Author Archives: karynlai

Suggestions needed for ‘harmony’ in Confucian thought

I’m seeking suggestions for scenarios, accounts or conversations where ‘harmony’ between self and elements of social/political life may be detected. I’m looking at texts associated with the Confucian tradition, including the histories, from Han and before. I am aware this is an interpretive matter and, at this stage, I’m keen to keep the casting net as wide as possible. One quick example that comes to mind is the Lunyu‘s 和而不同 or the Zuozhuan‘s soup (左传·昭公二十年). But there will be much more beyond quips like this. I’m also keen to look at accounts where terms like 和 (or ones that suggest it, e.g. 由 (A1.12) or 從 (A4.18)) are not present but where the idea of harmony – and its implications – emerges from the turn of events described in the passage.

Any ideas would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance.

Karyn Lai

Australasian Philosophical Review: Call for Abstracts

Call for abstracts

Australasian Philosophical Review (APR), Vol 1 Issue 3:
Comparative Ancient Chinese and Ancient Greek philosophy

Author: G. E. R. Lloyd, “The Fortunes of Analogy”

Invited commentaries from: Lisa Raphals, Adriane Rini, Raoul Mortley

Committee: Karyn Lai, Loy Hui Chieh, Michaelis Michael


The APR is seeking proposals for commentaries on Professor G.E.R. Lloyd’s article, “The Fortunes of Analogy”.

Abstracts should be brief (100-500 words), stating clearly the aspects of the target article that will be discussed, together with an indication of the line that will be taken. More details are available at the APR website:

Those who are interested should register as commentators to view Professor Lloyd’s paper and the invited commentaries.

Abstract submissions for Volume 1 Issue 3 should be sent to by 15 October 2016.

Invitations to write commentaries of 2000-3000 words will be issued on 31st October 2016. Full-length commentaries will be due on 15th January 2017.

If you have any questions, please contact Karyn Lai

Call for expressions of interest: Philosophy Compass Journal

Philosophy Compass is a journal publishing original, peer-reviewed survey articles of the most important research from across the entire discipline. Philosophy Compass fills a gap left by existing guides within the subject by focusing on what is happening right now in philosophy. (Please visit our website for more details)

We are looking for expressions of interest from authors for the Chinese Comparative Philosophy stream to propose articles in their areas of research interest. Submissions will be peer-reviewed.

Please contact A/Prof Karyn Lai (University of New South Wales, Australia) for more information on topics, paper lengths, deadlines and other details.

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Help with locating article

Does anyone know where or how I can get hold of a copy of the following article:

Paola Carrozza. 2002. “A Critical Review of the Principal Studies on the Four Manuscripts Preceding the B Version of the Mawangdui Laozi.” B.C Asian Review, No.13

I’m unable to locate the author and the article.

There is apparently an open access link from the Monumenta Serica website, but it doesn’t work (

Thanks in advance for help,

Karyn Lai

Postdoctoral Fellowships 2016: UNSW, Sydney, Australia

This is a highly competitive fellowship with a generous stipend. Scholars who have been awarded their PhDs after January 2011, or who are expecting the award of their degree imminently, are eligible to apply: UNSW Vice Chancellor’s postdoctoral research fellowships

Applicants should have publications in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and with reputable publishers. They should also discuss future publishing plans. The application pack is available here: UNSW Postdoc Application Pack

If you have questions about a post-doc fellowship in Chinese philosophy, please contact A/Prof Karyn Lai (

Reading the Old in the Light of the Newly Discovered: Chinese Philosophy and Ancient Chinese Texts

Macquarie University, Sydney, will be the first in Australia to host an international conference on ancient Chinese thought and the newly recovered ancient bamboo and silk texts, from 8th to 10th December 2014.

Organized by Chinese Studies of the Department of International Studies (Languages and Cultures), Faculty of Arts, the symposium will focus on the latest research of international importance: traditional Chinese thought in the newly recovered ancient texts.

Dates and Venues:

Day 1 – Monday 8th December
Opening Ceremony – 9:30 for 10:00am – 11:00am, Macquarie University Art Gallery, Building E11A
RSVP: Limited seats are available.
Conference begins 11:30am – 5:15pm, C5C T1 Theatre (Open to all, free admission)

Day 2 – Tuesday 9th December
9:00am- 5:15pm, Tuesday, W5C 220.

Day 3 – Wednesday 10th December
9:00am- 5:15pm, Wednesday, W5C220

For details, please contact Dr Shirley Chan,, +612 98507021

Programme 1-12a Extract

In the past four decades, the discovery of previously unknown texts dating to the fourth century BCE and to the Han Dynasty, as well as older versions of known texts, has revolutionized the study of early Chinese philosophy and history. The texts are of great significance in understanding the development of the major strands in Chinese thought particularly what we now speak of as “Daoism” and “Confucianism” — that have had enduring significance in many Asian cultures, and in allowing us a fresh opportunity to ask crucial questions about ancient Chinese culture and history. Experts and key researchers in the fields of early Chinese writing and classical Chinese thought are being invited to contribute to the discussion of the topics in terms of modes of manuscript production, Chinese intellectual history, and new interpretations of Chinese thought as revealed in these newly recovered texts. The conference has received overwhelming response from international and local scholars. We expect the bilingual discussion to provide a rare platform for exchange among Chinese and Western scholars, significantly advancing the frontiers of knowledge of early China and traditional Chinese culture. Admission to the conference is free.

There are more than 30 speakers from universities in Australia, China, America, Singapore and Hong Kong including the following:

* Australian National University
* Beijing Normal University
* Bohai University
* Capital Normal University
* Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
* DePaul University
* East China Normal University
* Fudan University
* University of Hawaii
* University of Hong Kong
* Hubei University of Economics
* Ji’ning University
* Lehigh University
* Macquarie University
* University of Melbourne
* Nanjing University
* National University of Singapore
* Peking University
* University of Sydney
* University of Technology Sydney
* Tsinghua University
* Wuhan University

More information is available at: