Warp, Weft, and Way

Chinese and Comparative Philosophy 中國哲學與比較哲學

Walter Mignolo on non-European thinkers and philosophers

Here is an interesting piece (though dating back to February 2013) by Walter D. Mignolo on the role of Slavoj Žižek in the global market of ideas and an exchange between the philosophers Santiago Zabala and Hambid Dabashi. All pieces have been published on the website of Aljazeera and can be easily retrieved.

I have always been thinking that the discussion on Chinese philosophy needs to take into account the larger debates about Eurocentrism, colonialism, and the very nature of philosophy which have been going on for decades (with thinkers like Edward Said, Homi Bhabha, Enrique Dussel, Kwame Appiah, and others). However, quite often, this is at least my impression, scholars working on Chinese philosophy (both in China and in the West) are not willing enough to engage in these debates. In fact, Western scholars working on Chinese philosophy seem to be quite reticent to address these issues which are fiercely debated not in philosophy departments, but rather in departments of comparative literature or sociology. Or is such an impression one-sided? And might this reticency be due to the controversial legacy of Marxism? What do you think?


December 4, 2013 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学 | 7 comments

Reminder: Columbia Society for Comparative Philosophy lecture on Truth and Argument in Ancient Chinese Philosophy Dec 6 @5:30pm

(A reminder about this upcoming lecture this Friday, December 6.)



BRYAN VAN NORDEN (Vassar College)

With responses from:

TIMOTHY CONNOLLY (East Stroudsburg University)

Please join us at Columbia University’s Religion department on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 5:30 for his lecture called:

“Truth and Argument in Ancient Chinese Philosophy”


Most informed students of comparative Chinese-Western philosophy would agree with the following four claims: 

  1. Chinese philosophy is almost always concerned with truths that have ethical and social implications, whereas Western philosophy is sometimes concerned with purely theoretical puzzle-solving.
  2. Nonetheless, historically speaking, most Western philosophers have in fact been motivated to philosophize by ethical and social concerns.  The trend toward theoretical puzzle-solving is largely characteristic of some 20th century philosophy, particularly in the English-speaking world.
  3. Aristotle invented the first form of formal, deductive logic in the West, whereas Chinese philosophers were much more interested in the complexities of ordinary language arguments.
  4. Nonetheless, philosophers in both China and the West give philosophical arguments – and sometimes structurally similar philosophical arguments – without needing to use formal logic.

Controversy remains, though, over the proper way to understand the role of “truth” in Chinese philosophy. Continue reading “Reminder: Columbia Society for Comparative Philosophy lecture on Truth and Argument in Ancient Chinese Philosophy Dec 6 @5:30pm”

December 4, 2013 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Comparative philosophy, Lecture | no comments

Conference 5-6 December in HK on Confucianism, Law, and Politics in Korea

Eirik Harris reports: We’re hosting a conference on “Confucianism, Law, and Politics in Korea: Past and Present” here at CityU that might interest some of the Warp, Weft and Way readers.  The Conference poster with list of speakers and topics is here: http://www6.cityu.edu.hk/ceacop/kpcp/conference_poster.jpg

December 4, 2013 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Conference, Confucianism, Korea, Law, Politics | no comments