansion, harmonious international relationships eventually come to pervade the world. This argument represents a unique applicationof the concept of Yin and Yang logic to international arms race and arms control. This cyclical dynamics can explain the long-term process of arms build-up followed by eventually by nuclear standoff and subsequent nuclear arms control regimes as NPT, CTBT, MTCR, SALT, START, PSI and etc. One can boldly claim that Yin and Yang logic offers a clue to creating a theory of structural peace by discovering a constructivist element in the model. The esoteric matrixes of ancient Korea and China thus provide humanity with an new vision for nuclear disarmament and a sustainable peace.
12. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 29
Aim-Orn Niranraj The Concept of a Self-Sufficiency Economy in Thailand: A Reflection of The Buddhist Way of Life
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Between 1987 and 1997, Thailand experienced a bubble economy. When the bubble economy exploded in 1997, the country suddenly experienced an economic crisis: it was in heavy debt and became financially controlled by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The problem was caused by the country’s desire to rapidly change itself from an agricultural country to an industrial one, without considering its own comparative advantage in that its climate and resources are more suitable for agriculture. Thailand also wanted to become a newly industrialized country and a 􀏐inancial hub of Southeast Asia without considering its readiness. These ideas came to a halt after the bubble economy explosion. However, just after Thailand managed to solve its debt problem with the IMF, thegovernment once again declared its desire to turn the country into the ‘Detroit of Asia’, to develop the capital, Bangkok, into the region’s fashion hub and to launch a substantial number of mega-projects, albeit with the existence of a widening economic gap between the rural and urban areas. This economic trend became known as “Thaksinomics” with reference to the name of the Prime Minister at that time, Thaksin Shinawatra. On the other hand, there has been a great deal of criticism of such a trend, which has been seen as a capitalist move promoting the consumerist behaviour of Thai people. There is, therefore, a call for Thai society to review itself, especially in its social and economic development aspects, and a change to a new kind of development with an emphasis on self-reliance andmoderation. This call is based on a Buddhist belief which is reflected in the old Thai way of life. This kind of economy is called “Self-Sufficiency Economy” as opposed to a capitalist-consumerist economy. It is believed that this new direction will help lay a strong foundation for the Thai economy and provide it with a high level of immunity for progress towards a more stable and sustainable economy.
13. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 29
ByoungShup Park The Distinctions of Korean Philosophy
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14. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 29
Montserrat Crespín Perales Nishida Kitaro's First Notion of Beauty
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Although we cannot find any Aesthetics system in the works of NISHIDA Kitarõ (1870-1945), the most significant and influential Japanese philosopher of the twentieth-century, one of his central themes is the role of art and aesthetics in relation with morality and religion. His aesthetics approaches are magnificent examples of his aim to overcome the innate dualism that sustains modern epistemology and a door, apparently hidden, to a better understanding of all his speculative scheme of philosophy. This paper attempts to throw light to the importance of the first aesthetic approximation developed by Nishida eleven years before the publication of Zen no Kenkyû [ 善 の ?究 ] (An Inquiry into the Good) (1911) and twenty-three years before the publication of the more accurate system of aesthetics that we read in Geijutsu to dôtoku [芸術 と 道? ] (Art and Morality) (1923). We will analyze the small essay entitled "Bi no Setsumei" [美 の ?明] ("An explanation of Beauty") (1900) and Nishida's first definition of beauty as muga [無我] (self-effacement or ecstasy).
15. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 29
T. R. Raghunath An Asian Ethic of Compassion
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Chidambaram Ramalingam (1823 – 1874) was a nineteenth century Indian-Tamilian poet, mystic, and visionary moral thinker well-known for his seminal contributions to Tamil religious and moral literature. He initiated a new moral and spiritual community and movement, Suddha Sanmargam, or “The Pure Path to True Harmony”, in the nineteenth century in the province of Tamilnadu in Southern India. One of Ramalingam’s texts which laid the philosophical foundation for this community and movement is his great unfinished essay “The Ethic of Compassion for Sentient Beings”. In this talk, I will attempt a systematic presentation of the moral vision and ethical system in his essay. Among Ramalingam’s central claims are the following: a) Compassion involves understanding or discernment of the ultimate metaphysical truth pertaining to sentient beings, b) Compassion is the foundation of all other moral virtues, c) Compassion provides the standard of the moral worth of actions, d) Compassion is the basis of morality itself, and e) Compassion is an essential condition of attaining spiritual liberation or enlightenment. In my talk, I will clarify, develop, and critically examine these five theses on compassion and consider relevant views and objections in the Western and Asian philosophical traditions.
16. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 29
S.K. Singh Philosophy of Change Management
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The persons who adapt to changes as may be necessary in the course of their existence not only survive in the struggle for existence but also thrive and enjoy their lives in the best possible way under the given circumstances. For, life consists in various relationships, which are in constant movement and change.Therefore dealing with change or change-management has got pivotal importance in all walks of humans’ lives. In order to facilitate smooth change all big and small inheritances have to be shed off. Adaptation to change involves some amount of give and take. Before stepping into new shoes one has to remove old ones. Sticking to good or bad things of the past in some cases spoils the present. One should, therefore, be in a position to come out of the situation of status quoor inertia. In some cases our ego does not allow us to change. It forces us to remain in the state that we have been enjoying hitherto. If we are untouched by sense of exuberance and live a life of simplicity, we can break the fetters of ego. The crux of the problem lies in affecting the change of attitude towards the present state of affairs and performance of corresponding duty. The persons should realize that change in power, position, strength etc. is inevitable. So,they should be mentally and physically prepared for it. This can be conveniently achieved by developing adaptability to and management of change.
17. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 29
Rekha Singh, Mukta Singh Overcoming the Pleasure Motive is a Pre-condition of Mind-control
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The uplift of the individual or the community is not possible sans mind-control. Human’s well-being is inseparable from mind-control. All kinds of people need control of mind. Believers, atheists, agnostics, those who are indifferent to religion are in need of control of mind. There are many factors of uncontrolled mind. The greatest among them is the pleasure motive which eats away our will to control the mind. The pleasure-motive, being elemental aspect of human personality, cannot be obliterated completely by the common people. Complete renunciation of pleasure is not possible for the laity. Therefore when we seek physical pleasure, we should do it in such a way that it does not spoil our physical or mental health, or obstruct our higher development. That is to say, seeking pleasure should not be to the extent of self-destruction. Holy company is the other positive factor of mind-control. Association of pious people makes our task of controlling the mind easier. Similarly, yogic practices of relaxation and concentration increase human’s ability of regulating the mind and its expression.
articles in french
18. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 29
Michel Dalissier Nishida Kitarô et la Philosophie du Japon
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le destin singulier de l’aventure philosophique japonaise du XXème siècle nous invite, avec son premier grand représentant, Nishida Kitarô (1870-1945), à un geste d’ « unification » spirituelle, s’illustrant tout d’abord par une lecture stupéfiante de l’histoire de la philosophie occidentale, méditant et critiquant tout à la fois la pensée orientale au sein de laquelle elle s’enracine. Mais ensuite, ces recherches singulières ont pour enjeu plus souterrain de s’enquêter du « lieu » même, au sein duquel une acception plus profonde de la métaphysique pourrait se déployer en ce début de troisième millénaire. Il semble bien que pour Nishida, l’ampleur d’un tel projet en appelle à une appréhension plus subtile de la notion de « néant », irréductible aux ontologies occidentales tout comme auxspéculations confucianistes, taoïste, et bouddhiques.
19. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 29
Patricia Nguyen Comment repenser la « légitimité » de la « philosophie chinoise » dans la perspective ouverte par Maurice Blondel
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Le problème de la « légitimité » de la philosophie chinoise est lié à celui de la conception occidentale de la « philosophie » qui est apparue à l’époque moderne, et qui privilégie la forme spéculative de la pensée au détriment de l’autre, plus concrète et pratique, dans laquelle se reconnaissent les tendances spécifiques de la tradition chinoise. Selon les critères occidentaux, la « pensée » chinoise ne peut se voir accorder le statut de « philosophie ». Or, dès 1898,Maurice Blondel (1861-1949) a dénoncé comme « illégitime » une philosophie exclusivement spéculative et conceptuelle ; il a remis en cause la « suffisance » d’une philosophie privilégiant indûment la pensée discursive, en même temps qu’il a montré la nécessité d’un recours à l’autre forme de pensée, celle qui est liée à la pratique, à la vie. Dans cette perspective, la philosophie occidentale, pas plus que la philosophie chinoise, ne « se suffit » à elle-même ; c’est unenécessité pour toutes deux de se compléter par leur « opposition » même, dans un dialogue authentique. La « philosophie intégrale », encore à venir, devra faire une part égale aux deux « aspectséléments » de la pensée, que Blondel qualifie de « noétique » et de « pneumatique ».
articles in chinese
20. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 29
Fabian Heubel 傅柯(福柯)與當代漢語哲學: 跨文化修養哲學的方法論反思
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From the daily life, how to get the access to philosophy, what is the approaches to philosophy? Regarding the big topics /big affair in the world, are they related to the philosophy? What and how shall the philosophy do? About some concept, word, have we already fully confirmed their meaning? What shall the philosophy do to make their meaning clear and confirmed? Refers to the philosophy itself, have we already confirmed its study objects? What is Philosophy? What is the main study object for the philosophy? It is the pity that till now, for the whole world philosophy field, the main study objects for the philosophy have not been confirmed. There are various kinds of answer; this means philosophy, from the past one hundred years, till now, has not work out the state of downturn and confusion. Since the philosophy itself is not clear , then no wonder from the late of 19 century to now, philosophy seems did lifting achievement for the human being , for the civilization, for the progress, its glory looks gray , compared with Science, which is in fact born by philosophy although. So, before the philosophy could work well for the civilization, firstly, we should make the philosophy clear, confirm the main object of philosophy, target the correct object for philosophy! Only after this first work, we could expect philosophy do well on its tasks and function. For my this paper, its essential point is to present an answer for the target object belongs to the philosophy. Through demonstrate as per scientific logic and philosophy’s whole history, this answer, namely, the only target object belongs to philosophy is the Ontology and Cognition. Let philosophy go back to its correct place, its correct way. Then, it could move ahead. Only after we get new progress on the study of Ontology and Cognition, and with the help of this new achievement of Ontology and Cognition, we can get progress on the study of the fields related to the human being and progress of civilization. As far as what is the Ontology and Cognition, which kind new achievement of Ontology and Cognition we could expect, that is the next step.