A New Book: Chinese Metaphysics and Its Problems, Chenyang Li and Franklin Perkins (eds.), Cambridge University Press (2015). [Amazon link]
Numbers and discussion here.
We are now accepting submissions for our next issue, with a focus on the theme “Literature of the Ming and Qing Dynasties.”
Journal of Chinese Humanities (JOCH) is an English-language extension of Wen Shi Zhe (Journal of Literature, History and Philosophy), one of mainland China’s most respected humanities journals. JOCH focuses on presenting scholarly work on various aspects of China’s traditional culture and society. It is our goal to foster international dialogue on important issues in Chinese studies and provide a platform for academic exchange. Continue reading “Call for Papers, Journal of Chinese Humanities”
Erin Cline of Georgetown University has published a new book with Columbia University Press, Families of Virtue: Confucian and Western Views on Childhood Development. Congratulations, Erin! The Columbia U. P. website is here; read on for a description.
Scott Barnwell revisits one of our favorite topics:
Off and on over the past 18 months I’ve been working on a new essay for my blog series “Classical Daoism – Is There Really Such a Thing?” The essay is on Wuwei 無為 and whether it could be considered a defining feature of a group or tradition we call (early) Daoism. I’ve got some thoughts I hope some may feel like addressing. As far as I can tell, wuwei does not have just one meaning or usage. I think there are a few different uses and would like to know if others would differentiate them as I do.
The hypothesis that I want to put forward here is that the conception of the “philosophical” underlying this state of affairs does not correspond to a timeless Platonic form, but that it is instead a construction undertaken in a specific cultural context, at a specific historical moment, for some very specific reasons, not all of which have to do with the love of wisdom. The time is the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century. The place is northern Europe, chiefly, though not exclusively, Prussia and Hanover.
Continue reading “Rewriting the story of philosophy”
Two new articles about the Peng Bird in as many days! Here’s one about a Zhuangzi-inspired art installation at the 56th Venice Biennale. More information on the installation, along with some pictures, here.
A new article by Bryan W. Van Norden at The National Interest.
For those of you who may have been unceremoniously dropped from your email subscriptions (to new post notifications) when our site underwent a “routine” update a couple of months ago, we have added a different — and more convenient, by Postmatic’s own advertising — subscription service from on the far right menu.
One of the new features that I haven’t tested yet is the ability to comment directly from the email in which the post is sent. I guess we will find out soon enough.
Sign up if you like emailed updates!
For those in Taiwan, this lecture on the future of cross-straits relations from a Confucian perspective may be of interest; it is announced as the first in a new series of lectures of Confucian perspectives on contemporary civil society issues):
This is a highly competitive fellowship with a generous stipend. Scholars who have been awarded their PhDs after January 2011, or who are expecting the award of their degree imminently, are eligible to apply: UNSW Vice Chancellor’s postdoctoral research fellowships
Applicants should have publications in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and with reputable publishers. They should also discuss future publishing plans. The application pack is available here: UNSW Postdoc Application Pack
If you have questions about a post-doc fellowship in Chinese philosophy, please contact A/Prof Karyn Lai (email@example.com)
As I have already mentioned, on Friday May 15, there will be an all-day symposium on Joseph Chan’s book Confucian Perfectionism at HKU. There are at least two other Chinese-philosophy related events taking place next week in Hong Kong (please let me know if you know of others!):
- On Thursday May 14, David Wong (Duke University) will be speaking on “Moral Beauty” at HKU (Room 966, 9/F, The Jockey Club Tower) at 4:30pm.
- On Wednesday May 13, I will be speaking on “Varieties of Knowing in Neo-Confucianism” at the Center for East Asian and Comparative Philosophy, HK City University (Conference Room 1, To Yuen Building), 4:00pm.
Sungmoon Kim, ed., Confucianism, Law and Democracy in Contemporary Korea (Rowman and Littlefield International; CEACOP Series in East Asian Comparative Ethics, Politics and Philosophy of Law) has been published. Congratulations to all involved: it looks terrific!
2015 Nishan Confucian Studies Summer Institute: International Program for Teachers of Chinese Studies
The International Program for Teachers of Chinese Culture is an invitation to spend a month reading the Confucian classics with world-renowned experts Roger T. Ames, Chenshan Tian and other distinguished comparative philosophy and Confucian scholars at a newly established Confucian academy at the site of Confucius’s birth, career, and death.
Application deadline: June 1, 2015
The Cambridge History of China: Volume 5. The Five Dynasties and Sung China, 960–1279 AD, Part 2 has been published. Part 1 contained overviews of each reign; this volume looks at the period topically, including important contributions to the periods intellectual history by Peter Bol and Hoyt Tillman. See “inside the book” with Amazon here.
The submission deadline for paper or panel proposals to the ISCWP for next year’s Eastern APA has been extended to May 4. The rest of the details can be seen here.
Today seems to be Daoism Day here at Warp, Weft, and Way. A new book:
Edited by Jeffrey L. Richey
Routledge – 2015 – 268 pages
A cool podcast, “Daoism as Liberation from the Chains of Western Philosophy,” by a former student of mine, Jesse Brenner. Check it out!
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
The Seduction of Daoist Philosophy: What Was Lost on the Way to Understanding the Daoist Religion?
Room 202, Luce Hall, 34 Hillhouse Avenue
James Robson – Professor, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University
UPDATE: COMMENTS ARE FUNCTIONING AGAIN.
There has been a problem using the comment function. Thank you for your patience while we figure out the issue. We will update when there is progress.
This book by Kenneth Winston may interest some of you:
Ethics in Public Life: Good Practitioners in a Rising Asia
The topic of moral competence is generally neglected in the study of public management and policy, yet it is critical to any hope we might have for strengthening the quality of governance and professional practice. What does moral competence consist of? How is it developed and sustained? These questions are addressed in this book through close examination of selected practitioners in Asian countries making life-defining decisions in their work. The protagonists include a doctor in Singapore, a political activist in India, a mid-level bureaucrat in central Asia, a religious missionary in China, and a journalist in Cambodia—each struggling with ethical challenges that shed light on what it takes to act effectively and well in public life. Together they bear witness to the ideal of public service, exercising their personal gifts for the well-being of others and demonstrating that, even in difficult circumstances, the reflective practitioner can be a force for good.
Kenneth Winston is Lecturer in Ethics at the Harvard Kennedy School, USA and Faculty Chair of the HKS Singapore Program. He is co-editor of Prospects for the Professions in China (2011) and editor of The Principles of Social Order: Selected Essays of Lon L. Fuller (rev. ed., 2001).
For more information see here. Palgrave is also offering a 30% discount on the book through 4/30/2015. Use the coupon code PM15THIRTY.
Three new books, all interesting-looking, have recently been published:
- Jung-Yup Kim, Zhang Zai’s Philosophy of Qi: A Practical Understanding (Lexington)
- Mou Zongsan (Esther C. Su, trans.), Nineteen Lectures on Chinese Philosophy: A Brief Outline of Chinese Philosophy and the Issues It Entails (Foundation For the Study of Chinese Philosophy and Culture / CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform)
- Jason P.Blahuta, Fortune and the Dao: A Comparative Study of Machiavelli, the Daodejing, and the Han Feizi (Lexington)
We are pleased to announce that the University of Tennessee, Knoxville will host the 19th annual Southeast Early China Roundtable (SEECR), 30 October – 1 November 2015.
We welcome proposals for presentations dealing pre-Song China from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including anthropology, archaeology, art history, history, literature, philosophy, and religious studies. Please send a short abstract (250 words) of your proposed presentation and full institutional contact information to <SEECR2015@utk.edu> by 1 August 2015. Early submissions are welcome.
