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Adapting is an open-ended model of relational efficacious action devised by Classical Chinese philosophers that I consider particularly well-suited to deal with the unfinished, entangled, and unpredictable character of life. It's well-suited because Classical Chinese philosophers intended for it to address problems of efficacy that are related to entanglement and change-to the realization that we are interdependent entities in constant transformation, who change (respond, resonate, become) along with the changing conditions of the world that constitutes us as human. (At least) from a pragmatist position, and despite the décalage in spacetime from Classical China to our age, adapting remains a privileged proposal to conceptualize and practice agency in our contemporary situations. This is due to the ontological and epistemological assumptions in which adapting is grounded, much as the model of action itself, having the potential to deliver the conditions to produce more adjusted, harmonious, sustainable, and happy relations for life forms on this planet.
Mercedes Valmisa obtained her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2017 and her M.A. from National Taiwan University in 2011. She currently is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Gettysburg College. Adapting. A Chinese Philosophy of Action (Oxford University Press, 2021) is her first book.