Author Archives: Brian Bruya

Teacher Training for Confucian Studies

The Nishan program for undergraduates has been announced here.  Below is an announcement for the program that is tailored to instructors.


We are pleased to introduce the Third Annual Nishan Confucian Studies Summer Institute at theNishan Birthplace of the Sage Academy in Shandong, China, July 6 to August 3, 2013.


This month-long training program for teachers of Chinese culture will be led by professors Roger T. Ames (University of Hawaii), Sor-hoon Tan (National University of Singapore) and Tian Chenshan(Beijing Foreign Studies University), with a special series of lectures by Henry Rosemont, Jr.(Brown University), Zhang Xianglong (Beijing University), Hans-Georg Moeller (University College Cork), and Robin Wang (Loyola Marymount University).

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West-East Cooperation

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.


Ph.D. Supervisors

I am writing a short piece on the state of Chinese Philosophy in American Philosophy Ph.D. programs (yes, I’m aware of the APA Newsletter report from a few years back and of the discussions on the predecessor to this blog).

By my count, there are presently a total of six Philosophy Ph.D. programs in the U.S. that have specialists on their faculty who are capable of supervising a Ph.D. dissertation with a focus on Chinese Philosophy:

  • DePaul: Franklin Perkins
  • Duke: David Wong
  • Hawai’i: Roger Ames and Chung-ying Cheng
  • Oklahoma: Amy Olberding
  • SUNY Buffalo: Jiyuan Yu
  • Utah: Eric Hutton

There are other ways of going about getting a Ph.D. in Chinese Philosophy (Ziporyn at Chicago, Schwitzgebel and Raphals at Riverside, not to mention programs outside the U.S.–and there are M.A. possibilities, etc.), but I am keeping my focus just on philosophers in Philosophy departments who are capable on their own of supervising Ph.D. dissertations in Chinese Philosophy.

Have I missed anybody?



Comparative Philosophy Seminar

I’m working up a syllabus for a seminar in  Comparative Philosophy for a new M.A. program that we are starting at E.M.U. (not official yet, but almost there).  Below is what I have come up with for my first draft.  If you have taught a course in Comparative Philosophy, or have contemplated doing so, I’d appreciate any feedback you can offer with regard to readings and topics.

As for the readings that have been included, you can see that I construe the overall subject matter fairly broadly (or do I?).

The course is divided roughly into two halves.  The first half covers issues in comparative philosophy.  The second half is broken further into two sections, the first of which covers actual examples of doing comparative philosophy; and the second of which covers classic texts that provide good opportunities for comparative analysis–to give the students an opportunity to practice and thereby realize first hand the many issues and difficulties involved.  The last few weeks are devoted to readings that propose how to use comparative methods to make advances in current philosophy.  I’ll probably swap those readings out for readings from an anthology that I am working on at the moment–the theme of which is using the resources of the Chinese tradition to advance issues in current philosophy.

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Which Resources Do You Recommend for Interpreting Classical Chinese Terminology?

This is a follow-up to Manyul’s recent post about the TLS.

I’m wondering whether professors of Chinese philosophy at English-speaking universities encourage their students to begin to access terms in the original Chinese.  Perhaps it would be as simple as referring them to the glossary in the back of Ivanhoe and Van Norden’s Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy and then prompting them to be aware of those key terms in their reading, or it could be as complex as asking them to research a particular term across various texts.

There are a couple of reasons for asking.  The first is that I have a belief that beginning to entertain the notion that there is more to a Chinese term’s semantic field than is represented in any particular translation yields a more profitable understanding for the student, and (assuming others hold the same belief) I’m curious about how others go about encouraging that.  The second is that the potential of computing power to help in this regard is now quite high, and so I am wondering how electronic resources may be playing a role.  The perspective I’m looking for is that of the professor who is teaching the student who is not competent in Chinese.

There are also other perspectives that will be different but just as illuminating for me:  Continue reading →