To Really See the Little Things: Sage Knowledge in Action Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Sage knowledge knows the evolution of circumstances from an early point, when tendencies may be inconspicuously, “effortlessly” diverted. This knowledge is expressed, not “represented,” being an intensive quality of action rather than of belief, proposition, or theory, and its effortlessness is not a matter of effort versus no effort, but of the intensity with which effort tends to vanish. The value of such knowledge and the explanation of its accomplishment in terms of perceiving incipience or “really seeing the little things” crisscross lines among Confucians, Neo-Confucians, Daoists, and Art of War thinkers. What distinguishes these currents arises not from different definitions or justifications of knowledge but instead different ideas about how to acquire such knowledge and especially how to train it for wisdom.

publication date

  • September 2015