Warp, Weft, and Way

Chinese and Comparative Philosophy 中國哲學與比較哲學

Chung on the Upsides of Non-Specialists Teaching Asian Philosophy

There is a piece by Julianne Chung in the new volume of the Newsletter for the APA Committee on Asian and Asian American Philosophers and Philosophies, on the beneficial aspects of non-specialists of Asian philosophy teaching courses on it. I think we’ve had discussions of this topic in various comment sections on our site, so I thought some of you might be interested. Further discussion is welcome, of course.

May 9, 2017 Posted by | Asian Philosophy, Pedagogy | no comments

In Memoriam: Burton Watson (1925 – 2017)

I was alerted to a post by Lucas Klein, regarding the passing of Burton Watson on April 1, 2017. We have not been able to find any obituary notices. Watson’s translations, particularly of Zhuangzi and Xunzi, are probably the first introductions English readers have of early Chinese thought. His Zhuangzi translation is certainly the one that has had the most poetic effect on me. He was one of the giants of translation.

April 4, 2017 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学 | 3 comments

Email Subscription Housekeeping Test

I believe the problem with the new email subscription widget has been solved. If you have already successfully subscribed, you should receive a notification for any new POSTS that are published. If you’d like to subscribe, please use the subscription fields on the far right column. You will be asked to confirm your request via email prior to being added to the email list for new posts.

COMMENT subscriptions are more flexible — see the new dialogue below the comment field — and can be used to follow particular comment strings or only replies to your particular comment. Please let me know if something is not working.


March 27, 2017 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学 | 2 comments

Working on Comment Function Issues

Just to let you know that we are troubleshooting the comment function. We hope it will all be solved in a few days. Meanwhile, you are able to comment, but when you submit it, you’ll either be taken to a blank page or an error page. If you refresh the main page or the post-page, your comment should be there, however. Thanks for your patience.

Update (11 minutes later…): Fixed!

Update (45 minutes later…): Not quite fixed. Will keep working on it.

Update (1 hour later…): Fixed for sure now. Comment away! (The downside is that the fix involved removing the Postmatic email alert and comment system for following posting and discussion through email. Look for an announcement about an updated email alert system at a future date.)

December 19, 2016 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学 | one comment

McLeod at Central Connecticut – Lecture

Alexus McLeod (University of Connecticut) will give two presentations on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 1:40 – 2:55, at Central Connecticut State University – Student Center, Philbrick Meeting Room 120 on Chinese Astronomy and (separately) Chinese Martial Arts. Contact Mathew Foust with any questions.

Continue reading “McLeod at Central Connecticut – Lecture”

November 14, 2016 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Martial Arts | no comments

NECCT 2016 – Quick Report

Just a few things to report after the Northeast Conference on Chinese Thought 2016: Bruce Brooks has kindly set up a webpage where some of the presentation slides are or will be available. Below the fold are a few pictures of the event. Alexus McLeod has volunteered to host NECCT 2017 at the University of Connecticut.

Continue reading “NECCT 2016 – Quick Report”

November 7, 2016 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Conference | no comments

In Memoriam: Jiyuan Yu (1964 – 2016)

We have received this sad news from Chenyang Li:

Dear friends,

 I am extremely saddened to share the news that ISCP executive director and executive committee chair, Professor Jiyuan Yu passed away on 3 November 2016, after a courageous battle with cancer.

His passing is a major loss to our organization. Professor Jiyuan Yu also served as the president of ISCP in 2012-2013 and hosted the 18th International Conference on Chinese Philosophy in Buffalo, New York in 2013. He will be remembered dearly by his friends and colleagues. A panel will be organized in his honor at the upcoming 20th International Conference on Chinese Philosophy in Singapore, 4-7 July 2017.

Thank you, Jiyuan and farewell, our dear friend!

Chenyang Li

President of ISCP

Continue reading “In Memoriam: Jiyuan Yu (1964 – 2016)”

November 4, 2016 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学 | 8 comments

Pacific APA Panel on Teaching Asian/Asian-American Philosophy – Call for Proposals

[Just a reminder that the deadline for proposals is Monday, 10/31. Thank you. -M. I.]

The APA’s Committee on Asian and Asian-American Philosophers and Philosophies invites proposals/abstracts for a sponsored panel on teaching Asian and/or Asian-American philosophy. The Committee is especially interested in documented, project or experience based narratives of effective teaching techniques, comparative philosophy focus in lesson plans, theoretical or practical complexities, or strategies for curricular integration in degree programs. Other topics will also be considered. The Pacific Division meetings will be held in Seattle, WA on April 12 – 15, 2o17. Please send proposals or abstracts to Manyul Im via email: manyulim@bridgeport.edu. Please include a CV with your proposal/abstract.

Deadline for full consideration of proposals is October 31, 2016.

October 28, 2016 Posted by | Asian Philosophy, Asian-American Philosophy, Call for Papers (CFP), Comparative philosophy, Conference | no comments

Harvard EAS Conference CFP


The 20th Annual Harvard East Asia Society Conference:

Roads Through Asia
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA

The Harvard East Asia Society (HEAS) invites currently enrolled graduate students working across all disciplines to submit abstracts for its annual conference.

