NOVEMBER 6, 2020: Zhuangzi’s Robber Zhi: A Discussion


Presents: Zhuangzi’s Robber Zhi: A Discussion 

Presenter: Stephen Walker (University of Chicago)
Discussants: Timothy Connolly (East Stroudsburg University), Tao Jiang (Rutgers University), Qianyi Qin (CUNY Graduate Center), Hagop Sarkissian (CUNY Graduate Center & Baruch College)

ABSTRACT: This session will focus on the celebrated ‘Robber Zhi’ (盜跖) dialogue from the Miscellaneous Chapters (雜篇) of the Zhuangzi. In the dialogue, Kongzi (or Confucius) tries to persuade Robber Zhi to abandon his marauding ways and lead a more conventional life. While the character of Robber Zhi is obviously brutal, and a person few of us would want to emulate (or interact with in any way), he’s also strikingly insightful about human needs and frailties, and attentive to the more covert kinds of brutality we endure simply by living in organized societies. Not only does he raise the possibility that attempts to morally reform individuals might produce more harm than good, but he also embodies, in his own person, the pointlessness of making appeals to powerful persons who don’t value morality at all. The presenter will spend about 15 minutes summarizing the dialogue, and the discussants will spend about five minutes each raising points for discussion. The rest of the session will consist of Q&A. Those planning to attend are strongly encouraged to read the dialogue before the session begins. You can download a recent translation by Brook Ziporyn by clicking on this link.

DATE: November 6, 2020
TIME: 7:00-9:00 pm

This seminar will take place via Zoom (please scroll down for the full invitation). Continue reading →

CEACOP On-Line Conference on Confucian Pluralism

The Center for East Asian and Comparative Philosophy (CEACOP) at the City Univeristy of Hong Kong will host an on-line conference on “The Problem of Pluralism in Confucian Political Theory” on October 23-24, with an outstanding line-up of young scholars. More information is available here.

Philosophy as a Way of Life book series

Eli Kramer writes with the following announcement:

The official web-page for the series “Philosophy as a Way of Life: Text and Studies” is now up:
Philosophy as a Way of Life: Texts and Studies will make available English translations of key studies on PWL and publish scholarly monographs and edited collections that consider its different aspects and implications.

Books in this series will explore PWL in antiquity, the renaissance, the early modern period, and up to the present, PWL as a methodological approach to the history of philosophy, the implications of PWL for understanding education and its history, the cross-cultural possibilities it opens up, the relationships between PWL, virtue ethics and philosophy of culture, and the different literary genres of PWL, including the way these genres impact the style and content of ancient, medieval and early modern philosophical works.

Manuscripts should be at least 80,000 words in length (including footnotes and bibliography). Manuscripts may also include illustrations and other visual material. The editors will consider proposals for original monographs, edited collections, translations, and critical primary source editions.

Updates to ISCP Conference Deadlines

A message from the ISCP 22nd Conference Organizing Committee:

Due to the Covid-19 condition, we have decided to extend/postpone the various deadlines for the 2021 biennial international conference to a later date so as to give us more time to observe Covid-19 situation and to give everyone more time to prepare for their abstracts and papers. The new deadlines are as follows:

Deadline for submission of abstracts and panel proposals: February 28, 2021

Communication of acceptance: By March 31, 2021

Registration: Will begin on March 31, 2021.

*Deadline for early registration with member discount rate: May 31, 2021. After May 31, the non-discounted standard rate will apply.

Deadline for submission of full papers: May 31, 2021

Reservation for designated hotels (with conference rate): April 1- June 1, 2021

We will update ISCP website and the Conference website with the new information soon.

Three upcoming on-line talks via Rutgers

I’d like to bring to your attention three upcoming talks at Rutgers Center for Chinese Studies. They are open to the public, but registration is required. Click on the titles to get more info and to register:
1. Civility and Manners in These Times: Early Confucian Strategies and Sensibilities (Amy Olberding, University of Oklahoma), Thursday, October 22, 04:30 – 06:00pm EDT
2. Beaconism and the Trumpian Metamorphosis of Chinese Liberal Intellectuals (Yao LIN, Yale Law School), Friday, October 30, 01:00pm EDT
3. Translating Tianxia: Confronting Sinophobic Narratives and Reimagining Cosmopolitan Ideals (Joseph Harroff, Rutgers University), Wednesday, November 18, 01:00pm EDT

Online symposium: “The Lunyu 論語 and Its Neighbours”

In November there will be a two-day online symposium entitled “The Lunyu 論語 and Its Neighbours.” The workshop will be held online via zoom. For further details, please refer to:, and see below for the schedule.

Continue reading →

Tongdong Bai’s Book Symposium on Against Political Equality—The Confucian Case

City University of Hong Kong is presenting an online book symposium on Tong Dongbai’s Against Political Equality: The Case of Confucianism:

Date: October 23, 2020 (Friday)
Time: 9:00am-12:00pm (HKT)
Venue: Online (The panel will be held in Zoom)

Tongdong Bai, Fudan University
Sungmoon Kim, City University of Hong Kong
Alan Patten, Princeton University
Russell A. Fox, Friends University
Hui-chieh Loy, National University of Singapore

Registration is required to attend this event.  To register, please email Mr. David Chung:

The following is an abstract of Tong Dongbai’s book:
Continue reading →