A ground-breaking book on Chinese political philosophy

…by me, of course!

Here is a link: http://www.amazon.com/China-Political-Philosophy-Kingdom-Theories/dp/1780320752

And, my own objective view is well supported by a very authoritative voice (based upon the number of posts here, this voice must have been the most authoritative in Chinese philosophy):

“Tongdong Bai’s new book pulls off a remarkable balancing act. It is accessible and yet provocative; it is solidly based on China’s early history and yet full of fascinating comparisons with Western thought and with the contemporary world. It is a splendid introduction to Chinese philosophy for all readers.” – Stephen C. Angle, Wesleyan University

Now that you’ve seen my ego (too much of it, I guess), let me be modest for a moment. In this book, I argue that the Chinese transitions from the Western Zhou to the Qin dynasty were comparable with European modernization in many ways. The pre-Qin thinkers, then, were addressing problems of modernity. One implication of this crazy claim is that pre-Qin Chinese philosophy is first and foremost a political philosophy. Since they are about problems of modernity, the contemporary relevance of pre-Qin philosophical ideas is then apparent.

And now is your turn to show how crazy I must have been! (If you wish to trash my book in the form of book review, please let me know, and I’d be happy to arrange a copy to be sent to you.)

This entry was posted in Books of Interest, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学 by baitongdong. Bookmark the permalink.

About baitongdong

Dr. Tongdong Bai is a full professor and the Shanghai Dongfang Chair Professor at the School of Philosophy at Fudan University in China. He held a bachelor degree in nuclear physics and a master degree in the philosophy of science from Peking University, and obtained his doctoral degree in philosophy from Boston University. He was a tenured associate professor at Xavier University in Cincinnati before he moved to Fudan. He was the first and so far the only tenured philosophy teacher from the U.S. who has returned to China as a full time faculty member. His research interests include Chinese philosophy and political philosophy, especially the comparative and contemporary relevance of classical Chinese political philosophy. He has published many articles in some prestigious journals in these areas, and has a book out in Chinese by the Peking University Press, A New Mission of an Old State: the Comparative and Contemporary Relevance of Classical Confucian Political Philosophy. The English and revised version of this book is now under review for its publication in the English-speaking world. He has also finished an introduction to traditional Chinese political philosophy that is presented from a comparative perspective, showing its contemporary relevance (China: The Middle Way of the Middle Kingdom), which is published by Zed Books in its “World Political Theories.” At Fudan, he launched an MA, Visiting Student, and Auditing program in Chinese philosophy with courses taught in English. This program is intended to promote the studies of Chinese philosophy in the world, and is targeted at students who wish to learn Chinese philosophy, but whose Chinese is not good enough yet for them to do so in Chinese. Approaching the second year of its establishment, the program is the most successful program of its kind in China, with students and applicants who major in philosophy, classical studies, East Asian studies, and etc., and who have the honor of Summa Cum Laude or study at the honor programs from their colleges that include Oxford, Columbia, Toronto, Leiden, Tel Aviv, and etc. Dr. Bai can be reached at: baitongdong@gmail.com

5 thoughts on “A ground-breaking book on Chinese political philosophy

  1. Hi Tongdong — I am pleased that our move to the new server, thus making the blog accessible in China, has unleashed you. 🙂 Welcome. We look forward to further posts and comments from you.

  2. Yes; the work to get a new server will have been worth the effort if more readers in China are aware of the blog and become participants in it. Your book looks great, Tongdong. I’m looking forward to reading it.

  3. I would be interested in reading and reviewing your book. I studied “intellectual history” at Harvard (Ph.D., 1972), but it was of European ideas. In the last ten years, I have turned to Chinese subjects and recently translated selections of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms as The Battle of Chibi. My email is tjoa.books@gmail.com if you wish to send me a copy of your work.

  4. I very much agree that the pre-Qin philosophers are struggling with key problems of modernity! This is part of why I think Confucian thought has so much to add to Western work on the virtues, where the best sources (Plato, Aristotle) have a rather pre-modern sensibility. I hope I’ll get a good look at your book soon.

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