Call for Abstracts: Metaphors in Use
Third Annual Lehigh University Conference in Philosophy, October 8 & 9, 2015
Keynote Speakers: Elisabeth Camp, Rutgers; Bryan Van Norden, Vassar; Lynne Tirrell, U Mass, Boston
Conference website: < https://philconf.cas2.lehigh.edu/>
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: JUNE 30, 2015
Asian Philosophy 25:1 is out, available here. Among other things, it includes Yong Li’s interesting “Adaptionism and Early Confucian Moral Psychology,” which criticizes Ryan Nichols’ earlier effort to provide an evolution-based analysis of Confucian moral psychology.
IMPORTANT: If you rely on Facebook to notify you of posts on Warp Weft and Way and you have “liked” it already, because of the updated format of the page, you will need to go to the page and select “Get Notifications” where it indicates that you already have “Liked” the Facebook page (look on the big picture of the ox). Remarkably, for Facebook, liking the page does not automatically sign you up for receiving notifications from the page.
Daniel Bell’s latest New York Times op-ed: “Teaching ‘Western Values’ in China” grapples with some of the difficulties with teaching and researching both “Western” and “Chinese” values.
International Conference on Oneness in Philosophy and Religion
Date: 25-27 April 2015
Venue: AC1-P4704, City University of Hong Kong
Conference program: http://www6.cityu.edu.hk/ceacop/Oneness/Conference_Oneness.pdf
The long-awaited survey of Warring States China by E. Bruce Brooks and A. A. Taeko Brooks, The Emergence of China, has been published and is available for order through the University Press of New England‘s website. It should also be available before long on Amazon. Extracts are available here. Congratulations to Bruce and Taeko!
Daoism Excavated: Cosmos and Humanity in Early Manuscripts
by WANG Zhongjiang, translated by Livia Kohn
paperback, 230 pages
June 1, 2015
The ISCWP plans to sponsor one or two panels at the 2016 APA Eastern Division meeting.
Our Goal: We would like to encourage submissions of proposals of individual papers and panels. We encourage papers or panels that promote in-depth engagement between Chinese and Western philosophy. The submissions will be reviewed by all the three members of the board. When we select papers, we normally try to find papers that have common theme to form a panel. You may have a better chance to be accepted if you submit a panel proposal which already has a common theme.
For this year, we would especially like to encourage submissions to form at least one panel around the broad theme: Continental and Chinese Philosophy. Possible topics may include comparative work on individual figures (Heidegger, Levinas, Deleuze, Irigaray, Confucius, Mencius, Zhuangzi, etc.), topics from within these traditions (Hermeneutics and Chinese Philosophy, etc.), and work on 20th century Chinese philosophical figures such as Mou Zongsan, Tang Junyi, Xiong Shili, Liang Shuming, etc.
Bellum vs Zhan 戰: A Comparative Workshop in Early Military Thought
Steve Jackowicz, Ph.D.
On April 4th 2015 about thirty scholars and students of ancient warfare gathered at Princeton University’s Jones Hall to participate in a day long workshop exploring the differences and similarities between ancient Chinese and Roman conceptions of warfare. Organized by two Princeton graduate students, Mercedes Valmisa & Sara Vantournhout, the workshop brought together two esteemed scholars of disparate parts of the ancient world. Robin McNeal, Cornell University, presented selections from ancient Chinese texts on Righteous War, while Richard Billows, Columbia University, presented selections from Cicero exploring Just War Theory.
Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy, has been conducting the annual selection of the best essay since 2007. Its editorial board has just completed its deliberation in selecting the best paper published in 2014, and the award winner is Professor Peimin Ni of Grand Valley State University, for his paper, “Seek and You Will Find It; Let Go and You Will Lose It: Exploring a Confucian Approach to Human Dignity” (Dao 13 : 173-198). Congratulations, Peimin!