This year’s conference will be held from February 24-25, 2017. Participants should plan to arrive on or before February 24, 2017.

The HEAS Conference Committee invites the submission of papers that examine Asia from various perspectives and disciplines, including but not limited to history, philosophy, religion, literature, art history, sociology, anthropology, archaeology, economics, political science, gender studies, environmental studies, and law. Preference will be given to work that speaks to multiple fields or engages critically with those categories and boundaries that define past and present research on Asia.

In its twentieth year, the HEAS Conference is an annual forum for graduate students to exchange ideas and discuss research related to Asia. It is an opportunity for young scholars to present their research to their peers and to faculty members of Harvard University’s department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations. The conference also helps participants to meet others doing similar research and to forge new professional relationships.

Continue reading “Harvard EAS Conference CFP”

October 3, 2016 Posted by | Call for Papers (CFP), Conference | no comments

NECCT 2016 Schedule & Information

(This post will stay at the top for a few weeks so potential attendees can be reminded to pre-register by emailing Manyul Im.*)

Here are the program schedule and travel information for the 5th annual Northeast Conference on Chinese Thought, November 5-6, hosted this year by the University of Bridgeport.

*For the purposes of facilities and meal preparation, if you are not a presenter or chair in a session, please send a quick note to Manyul Im (manyulim@bridgeport.edu) if you are planning or likely to attend. There is no registration fee, however space is limited.

Continue reading “NECCT 2016 Schedule & Information”

September 19, 2016 Posted by | Conference | 5 comments

In the News and Worth the Repetition

We linked the Atlantic story a while ago, but here’s the New York Times account of Harvard’s third most popular course. (click image)


June 7, 2016 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学 | no comments

Teaching Resources Editor Wanted

I’ve temporarily pulled the Teaching Resources page tab off the blog. It was sadly neglected and could use the touch of a motivated, volunteer page editor. If you feel such motivation welling up in your xin, please let me know (manyulim@bridgeport.edu). If more than one of you are interested, I might coordinate a collaboration. Send me a note with your background, experience, and any ideas you have for making the page useful for our readers.

February 16, 2016 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学 | 2 comments

New Book – Theories of Truth in Chinese Philosophy

TheoriesOfTruthAlexus McLeod’s new book Theories of Truth in Chinese Philosophy: A Comparative Approach has been released by Rowman and Littlefield International (part of the new “Critical Inquiries in Comparative Philosophy” series).  The book deals with contemporary debates surrounding truth in early Chinese thought, as well as investigates conceptions of truth in the early Chinese texts themselves, from the Warring States through Eastern Han period.  More information here: [http://www.rowmaninternational.com/books/theories-of-truth-in-chinese-philosophy].

Alexus is currently at Colorado State University but will be moving to the University of Connecticut starting in the Fall term of 2016.

December 16, 2015 Posted by | Books of Interest, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Comparative philosophy | no comments

Comments Policy – slightly revised

To all our valued readers and participants,

Stephen Angle and I would like to thank you, first of all, for your interest and contributions in making this site a successful clearinghouse for discussions as well as announcements about Chinese and Comparative philosophy. We would like to revisit and point out a slight revision to our comments policy, which is now:

As a policy and a courtesy to other participants, comment or discussion authors must identify themselves with their first and last names. Exceptions will be made by request only to one of the administrators. If the blog administrators are unable to contact and verify identity, entries will be removed.

Exceptions will be allowed, but as exceptions of course and not as a general rule for any particular participant. We think it is reasonable, for some types of discussion, that a participant who has something to risk in revealing his or her identity be allowed to comment anonymously. We only ask two things when this is the case: first, that such individuals contact us by email with a request and, second, that such individuals identify themselves with some form of description that wears the anonymity on its sleeve — e.g. “Anonymous Jobseeker” or something like that.

The policy is necessary in order to provide accountability in the normal instance for what our contributors write to or about each other. We hope that you understand and share the value of such accountability in what is, ideally, an open forum for exchange of ideas. Thank you.

September 18, 2015 Posted by | Blog details, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学 | no comments

CFP: Philosophers/Zhexuejia – Special Heidegger Issue

Heidegger: East, West, Today, Tomorrow

A Special Issue of Philosophers (2016)

in Memory of the 40th Anniversary of Heidegger’s Death

Continue reading “CFP: Philosophers/Zhexuejia – Special Heidegger Issue”

August 10, 2015 Posted by | Call for Papers (CFP), Comparative philosophy, Heidegger | no comments

Call for APA Central Participants

Fellow committee member, Leah Kalmanson, is looking for respondents for an Author Meets Readers panel for the Central APA meetings in Chicago in March. Please contact her directly if you are interested. Find her contact info below.

The APA’s Committee on Asian and Asian-American Philosophers and Philosophies (CAAAPP) will be hosting an author-meets-reader panel at the next meeting of the APA Central Division (Chicago, March 2-5) for Peter K. J. Park’s recent book Africa, Asia, and the History of Philosophy: Racism in the Formation of the Philosophical Canon. Prof. Park’s work has already generated some conversation here at Warp, Weft, and Way. We are currently looking for respondents to serve on the panel. If you would be interested in attending the next Central meeting and serving as a respondent on our author-meets-reader panel, please contact Leah Kalmanson at kalmanson@gmail.com.


