Applications are invited for an interdisciplinary, comparative summer course entitled “What Makes Us Human? Philosophical and Religious Perspectives in China and the West” to be held at Central European University in Budapest from July 4 to 15. The course looks at the question of what it is to be human from a range of intellectual perspectives in traditional Chinese and Greek thought, covering philosophy, psychology, religion, science, and medicine.
The course director is Curie Virág
(East Asian Studies, Toronto), and faculty include Gabor Betegh
(Classics, Christ’s College, Cambridge University), Chris Fraser
(Philosophy, Hong Kong), Donald Harper
(East Asian Languages & Civilizations, Chicago), Brooke Holmes
(Classics, Princeton), Maria Kronfeldner
(Philosophy, CEU), and Matthias Riedl
Here’s the course description from the program catalogue: Continue reading ““What Makes Us Human?” Summer Course at CEU”
Many readers of this blog have been following the recent demonstrations in Hong Kong with interest, and several days ago Kai Marchal posted some insightful remarks about demonstrators’ motives and inspirations and their relation to Confucianism. Kai specifically noted the absence of explicitly Confucian political ideals from the demonstrators’ public rhetoric.
The following is the text of a short talk I gave at a public gathering organized by HKU students on the street in Admiralty next to Hong Kong government headquarters on October 1, China’s National Day.
Continue reading “The People in Chinese Political Thought”
If you work with early Chinese texts, you have probably used the Chinese Text Project (ctext.org), a wonderful on-line resource created by Donald Sturgeon some years ago while he was still a master’s student in Taiwan.
To many of us, within two or three years of its founding, ctext.org had become a more convenient and useful research tool than the online e-text resources created by large institutions such as Academia Sinica. As Donald has continued to expand the site’s functions — such as by adding a dictionary and concordance indexing — its utility has overtaken that of any rival Chinese text database, online or not.
Often, while working on a book chapter or essay, I have multiple browser windows open displaying different pages of content from ctext.org. I’m sure many others in the field use the site the same way.
All that useful content takes up a lot of server resources, however, which someone has to pay for. For years now, that someone has mainly been Donald himself. He’s had a few welcome anonymous donations and a handful of short-term sponsors, but by and large the costs for the site come out of his own pocket. And that’s not counting all the time and programming expertise that he’s put into it.
So a graduate student living on a modest stipend in one of the world’s most expensive cities is paying for a valuable research tool that all of us use.
May I suggest that those of us who can afford it — not graduate students, but professors and other interested readers — consider donating to support the site’s operations? You can do so through Paypal on the site’s support and donation page here. To those of us who visit the site frequently, the Chinese Text Project is worth much more than the cost of a book and probably more than the cost of most of the software on our computers. So why not consider donating an amount equal to the price of a book or a software package to support the continued operation and growth of this invaluable resource?
And if you’re in a position to do so, consider arranging for an institutional subscription to or sponsorship of the site, as described here.
This is a project that deserves our support.
— Chris Fraser
Dan Robins, a frequent contributor to this blog, has accepted a job offer from the Department of Philosophy at the University of Hong Kong. Congratulations, Dan! Dan joins several other colleagues at HKU working in Chinese philosophy: Chad Hansen, who has returned to teach common core curriculum courses on behalf of the Department of Philosophy; Tang Siufu, in the School of Chinese; Joseph Chan, in the Department of Politics and Public Administration; and myself, in the Department of Philosophy.
HKU’s Department of Philosophy has an opening for an assistant professor of philosophy. The area of specialization for the post is not Chinese philosophy, but preference is likely to be given to candidates with competence in Chinese or Chinese-Western comparative philosophy in addition to another area. So people working in Chinese or comparative philosophy are strongly encouraged to apply.
The first paragraphs of the advertisement run as follows:
Continue reading “Philosophy Job Opening at HKU”
The Mohist doctrine of “Moderation in Burial” seems to be winning converts among officials in China these days.
The New York Times reports that “After a quarter of a century in which the gap between rich and poor has steadily widened, the wretched excesses of the affluent are increasingly a Chinese government concern.”
“Ostentatious tombs are particularly irksome…because many Chinese find even a simple grave marker beyond their means. In a coinage that captures the widespread frustration, someone struggling to afford burial costs is called a ‘grave slave.'” Continue reading “"Moderation in Burials," 21st Century Version”
Are intense emotions a necessary part of a good life? This seems a partly normative, partly psychological question. I’m interested in hearing what others think about it.
In a recent article in Asian Philosophy I take some preliminary steps toward understanding and partly defending a Zhuangist stance on emotion, which I dub the “Virtuoso View.” (A precis of the article can be found here.) I characterize this view roughly as follows: Continue reading “Zhuangzi, Emotions, and the Good Life”
The Department of Philosophy of the University of Hong Kong has a job opening in Chinese philosophy. Details are posted here. The position is being advertised at the assistant professor level, but candidates at associate professor rank are also encouraged to consider applying.
Lingnan University, in Hong Kong, is seeking to hire an associate or assistant professor in Chinese philosophy. This is an excellent opportunity for a suitable candidate: Lingnan is a lively department with a group of sharp philosophers and a pleasant working environment.
Details are here. Applications are still welcome.
I’ve just learned that Professor D. C. Lau, well known to all of us for his translations and scholarly articles, passed away on Monday, April 26. An obituary appears here. For the past few years, Professor Lau had lived on the campus of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
In comment #14 in this thread, I suggested that “parts of the Zhuāngzǐ are committed to a form of political liberalism, on which all individuals should be allowed to live, without government interference, in a way that comes naturally to and pleases them, provided they allow others to do so as well.”
It occurred to me that explicating this claim might make for an interesting post.
The Chinese political tradition is generally regarded as authoritarian, in cases even totalitarian, in both theory and practice. This view is one basis for certain claims about differences between traditional Asian and contemporary Western political cultures, which have sometimes been cited as grounds for resisting liberal democratic reforms in Asian countries. Continue reading “Daoist Liberalism”
The Department of Philosophy at the University of Hong Kong is inviting applications for a special postdoctoral fellowship in HKU’s “Society of Scholars,” a programme that began last year. The fellowship is intended for recent PhD graduates (degree received within the last two years) or those about to receive the PhD. Information on the Society is available here. Application information is available here.
Bo Mou (San Jose State University, USA) has recently founded a new journal called Comparative Philosophy, described as “an international journal of constructive engagement of distinct approaches toward world philosophy.” The new journal’s website is here. The table of contents of volume 1, no. 1, scheduled to appear in January 2010, follows. Continue reading “New Comparative Philosophy Journal”
Some news of interest to students considering pursuing a Ph.D. in Chinese or comparative philosophy:
The Research Grants Council (RGC) of the Hong Kong government has recently established a Ph.D. fellowship scheme aimed at attracting outstanding students from all parts of the world to pursue full-time Ph.D. studies in Hong Kong’s universities. The fellowship provides a monthly stipend of HK$20,000 (the equivalent of more than US $30,000/year) and an annual conference or research-related travel allowance of HK$10,000 for either three or four years, depending on the degree program in which a student is enrolled. Over the next year, 135 of these fellowships will be awarded to students at institutions in Hong Kong.
Details about the scheme as it pertains to the University of Hong Kong are available here. (For other universities, see their respective websites.) The application deadline is December 1.