11th Annual Midwest Conference on Chinese Thought
North Central College, Naperville, IL
May 1-2, 2015
Friday, May 1
1:00-2:30 The Virtues of Mengzi (Chair: Aaron Stalnaker)
- Dobin Choi (State University of New York, Buffalo): “Mengzi’s Maxim on Self-Cultivation for Righteousness in 2A2”
- John Ramsey (Scripps College): “Are the Fruit of Duan of the Same Species? Mengzian Virtues as Heterogenous”
- Franklin Perkins (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore): “Five Conducts (Wu xing 五行), Mengzi, and the Way of Heaven”
Just a quick update about the Facebook page that is associated with the blog. The page has been converted (finally) to a public page rather than being a “personal” profile page. That increases its functionality for being linked automatically to the blog’s posts. Discussions can also be started on the Facebook page by anyone who wishes to post there. Posts are moderated — they have to be approved by an administrator before appearing.
Note: some of you who were following the Facebook page were dropped off the list in the transition. Please “like” the page again to resume following. Cheers.
The article from the current issue of Dao that we have chosen for discussion is Michael Slote’s “The Philosophical Reset Button: A Manifesto,” available via open-access here. This time around, we offer opening comments from both BAI Tongdong of Fudan University, and myself (Steve Angle). Those comments follow here, and let the discussion begin!
This last Saturday evening, I was carping to a colleague about the fact that three panels on Chinese philosophy were scheduled simultaneously during the very last time slot of the Group Program of the Pacific APA. Now that the APA has distributed a link to the evaluation survey, I decided to take a look at the actual numbers to see if there is a genuine issue of equity at the conference.
Below are the stats that I got from a first-time run-through of the main and group programs (I’m concerned with Asian philosophy broadly, which I categorized, following the panel titles or society names, as Chinese, Buddhist, Japanese, Comparative, and Martial Arts (didn’t see Indian, alas!)).
Kenneth Winston of Harvard’s Kennedy School writes:
I am pleased to announce the publication of my book “Ethics in Public Life: Good Practitioners in a Rising Asia” from Palgrave Macmillan. The book is a set of five case studies of practitioners in different Asian countries making life-defining decisions in their work. They include a doctor in Singapore, a political activist in India, a mid-level bureaucrat in central Asia, a religious missionary in China, and a journalist in Cambodia—each struggling with ethical challenges that shed light on what it takes to act effectively and well in public life.
The next session of the Columbia University Seminar on Neo-Confucian Studies will convene Friday, April 3, 2015 from 3:30 to 5:30pm in the Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University. Chi-keung Chan 陳志強, a Ph.D candidate at The Chinese University of Hong Kong who is currently a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Boston University, will present the paper “A Confucian Theory of Immorality: From Classical Confucianism to Neo-Confucianism.” The main paper is in Chinese and is titled 《陽明與蕺山過惡思想的理論關聯－廉論「一滾說」的理論意涵》. Copies of the paper, as well as an English summary and some additional recent work on that subject in English by the presenter, are available from the organizers. All are welcome to attend. If you have any questions, contact one of our organizers: Ari Borrell (firstname.lastname@example.org), Tao Jiang (email@example.com), or Deborah Sommer (firstname.lastname@example.org).
News from Donald Sturgeon, who has used optical character recognition to provide extraordinary searchable access to pre-modern Chinese texts online:
A major update to the site has been made by applying OCR to over ten million pages of transmitted texts stored in the Library, linking scanned texts where possible to digital editions that follow them. Over 3000 existing texts have been successfully linked, allowing side-by-side display and textual searching of scanned texts.
Additionally, around ten thousand new texts and editions have also been transcribed for the first time using OCR. While these transcriptions inevitably contain many errors, they make it possible for the first time to search the scanned texts and immediately locate information within them. All newly transcribed texts have been added to the Wiki – please help by correcting errors when using these resources.
For further details, please see the OCR instructions.