July 15, 2015 Posted by | American Philosophical Association, History of Philosophy, philosophy canon | no comments

Current JCP Issue – Free Access

I’m not sure for how long, but the current Journal of Chinese Philosophy is available for free access here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jocp.2014.41.issue-1-2/issuetoc . Though it is the most recent and current, Volume 41, it is dated March – June 2014.

June 28, 2015 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Journal Related, Tables of Contents | no comments

WuWei Revisited

Scott Barnwell revisits one of our favorite topics:

Off and on over the past 18 months I’ve been working on a new essay for my blog series “Classical Daoism – Is There Really Such a Thing?” The essay is on Wuwei 無為 and whether it could be considered a defining feature of a group or tradition we call (early) Daoism. I’ve got some thoughts I hope some may feel like addressing. As far as I can tell, wuwei does not have just one meaning or usage. I think there are a few different uses and would like to know if others would differentiate them as I do.

Continue reading “WuWei Revisited”

May 12, 2015 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Daodejing, Daoism, Laozi, Taoism | 68 comments

New Email Subscription Option

For those of you who may have been unceremoniously dropped from your email subscriptions (to new post notifications) when our site underwent a “routine” update a couple of months ago, we have added a different — and more convenient, by Postmatic’s own advertising — subscription service from  on the far right menu.

One of the new features that I haven’t tested yet is the ability to comment directly from the email in which the post is sent. I guess we will find out soon enough.

Sign up if you like emailed updates!

May 6, 2015 Posted by | Blog details | 4 comments

Comment Function Technical Problems


There has been a problem using the comment function. Thank you for your patience while we figure out the issue. We will update when there is progress.

April 26, 2015 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学 | one comment

Important Facebook Detail

IMPORTANT: If you rely on Facebook to notify you of posts on Warp Weft and Way and you have “liked” it already, because of the updated format of the page, you will need to go to the page and select “Get Notifications” where it indicates that you already have “Liked” the Facebook page (look on the big picture of the ox). Remarkably, for Facebook, liking the page does not automatically sign you up for receiving notifications from the page.

April 20, 2015 Posted by | Blog details | no comments

Facebook Page Update

Just a quick update about the Facebook page that is associated with the blog. The page has been converted (finally) to a public page rather than being a “personal” profile page. That increases its functionality for being linked automatically to the blog’s posts. Discussions can also be started on the Facebook page by anyone who wishes to post there. Posts are moderated — they have to be approved by an administrator before appearing.

Note: some of you who were following the Facebook page were dropped off the list in the transition. Please “like” the page again to resume following. Cheers.

April 9, 2015 Posted by | Blog details | no comments

Major Update to Chinese Text Project

News from Donald Sturgeon, who has used optical character recognition to provide extraordinary searchable access to pre-modern Chinese texts online:

Chinese Text Project: over ten million pages of pre-modern Chinese texts now searchable online

A major update to the site has been made by applying OCR to over ten million pages of transmitted texts stored in the Library, linking scanned texts where possible to digital editions that follow them. Over 3000 existing texts have been successfully linked, allowing side-by-side display and textual searching of scanned texts.

Additionally, around ten thousand new texts and editions have also been transcribed for the first time using OCR. While these transcriptions inevitably contain many errors, they make it possible for the first time to search the scanned texts and immediately locate information within them. All newly transcribed texts have been added to the Wiki – please help by correcting errors when using these resources.

For further details, please see the OCR instructions.

March 26, 2015 Posted by | Chinese Texts, Databases, Resources | one comment

Naming, Identity, and Open Discussion

Actually, this post is less interesting philosophically than it sounds, though it concerns something that is important to Steve Angle and me in our roles serving as administrators of this blog. This post will remain on top for a bit, then its contents will be moved to the introductory side menu. PLEASE READ:

New Comments/Discussion Policy: We will be implementing, going forward, a policy that comment or discussion authors identify themselves by their actual full names (“last”/family name and given name), at least once in a post or discussion string, if their logged-in names do not already indicate them. It would also be good to have some small self-identifying epithet after a name — either an institutional affiliation, something like “no affiliation, (city name),” or anything else that helps to contextualize one’s identity. Any official contributors to the blog who are listed in the Contributors list can simply put “(see Contributors list)” after their names.

Continue reading “Naming, Identity, and Open Discussion”

February 23, 2015 Posted by | Blog details, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学 | 8 comments

Tenure Track Position in Asian Philosophy

From Matthew Pierlott at West Chester University:

West Chester University of Pennsylvania is seeking applicants for the position of Assistant Professor of Philosophy, tenure-track position, to begin August 2015. AOS: Asian Philosophy; AOC: Open. The Department awards both BA and MA degrees in Philosophy, BA degrees in Religious Studies, and Graduate Cer­tificate Programs in Applied Ethics. Normal teaching load 12 hrs/semester. Minimum Qualifications: Evidence of scholarly aptitude and earned Ph.D. in Philosophy or Religious Studies; com­pletion of the Ph.D. required by August 30, 2015.

