I often have trouble understanding the ease with which some Western observers/scholars living outside of Chinese-speaking societies try to merge modern feminist ideas with traditional Chinese culture, especially Confucian discourses. From a more embedded perspective, these attempts often look oversimplifying, or simply unconvincing. Again and again, social reality in China follows its own laws, not those imagined by observers outside of China.
This saturday (October 28, 9-12 a.m.), a couple of colleagues (among others, Leigh Jenco, Sébastien Billioud, 林遠澤, and Fabian Heubel) will meet for a workshop at National Chengchi University (Taipei) on the possibility, and the theoretical implications, of cross-cultural learning. If you happen to be around and want to join our discussion, you are welcome to do so! Just send me an e-mail.
Daniel A. Bell speaks on the priority of harmony over freedom in a recent interview. Today, his interview appears just beneath CCTV’s extensive media coverage for Xi Jinping’s speech on the 19th Party Congress (see lower half of this page; in case you can’t find it there anymore, just use this link). Fama crescit eundo.
This is to announce that the volume Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss in the Chinese-Speaking World: Reorienting the Political, edited by Carl K. Y. Shaw （蕭高彥）and me, has just been published by Lexington and is now available on the internet and elsewhere. Here is the link to the publisher’s website, here on Amazon. And here is the description on our cover:
“Reorienting the Political examines the reception of Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss in the Chinese-speaking world. The legacies of both Schmitt, the German legal theorist and thinker who joined the Nazi party, and Strauss, the German-Jewish classicist and political philosopher who became famous after his emigration to the United States, are highly controversial. Since the 1990s, however, these thinkers have had a powerful resonance for Chinese scholars.
Dr. Hans Feger (Philosophy Department, Free University of Berlin) will be in Taipei for a series of lectures on European and Chinese philosophy early next month. The lectures are open to the general public, and you are invited to join us if you happen to be in Taipei!
Philippe Brunozzi asked me to post the following announcement (indeed, it is a promising development that one of the major philosophy departments in continental Europe is building up a curriculum in Chinese Philosophy!!):
If you happen to be in Taipei this wednesday (March 16), you are welcome to take part in the workshop on “Yan Fu and the Possibilities of Cross-Cultural Political Theory” organized by the International Center for Chinese Philosophy (Soochow University). No need to register: there will be enough seats for everyone!
Like many of you, I have often been thinking about the relation between liberal democracy and the Confucian tradition (or better: the traditions of thought claiming to somehow continue the spiritual legacy of Confucius and Mencius). In these hours, that is “as dusk fell on Hong Kong Tuesday evening” (in the words of CNN), thousands of young people are filling the streets of Hong Kong demanding full democracy and the right to elect their own leader.
There will be a conference at the Academia Sinica next week (September 1 and 2) on the reception of Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss in the sinophone world which might be of interest to some readers of this blog.
Today is June 4, the 25 anniversary of the army crackdown that ended the student-led popular demonstrations in China and left hundreds, if not thousands, dead. If you happen to be in Taipei today, you might be interested in a talk that, though not directly, addresses the question of how to understand and evaluate June 4. David Lorenzo (National Chengchi University, Taiwan) will speak about “Conceptions of Democracy on Taiwan and the Chinese mainland”. The talk will begin at 13.30, in the Department of Philosophy, 70 Linhsi Road, Shihlin, Taipei. The talk is open to the general public.