International Society for Chinese Philosophy (ISCP) plans to host two sessions at the 2016 Eastern Division Meeting of American Philosophical Association (APA) on January 6-9 at the Wardman Park Marriott in Washington D.C. You are invited to submit a panel proposal or a paper abstract.
This Friday there is a workship on non-Western philosophical traditions at Penn, co-sponsored by the philosophy department. It’s a shame this wasn’t publicized more, but here is the schedule for anyone who is interested. Continue reading “Penn Workshop on Non-Western Philosophical Traditions”
2015 INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ASIAN STUDIES: BRINGING THE WORLD TO NORTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA
March 28 – 29, 2015, The University of Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA
The latest issue of Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy has been published. We will continue our series of sponsoring discussion of an article from each issue; this time, we have chosen Michael Slote’s “The Philosophical Reset Button: A Manifesto.” It will be set to open-access, and within a week or so we will have a post announcing that the discussion is open. To whet your appetite, here is the abstract:
The 2015 ACPA Newsletter has been published, and can be accessed via their website at: http://www.acpa-net.org/news.html.
We hereby request submissions of abstracts for the Fourth Northeast Conference on Chinese Thought (NECCT), to be held at Southern Connecticut State University on Saturday and Sunday, November 7-8, 2015.
Interested scholars should send an abstract of no more than one single-spaced page, plus a current CV, to Tom Radice (email@example.com) and Xiaomei Yang (firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than June 1, 2015. All files should either be in Word or .pdf format.
MARKUS is an on-line tool that allows users to upload a file in classical Chinese and tag personal names, place names, temporal references, and bureaucratic offices automatically, and that’s just for starters. It looks powerful and helpful; check it out here. Hilde de Weerdt describes some recent updates to MARKUS here.
I recently received a letter from the editors of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP), suggesting that those who have benefitted from the NEH’s support for SEP might tell the nEH this, as part of the 50th anniversary of the NEH. Given SEP’s openness to non-Western philosophy, I thought this idea was a good one, and wanted to share the letter here, and encourage others to write to NEH as well!
Prof. Alan Chan of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore is currently working on a six-week MOOC on Confucian Philosophy. The course is now open for registration on Coursera, and will begin on 28 Sep 2015. More details of the MOOC can be found here: https://www.coursera.org/course/ntucp.
Due to some unexpected conflicts, the ACPA now needs another commentator for one of its sessions at APA Pacific 2015 (G7B: Ethics and Meaning of Life in Confuican and Daoist Philosophy, April 3, Friday evening 7-10pm). The paper is: Sean Drysdale Walsh (University of Minnesota Duluth), “Mencius and Aristotle on the Negative Duty to Flourish.” If anyone would be interested in commentating Prof. Walsh’s paper, please contact Huaiyu Wang as soon as possible.
The 4th Northeast Conference on Chinese Thought (NECCT) will be held on November 7 – 8, 2015 at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, CT. It will be co-sponsored with Yale’s Center for East Asian Studies and Wesleyan’s College of East Asian Studies. Expect an official call for abstracts in the near future.
Oliver Weingarten’s review of Smadar Winter’s University of Chicago Ph.D. dissertation, “Motherhood in Early China,” is available online. A couple highlights (from the review, not the dissertation itself):
- “…An example of her disagreement with earlier scholarship is her response to attempts by Catherine Despeux and Livia Kohn to highlight the “prominence of motherhood” in the Laozi 老子. Winter counters this claim with a well-conceived alternative reading that argues for the secondary importance of motherhood in the text.”
- “…In her conclusion, Winter revisits debates about two paradigms in the gender history of early China: “woman as victim” and “woman as agent.” While she acknowledges the importance of the latter, she reminds her readers that “women’s agency was always defined in the service of male interests.” (p. 215) To acknowledge this is crucial so as to not to forget the “forms of oppression from which early Chinese women have suffered.” Consequently, Winter argues against “a neutral-to-positive tone which seems to be saying: Yes, there was oppression, but women were still able to lead meaningful lives and fulfill their humanity in the roles that subordinated them.” (p. 216)”
Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
Xunzi, Xunzi: The Complete Text, Eric L. Hutton (tr.), Princeton University Press, 2014, xxxi+ 397pp., $39.95 (hbk), ISBN 9780691161044.
