One thought on “2018 WCP to be held in Beijing

  1. Hi Steve,

    thanks for sharing this information with everybody! Yes, I had heard some rumors during my stay in Athens: either China or Brasil in 2018. Thus, it will be China. And this may be good news for scholars working on non-Western thought in general… It seems as if, after all the (still very Western, very American) debates about Post-colonialism and Post-modernism in the 90s and 2000s, we are finally entering the deeper waters of the real, the very global exchange of ideas!

    Frankly speaking, I don’t think I’m able to write a “report” on my experiences in Athens. For it was a truly overwhelming experience, very dense, very deep, even very confusing (imagine thousands of philosophers full of sparkling ideas in one huge room). It was, of course, too much for one week (sometimes, there were more than 20 panels in one time-slot). A few really big names (Juergen Habermas, John McDowell, Simon Critchley; but, unfortunately, not Umberto Eco who had a back injury). A lot of other famous philosophers from all over the world. The delegeations from India and Russia were very visible. But also, even more, the delegation from China. It was actually huge. One very interesting event was the encounter between Chen Lai and Alexander Nehamas on a hill just opposite of the Acropolis. Chen Lai tried to convince everybody that Confucius is the thinker who got moral self-cultivation right, not Aristotle. Nehamas spoke in Greek and seems to have made a more modest case for ethical cultivation (I rely on a friend’s report here.). Tu Wei-ming spoke in a couple of panels, also Cheng Chung-ying. There was a very vivid discussion animated by the Neo-Marxist David Schweickart, on Chinese environment issues and Chinese Marxism. I also listened to Enrique Dussel who criticized Western Ecologists for not paying enough attention to the logic of capital. Habermas spoke about Europe and refered himself positively to Carl Schmitt’s understanding of politics (sic!). John McDowell was very impressive. As was Critchley. Eco, as I said, was sick, but his paper on “realism” was read out by another philosopher. You see, I absolutely need to organize my rambling memories more coherently. Which means, in particular, that I have to read a bunch of new books. And this is also the most important insight I’ve got in Athens: that communication between different methodologies, mentalities, cultures, languages, and even world-views is extremely difficult to organize, especially for philosophers. Maybe, and hopefully, the real communication will take place in books and articles… Still, it was a very, very stimulating event.

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