Consciousness at the interface: Wendt, Eastern wisdom and the ethics of intra-action

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Drawing on the family resemblance between quantum physics and Eastern wisdom identified by Niels Bohr, this article brings insights from Buddhism and Daoism to the task of enhancing our understanding of the significance of Alexander Wendt’s argument for a quantum-based social science. Five areas of overlap between his argument and Eastern wisdom are explored: vitalism and the idea that life goes “all the way down”; the dependence of consciousness on both subjectivity and relationality; the ethical significance of language; the notion of “changing the past”; and the importance of leaders. The family resemblances between Wendt’s perspective and those available in Daoism and Buddhism are remarkable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-169
JournalCritical Review
Issue number2
Early online date5 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Consciousness
  • Wendt
  • Buddhism
  • Daoism


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