Reviewed by Winnie Sung, Nanyang Technological University
David Elstein – Columbia Society for Comparative Philosophy Lecture: “The Possibility of a Confucian Doctrine of Free Expression”, Mar. 27 @5:30pm
THE COLUMBIA SOCIETY FOR COMPARATIVE PHILOSOPHY
Welcomes: DAVID ELSTEIN (SUNY New Paltz)
With responses from: WARREN FRISINA (Hofstra University)
Please join at Columbia University’s Religion Department on FRIDAY, MARCH 27 5:30PM for his lecture entitled:
“The Possibility of a Confucian Doctrine of Free Expression“
ABSTRACT: Most contemporary New Confucian advocates for democracy take a robust right of free expression for granted as a necessary condition for democratic practice. Yet whether or how Confucianism can justify such a right is often passed over without much analysis. On the face of it, the case does not look good. Classical Confucians of course do not mention any such right, and what they do say is generally neutral or outright hostile to free expression. Various limitations on free expression have also been endorsed by later Confucians, including some contemporary thinkers. The usual liberal justifications of free expression as protecting individual autonomy and preserving access to truth probably will not work for Confucians. For one thing, autonomy is not valued in the same way as in liberalism. Second, Confucians have generally been confident that truth and falsehood can be reliably distinguished by the more enlightened and there is not much to be gained by allowing the persistence of obviously false doctrines. The bigger concern is the harm false doctrines can cause. In this paper I will examine Confucian opposition to free expression, where Confucians will disagree with liberal views, and consider whether Confucianism can justify free expression along with how the Confucian right may differ in application. Continue reading “David Elstein – Columbia Society for Comparative Philosophy Lecture: “The Possibility of a Confucian Doctrine of Free Expression”, Mar. 27 @5:30pm”
The deadline is coming soon for proposals for this event…
International Symposium: Confucianism and Modern Society
Bond University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.
14/15th May 2015
Call for proposals
Confucianism was founded by Confucius (551-479 BCE), a great thinker and educator in China. As a way of life and a body of thought, it has evolved for two and a half millennia. The vitality of this school of thought, with its emphasis on such key virtues as benevolence, tolerance and reciprocity, has persisted to the present time.
Will the vitality of the Confucian tradition serve and advance modern society?
This conference should be of interest to anyone working on issues in comparative thought and philosophy. A terrific lineup of speakers and panelists (if I do say so myself). -HS
Over the last decade, the newly emerging field of “experimental philosophy” has posed a challenge to the claim that professional philosophers’ judgments about philosophically important thought experiments are universal. Rather, in a growing number of studies, it has been shown that people in different cultural groups – Asians and Westerners, males and females, people of high and low socio-economic status, people with different personality types, people of different ages, people with different native languages, etc. – have different intuitions about cases designed to explore what people think about knowledge, morality, free will, consciousness and other important philosophical issues. However, the extent and sources of this variation remain by and large unknown. The goal of this conference is to bring together anthropologists, psychologists, comparative philosophers, and experimental philosophers in order to further our understanding of the similarities and differences in the lay understanding of, on the one hand, knowledge, and, on the other, agency and person across cultures. Furthermore, we hope to sketch new avenues of research for philosophically sophisticated cross-cultural studies of the concepts of knowledge, person, and agency.
A new book full of specially written essays that aim to bring out ways in which Chinese philosophy can fruitfully challenge contemporary Western (especially analytic) philosophy, The Philosophical Challenge from China, edited by Brian Bruya, is about to be published by MIT Press. More information is here, and I will repeat the publisher’s description here. Congratulations, Brian!