To view full job ad and to apply, go to http://agency.governmentjobs.com/wcupa/default.cfm.


February 10, 2015 Posted by | Job Opening, Opportunities | no comments

Hansen’s MOOC on edX

Chad Hansen has created a MOOC on edX called “Humanity and Nature in Chinese Thought,” available here. Here is some copy from the course description:

Think along with Classical Chinese masters as they explore and debate how and where we can find ethical guidance in nature.

We make ethical or behaviour guiding right / wrong judgments all the time but have you ever wondered where Ethics comes from, what it is about and why it is important? This course provides an introduction to traditional Chinese ethical thought and focuses on the pervasive contrast in the way Chinese and Westerners think about ethical guidance or guidance concerning what is right and what is wrong, good or bad.  Traditional Western orthodoxy uses the metaphor of a law – in its most familiar popular form, the command of a supernatural being backed by a threat of eternal punishment or reward – to explain ethical guidance. The Classical Chinese philosophers by contrast were all naturalists. They talked about ethical guidance using a path metaphor – a natural dào…

January 23, 2015 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Courses, Ethical Theory, Resources | no comments

Academic Book Costs

Given the energetic interest (e.g. here, recently) in academic book prices that are clearly pitched to institutional library collections and not for the average disposable income of individuals, I thought perhaps we could discuss this in a separate post and if we’re lucky, some of the blog readers who are in the publishing end could weigh in. At the very least, it might provide a forum in which to find out what goes into the decision to print a hardcover, library volume exclusively — I suppose something more illuminating than “there isn’t a market big enough for a softcover printing” would be nice. Comments from all sides are welcome.

Please keep comments civil — I know there is frustration out there but it may be constructive not to rage against the machine in this context.

December 3, 2014 Posted by | Academia, Book Prices, Publishing | 26 comments

Schwitzgebel’s Post about non-Western Philosophy and Mainstream Neglect

Over on his blog, The Splintered Mind, Eric Schwitzgebel wonders:

Why Don’t We* Know Our Chinese Philosophy?

(* “we” U.S.-based philosophy professors)

In 2001, I published a piece in the American Philosophical Association’s Newsletter on the Status of Asian & Asian-American Philosophers & Philosophies. In light of my recent reflections about the visibility of non-Western philosophy and philosophers, and especially this remarkable piece from an Asian-American who left philosophy, I thought I’d reproduce a revised version of the essay here. I’ve appended two new substantive notes at the end.

[Read his full post over on Splintered Mind. Discussion comments are welcome there or here.]

August 18, 2014 Posted by | Academia, American Philosophical Association, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Profession | 2 comments

Gongsunlongzi & Other Neglected Texts – Conference in Zurich

The Gongsunlongzi and Other Neglected Texts: Aligning Philosophical and Philological Perspectives

Conference, August 27–29, 2014

Convenors: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Behr, Dr. Lisa Indraccolo, Dr. Rafael Suter

Organization: Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies – Sinology and URPP Asia and Europe


  • Museum Rietberg, Park-Villa Rieter, Lecture Hall, Seestrasse 110, 8002 Zurich (August 27, 2014)
  • Room KO2 F-174, University of Zurich, Main Building, Karl Schmid-Strasse 4, 8006 Zurich (August 28–29, 2014)

Registration required – Contact email:  lisa.indraccolo@uzh.ch

Program url: http://www.asienundeuropa.uzh.ch/events/conferences/gongsunlongzi.html

The Gongsunlongzi is one of the few early Chinese received texts dealing with problems of logic and epistemology. Unfortunately, philological inquiries suggest that most probably huge parts were only composed during the Chinese Medieval period (3rd–7th centuries AD). Philosophical studies on the text usually take its authenticity for granted and consider the Gongsunlongzi as if it actually were a Warring States text (453–221 BC). Philological evidence speaking against this widely shared assumption tends to be ignored. Yet, the materials included in the received text are rather heterogeneous and any information about the context or reading instructions are lacking. As a consequence, any interpretation heavily relies on the premises of the reader. A more accurate philological study might not only provide a clearer picture of the process of composition of the Gongsunlongzi and the dating of the different textual layers that compose the text, but might also provide useful information about the context and valuable clues for its interpretation. The workshop aims at bringing together several scholars both in philosophical and philological studies, sharing an interest in the Gongsunlongzi. By contributing their complementary expertise, it is hoped that the workshop will provide ideal conditions for developing a more comprehensive perspective on the text, yielding new insights on the Gongsunlongzi and shedding light on the modalities in which questions of logic and epistemology were addressed in early and medieval China.

August 14, 2014 Posted by | Gongsunlongzi, Methodology, Philology | no comments

CFP: World Philosophies and War

Call for Papers

World Philosophies and War

Edited by Bassam Romaya and Eric S. Nelson

(University of Massachusetts Lowell)

Book chapters are solicited for a volume featuring global perspectives in the philosophical analysis of war. We seek papers that examine philosophical themes and perspectives on various aspects of war originating outside of the Western canon. The editors are especially interested in works that depart from or extrapolate upon existing philosophical frameworks (such as the just war tradition, war realism, etc.) commonly examined in Western philosophical literature on war. Prospective contributors may draw upon ancient sources (e.g., Sun Tzu’s Art of War) or contemporary works, literate or oral traditions, and secular or religious/philosophical schools of thought across global traditions. We seek papers that explore competing philosophies of war found in dominant world traditions such as Chinese, Indian, or Muslim, as well as the full range of disparate traditions (e.g., Buddhist, Jain, Hindu, Sikh, Confucian, et cetera) within the more dominate traditions. Submissions that draw from the cultural productions of African, Latin American, Indigenous societies, and other traditions are especially welcome.

Continue reading “CFP: World Philosophies and War”

August 5, 2014 Posted by | Call for Papers (CFP), Comparative philosophy, Comparative Political Theory | no comments

Sam Crane’s sit-down with Yu Dan

Long-time friend of the blog, Sam Crane, blogs about his recent sit-down interview with Yu Dan, over at his blog, The Useless Tree.

S Crane and Yu Dan

August 1, 2014 Posted by | Confucianism, Contemporary Confucianism | no comments

Dao Article Discussion – Ralph Weber on Comparison in Comparative Philosophy

We continue our collaboration with the journal Dao to present featured discussions of a newly published article, available for free download here (link has been fixed). For this edition, Ruth Chang (Rutgers University) has graciously agreed to introduce and share her thoughts about “Comparative Philosophy and the Tertium: Comparing What with What, and in What Respect?” by Ralph Weber (University of Zurich). Ruth Chang’s discussion — and discussion-starter we hope — is here, below. Please feel welcome to join in.

Continue reading “Dao Article Discussion – Ralph Weber on Comparison in Comparative Philosophy”

June 24, 2014 Posted by | Comparative philosophy, Dao Article Discussion | 13 comments

Nomination Deadline Approaching

The American Philosophical Association deadline for committee nominations is MAY 31, 2014. There are a couple of openings on the Asian and Asian-American Philosophers and Philosophies committee. If you are an APA member and you would like to nominate someone — yourself or someone other than yourself — for the committee, visit this site: https://nominations.apaonline.org/. Note that you must log into the site using your APA online username and password in order to enter a name and select a committee.

May 22, 2014 Posted by | Academia, American Philosophical Association, Nominations | no comments

Malik’s Piece on Buddhism and Bigotry in the NYT

I thought this was interesting, though Malik clearly undermines his own implied connection between Buddhism and the bigotry late in the article. Worth a quick read perhaps? Here’s a little bit to get you started:

There is perhaps no religion that Western liberals find more appealing than Buddhism. Politicians fawn over the Dalai Lama, celebrities seek out Buddhist meditation, and scientists and philosophers insist that Buddhism has much to teach us about human nature and psychology.

Even some of the so-called New Atheists have fallen for Buddhism’s allure. For most of its Western sympathizers, Buddhism is a deeply humanist outlook, less a religion than a philosophy, a way of life to create peace and harmony.

The Rohingya people of Myanmar take a very different view of Buddhism. The Rohingya are Muslims who live mostly in Rakhine, in western Myanmar, bordering Bangladesh. Early Muslim settlements there date from the seventh century. Today, in a nation that is 90 percent Buddhist, there are some eight million Muslims, of whom about one in six is Rohingya.

For the Myanmar government, however, the Rohingya simply do not exist…

May 20, 2014 Posted by | Buddhism, In the News, Politics, Religion | 7 comments

Philosophers’ Carnival Hosted by The Indian Philosophy Blog

Just a quick heads up that our good friends over at The Indian Philosophy Blog are hosting the 163rd Philosophers’ Carnival. Enjoy!

May 12, 2014 Posted by | Comparative philosophy, Indian Philosophy | one comment

Mozi on the Cosmos Series

To file under Chinese philosophy in popular culture: Neil deGrasse Tyson discusses Mozi on the television show Cosmos here: http://www.cosmosontv.com/watch/215791683929 (from about 3:50 onward). Enjoy.

April 7, 2014 Posted by | Mohism, Popular Culture | no comments

Neuroimaging Study of Korean vs U.S. Moral Thinking

Stanford scholar shows Koreans and Americans tackle moral dilemmas using different brain regions … offers first look at neural differences between cultural groups solving tricky moral problems.

Someone pointed me to the story, published here (thank you, Annette Bryson!). The study, which is hyperlinked in the story, is available here for free download (last I checked). I have no real comment on it yet, but thought some blog readers who are interested in empirical studies about moral thinking in Confucian societies might find it interesting, assuming, as I do, that Korea has a society that still remains heavily influenced by its history of Confucianism.

March 13, 2014 Posted by | Empirical Studies, Korea, Psychology, Science | 9 comments

Looking for a Specialist

A colleague of someone I know wonders who might be able and willing to contribute a chapter in a Routledge volume on Asian political thought on any of the following topics:

Confucianism beyond China
Ming Patriots (Critical Confucianism)
Buddhist Political Thought around Asia

Please contact me (mim@fairfield.edu) if you or someone you know qualifies. Cheers.

