THE COLUMBIA SOCIETY FOR COMPARATIVE PHILOSOPHY
Welcomes: Eske Møllgaard (University of Rhose Island)
With responses from: Andrew Lambert (College of Staten Island, CUNY)
Please join us at Columbia University’s Religion Department on FRIDAY, October 12th at 5:30 PM for his lecture entitled:
How I Came to Conclude that Confucian Discourse is not Philosophy
ABSTRACT: The paper follows and elaborates on a line of argument in my book The Confucian Political Imagination, which was published by Palgrave Macmillan this summer. I do not address the main argument of the book, but sum up a line of thought that has gradually taken form since I began to read Confucian texts. I explain what I learned about reading Confucianism from my teacher Tu Weiming, and why I could not follow the philosophical turn in American Confucian studies. I point to the importance of reading in an emphatic sense, and argue that the philosophical approaches to Confucian texts often leads to an impoverished reading of these texts. Then I provide my own suggestions towards a definition Confucian discourse. I briefly point to the historical reasons Confucian discourse is not philosophy, and finally I ask if all this really matters.