This is related to Steve’s post about the recent APA panel on embodied cognition. But since my question strays a bit away from that, I thought I’d start a new thread.
First, thanks, Steve, for the great information, especially for the link to the participants of the summer institute! (And, Steve, do have an equivalent participants list from your Virtue Ethics summer institute?)
If anyone can help, I’m interested in knowing more about Western specialists who are dipping into non-Western philosophy, especially Chinese philosophy.
I know of Owen Flanagan and Michael Slote, of course. I also know that Karyn Lai and Stephen Hetherington are working together. Previously, there have been Hall & Ames (in Chinese and political philosophy) and Lloyd & Sivin (on the edge of philosophy). David Wong and Joel Kupperman each made names for themselves first on the Western side but have found inspiration from the Eastern side (as well have having done significant work on the Eastern side in the case of Wong).
What other kinds of openness to East-West cooperation is happening from the Western side?
Further, this blog has discussed the dearth of Ph.D. programs in Chinese philosophy, but what about other avenues for training/cooperation? The NEH summer institutes mentioned above are great examples. Are there others–for folks with a Ph.D. in a Western specialty but who want to know more about Asian philosophy? I know that for instruction, the Asian Studies Development Program has been holding summer institutes for college and university faculty who want to infuse Asian content into the undergraduate curriculum generally. There is also the Nishan Confucian Studies Summer Institute for teachers. What else is going on? Who is cooperating with whom? Which Western specialists are dipping into Asian philosophy? What avenues do they have for cooperation or training? Which Asian specialists are successfully reaching out to their Western colleagues?
Any information would be appreciated.
One key to successful comparative philosophical research is locating an area in where there is sufficient overlap between different traditions’ approaches that each can see the other as generating relevant challenges or questions, stimulating new ways of framing issues, and so on. I would argue that the “virtue ethics” paradigm has been successful in just this way, bringing together an increasing number of Anglophone and Sinophone philosophers and philosophical projects in fruitful fashion, as judged by the interesting, explicitly work that is being generated by Anglophone scholars (including those with little prior background in Chinese and Chinese philosophy) and some Sinophone thinkers (including those with little prior background in Western philosophy).
Another possible area of overlap and mutual stimulus — though it remains to be seen whether it will generate a similar level of fruitfulness — is virtue epistemology; Michael Chien-kuo Mi and colleagues at Soochow University in Taiwan have been collaborating with Ernie Sosa of Rutgers University and some other Western-trained philosophers in this endeavor.
What I mainly wanted to call attention to here, though, is a third area. The recent APA conference featured a panel (sponsored by the APA Committee on the Status of Asian and Asian-American Philosophers and Philosophies) on “Asian/Comparative Views of the Embodied and Enactive Mind.” Drawing on Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism, as well as on various streams of philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and phenomenology, the panelists (Bongrae Seok, Matthew MacKenzie, and Bradley Park) made it eminently clear that there is a major area of overlap and many opportunities for mutual stimulus and learning. I was also struck by the fact that a successful NEH Summer Institute was held last summer on this topic; looking at the range of participants and faculty, it is again clear that there is a lot of room for exciting growth in this area of comparative philosophy.
UPDATE: We were able to recover the two posts from yesterday. Any comments, including comments on the Question Board, will need to be reposted manually, though. Sorry about this!
Sorry, folks, all of the blog activity from yesterday (Jan. 2), including two blog posts and their comments, seem to have disappeared mysteriously. This is under investigation.