February 5, 2014 Posted by | Political Theory | no comments

New Group Blog of Indian Philosophy Launched

Friend of the blog, Amod Lele, and a group of Indian Philosophy scholars have launched The Indian Philosophy Blog. We welcome it to the comparative philosophy blogosphere!

The list of contributors includes: Douglas Berger, Jason Birch, Daniele Cuneo, Matthew Dasti, Aleix Ruiz Falqués, Elisa Freschi, Elon Goldstein, Stephen Harris, Amod Lele, Ethan Mills, Andrew Ollett, Shyam Ranganathan, Agnieszka Rostalska, Justin Whitaker, and Mike Williams.

January 8, 2014 Posted by | Comparative philosophy, Indian Philosophy | one comment

Classical Daoism – Is there Really Such a Thing? 4.3

Friend of the blog, Scott Barnwell, shares part 4.3 of his extensive study of classical Daoism.
You will find a lengthy PREVIEW below — footnote links send you to the article posted on his own blog. Comments are welcome here; please address comments to Scott.


Mysticism, Self-Cultivation and Longevity

Continue reading “Classical Daoism – Is there Really Such a Thing? 4.3”

December 2, 2013 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Daoism, Mysticism, Self-Cultivation | no comments

SACP – APA Central Panels

Courtesy of Eric Nelson:

Society of Asian and Comparative Philosophy Sessions
The American Philosophical Association, Central Division
Palmer House Hilton hotel, Chicago February 27 – March 1, 2014


Continue reading “SACP – APA Central Panels”

November 27, 2013 Posted by | Comparative philosophy, Conference | no comments

Consensus and Comparative Philosophy

[Posting for Tim Connolly – please direct comments to him]

The consensus approach to comparative philosophy draws on Rawls’ idea of “overlapping consensus,” in which adherents of different religious or philosophical worldviews reach an agreement on certain shared norms, though based on their own individual reasons which are not necessarily compatible with one another.

Continue reading “Consensus and Comparative Philosophy”

October 28, 2013 Posted by | Comparative philosophy | 14 comments

The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism

From Princeton University Press, what looks to be a very useful resource:


The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism
Robert E. Buswell Jr. & Donald S. Lopez Jr.

Cloth | November 2013 | $65.00 / £44.95 | ISBN: 9780691157863
1304 pp. | 8 x 10 | 2 line illus. 1 table. 6 maps.

eBook | ISBN: 9781400848058 | Where to buy this ebook

Shopping Cart | Endorsements | Table of Contents
Preface pdf-icon

Continue reading “The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism”

October 24, 2013 Posted by | Books of Interest, Buddhism, Recently Published | no comments

New Book by Chenyang Li

From Routledge comes this announcement about a book by one of our blog contributors, Chenyang Li. There is also information about a 20% discount promotion from Routledge in this promotional flier.


The Confucian Philosophy of Harmony Routledge 2013

by Chenyang Li

Harmony is a concept essential to Confucianism and to the way of life of past and present people in East Asia. Integrating methods of textual exegesis, historical investigation, comparative analysis, and philosophical argumentation, this book presents a comprehensive treatment of the Confucian philosophy of harmony.

The book traces the roots of the concept to antiquity, examines its subsequent development, and explicates its theoretical and practical significance for the contemporary world. It argues that, contrary to a common view in the West, Confucian harmony is not mere agreement but has to be achieved and maintained with creative tension. Under the influence of a Weberian reading of Confucianism as “adjustment” to a world with an underlying fixed cosmic order, Confucian harmony has been systematically misinterpreted in the West as presupposing an invariable grand scheme of things that pre-exists in the world to which humanity has to conform. The book shows that Confucian harmony is a dynamic, generative process, which seeks to balance and reconcile differences and conflicts through creativity.

Continue reading “New Book by Chenyang Li”

October 18, 2013 Posted by | Books of Interest, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Confucianism | 28 comments

Discussion Forum Widget is Fixed

Just stating what should be visually obvious to you on the far right menu. Cheers.

October 11, 2013 Posted by | Blog details | no comments

MA/PHD Programs at NTU in Singapore

[Moved up on 10/09 with corrected dates]

From Chenyang Li:

The MA and PhD programs in Philosophy at Nanyang Technological University of Singapore invites applications from students wishing to study philosophy in a comparative perspective, especially in the areas of Chinese philosophy, ethics, and philosophy of science. The university (which is 41st in QS 2013 World University Ranking) offers generous financial packages to qualified students. PhD students upon Confirmation receive a $30,000 annual stipend, a $5000 conference travel fund, plus full tuition waver. Applicants should submit an application including a writing sample and two letters of recommendation by November 15, 2013 to ensure consideration for August 2014 intake. For more information, please go to http://philosophy.hss.ntu.edu.sg/Pages/OurProgramme.aspx or contact Chenyang Li at cyli@ntu.edu.sg

October 9, 2013 Posted by | Comparative philosophy, Graduate study | no comments

The Atlantic Profiles Puett & Chinese Philosophy at Harvard

Great piece!



“Picture a world where human relationships are challenging, narcissism and self-centeredness are on the rise, and there is disagreement on the best way for people to live harmoniously together.

It sounds like 21st-century America. But the society that Michael Puett, a tall, 48-year-old bespectacled professor of Chinese history at Harvard University, is describing to more than 700 rapt undergraduates is China, 2,500 years ago.

Puett’s course Classical Chinese Ethical and Political Theory has become the third most popular course at the university….”

October 8, 2013 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, In the News | 5 comments

Some Technical Issues in the Discussion Forum Updates

A note for those who use the discussion forum: We just updated the forum plugin for this blog to its most recent version (bbPress 2.4) but, perversely, that seems to have affected the display of the discussion update widget that shows recent discussion topics and replies to them. It used to show the author of each entry but now it does not. We are waiting for bbPress support to do something to fix the bugs in their latest version. Meanwhile, we have not seen any other problems with the forum function. If anyone sees something unusual or missing from it, please let us know. Thank you for your patience.

September 2, 2013 Posted by | Blog details | 4 comments

Dao 12:3 TOC

Volume 12, Issue 3, September 2013

ISSN: 1540-3009 (Print) 1569-7274 (Online)

In this issue (15 articles)

Continue reading “Dao 12:3 TOC”

August 21, 2013 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Comparative philosophy, Journal Related, Tables of Contents | 4 comments

XXIII World Congress of Philosophy

Coming up next week in Athens, August 4-10, 2013. We welcome any comparative philosophy reporting or photos from blog friends who are attending!

July 31, 2013 Posted by | Comparative philosophy, World Congress of Philosophy | no comments

Fililal Piety Law

Interesting New York Times piece about the new law in China that requires filial piety.  Here’s a snippet:

The government enacted a law on Monday aimed at compelling adult children to visit their aging parents. The law, called “Protection of the Rights and Interests of Elderly People,” has nine clauses that lay out the duties of children and their obligation to tend to the “spiritual needs of the elderly.”

Children should go home “often” to visit their parents, the law said, and occasionally send them greetings. Companies and work units should give employees enough time off so they can make parental visits.

The law was passed in December by the standing committee of the National People’s Congress. It does not stipulate any punishments for people who neglect their parents. Nevertheless, that officials felt the need to make filial duty a legal matter is a reflection of the monumental changes taking place throughout Chinese society.

July 3, 2013 Posted by | China, Filial piety, In the News | 8 comments

Korean Modernity and Philosophy Workshop



University of San Francisco, August 13-14, 2013

 Korean Philosophy Flier

Many elements formed Korean modernity/coloniality from the 19th century onward: a receding Sinocentric world, an encroaching Western world, Japanese colonialism, the “New Woman,” racialization, Marxism, a cataclysmic war at home, a divided country, U.S. imperialism, struggles between authoritarian regimes and peoples’ movements, a diasporic nation… This workshop explores philosophical figures and themes in this nexus of forces and concepts. Talks and speakers include:

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June 25, 2013 Posted by | Modernity, Philosophy in Korea | no comments

New Book: Ethics Unbound: Chinese and Western Perspectives on Morality

ethics-unboundEthics Unbound: Chinese and Western Perspectives on Morality, by Katrin Froese

Chinese University Press
May 2013‧229 x 152 mm‧264 pages
ISBN 978-962-996-496-2‧Hardcover‧US$49

About the Book
This book closely examines texts from Chinese and Western traditions that hold up ethics as the inviolable ground of human existence, as well as those that regard ethics with suspicion. The negative notion of morality contends that because ethics cannot be divorced from questions of belonging and identity, there is a danger that it can be nudged into the domain of the unethical, since ethical virtues can become properties to be possessed with which the recognition of others is solicited. Ethics thus fosters the very egoism it hopes to transcend, and risks excluding the unfamiliar and the stranger. The author argues inspirationally that the unethical underbelly of ethics must be recognized in order to ensure that it remains vibrant.

About the Author
KATRIN FROESE is Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the University of Calgary. She is the author of Nietzsche, Heidegger and Daoist Thought: Crossing Paths In-Between (2006) and Rousseau and Nietzsche: Toward an Aesthetic Morality (2002).

Continue reading “New Book: Ethics Unbound: Chinese and Western Perspectives on Morality”

June 19, 2013 Posted by | Books of Interest, Comparative philosophy, Ethical Theory | no comments

Amod Lele’s Zhuangzi Posts

Over on Love of All Wisdom, Amod recently posted three Zhuangzi meditations in which our readers may be interested. Go have a look!

Here are the links:

June 17, 2013 Posted by | Daoism, Related Blog Discussions, Zhuangzi | one comment


Hannah Pang detail
[Guest Blogger, Timothy Connolly, provides us with our first featured post. Please address replies directly to Tim.]
Currently, I am writing about cultural generalizations in comparative philosophy (a topic which came up previously here). Here are a few issues that have come up in my research so far, which I’d be thrilled to have your thoughts on:


June 17, 2013 Posted by | Comparative philosophy | 27 comments

Dao of Football Coaching

Friend of the blog, Mark Saltveit writes:

I’m about to publish a major book called “The Tao of Chip Kelly: Lessons from America’s Most Successful Coach”, about the new coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.  One of the chapters explores how Kelly’s football coaching and management style is, in my opinion, “a near-perfect implementation of Taoist principles,” though I have no reason to believe Coach Kelly has ever heard of Zhuangzi.  To me, he’s Butcher Ding discovering (reinventing?) Tao through attentive immersion in his craft.

The book is written for a popular audience, but if anyone is interested in reading the chapter on Tao (3,300 words) and offering thoughts, please email me mark saltveit at gmail, no spaces. I don’t think I should post it publicly.  For that matter, anyone interested in reading the whole thing is welcome to a near-final PDF (111 pages).

marksaltveit@gmail,.com – (503) 997-1963 – @taoish

“The Tao of Chip Kelly:  Lessons from America’s Most Successful Coach” (Portland: Palindromist Press) will be released June 22, 2013.  More details at www.thetaoofchipkelly.com

June 17, 2013 Posted by | Books of Interest, Daoism | one comment



Since Hannah Pang detailwe’re working on improvements to the blog, we are adding two functions that will highlight substantive blog postings that are intended to solicit reader response and discussion (the current post excluded). One is the Featured Post — which you will see at the top of the side menu; the other is a “sticky” post function that allows such substantive posts to remain stuck to the top of the scroll until discussions slow to a halt. Both functions are being demo-ed with this post. What took us so long? Seriously.

We hope this facilitates discussion of substantive posts, or at least prevents them from being lost in the scroll of announcements and calls — valuable as the latter are. As an aside, the Discussion forum seems appropriate for what we had intended the Question Board to be, so we will be retiring the QB in the next couple of weeks. Please use the Discussion tab to submit your questions or thoughts that are briefer than a full blog posting might require.


June 13, 2013 Posted by | Blog details | no comments

New Discussion Forum

We’d like to pilot a new discussion forum page (you can access it through the Discussion tab on the tab menu). Post your own items or questions there for discussion. Go over and reply to my discussion post topic if you have thoughts about it. If it seems easy and convenient as a way of replacing the current Question Board then we’ll gradually phase out the latter. Your feedback will help us. Cheers.

June 10, 2013 Posted by | Blog details | 17 comments

Call for Commentators-ACPA at APA Eastern 2013


We still need commentators, and please let me know if you are interested.  Dr. Kim’s and Mr. Lu’s papers already have commentators (and there are three other commentators who are not set on any particular paper yet).  Thanks!

– Tongdong Bai (baitongdong@gmail.com)

ACPA Group Meeting at the APA Eastern Convention
December 27-30, 2013, at the Marriott Waterfront, Baltimore


Session 1: Moral Cultivation and Moral Agency in Confucianism and Western Philosophy
1. Mental Blindness and Moral Rectitude: The jiebi chapter of the Xunzi

David Chai, University of Toronto, Canada, david.chai@utoronto.ca

Abstract: The idea of being figuratively blind is a well-used trope in early Confucian thought. Confucius referred to blindness of virtue while Mencius to blindness of the senses and speech. For Xunzi, blindness stems from a person having ‘two minds,’ that is, one’s mind is caught between two principles or goals of moral conduct. Xunzi’s solution, like Guanzi’s theory of ‘mental arts’ (xinshu 心術), was to engage in ‘singular concentration’ (jing 精). Through a close hermeneutic reading of chapter 21 of the Xunzi (jiebi 解蔽, “Removing Blindness”), this paper will examine Xunzi’s use of jing and how cultivating one’s mental essence by adhering to Dao can result in overcoming mental blindness. It will also look at one of the more interesting metaphors Xunzi uses, that of brightness (ming 明). Moral brightness is a quality every person should strive for in that it reflects the perfect virtue of Dao. For Xunzi, using ming to nurture jing is not enough to cure a person completely of their mental blindness however; they must endeavor to replicate the mind of Dao. How they do this is through studying the principle of men’s minds as Xunzi so clearly illustrates: “Sageliness consists in a comprehensive grasp of the natural relationships between men. True kingship consists in a comprehensive grasp of the regulations for government. A comprehensive grasp of both is sufficient to become the ridgepole for the world.” (Xunzi, 21.9)

Continue reading “Call for Commentators-ACPA at APA Eastern 2013”

May 20, 2013 Posted by | Comparative philosophy, Conference, Confucianism, Ethical Theory | no comments

PDF download plugin added

I’ve added a plugin that allows you to download a PDF version of a post. This may be of use for some purposes, however, the current plugin does not include the comments for a post (which can be very illuminating). Nor does it convert non-Latin characters or accented Latin ones. It is what it is. Also, videos from popular sites such as YouTube or Vimeo are converted to links in the pdf. Please note the header, which indicates the presumptive intellectual property ownership by the author of the particular post. For citation norms governing blogs, see this MLA style summary.

There is a link along the bottom of each post for the purpose. Cheers.

April 26, 2013 Posted by | Blog details | 3 comments