Warp, Weft, and Way

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

2017 ISCP conference

. . . is starting tomorrow at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore! Program may be found here.

July 3, 2017 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学 | no comments

Journal of World Philosophies announcement

An announcement from Monika Kirloskar-Steinbach (Universität Konstanz, Department of Philosophy):

The journal Confluence: Online Journal of World Philosophies has now moved to Indiana University Press. It will be published as an Open Access journal under the title Journal of World Philosophies. Our first issue is scheduled to appear in December 2016. (Confluence’s first four volumes are now found under: https://scholarworks.iu.edu/iupjournals/index.php/confluence/index.)

The journal’s Facebook page is to be found under: https://www.facebook.com/Journal-of-World-Philosophies-323570801356967/?ref=bookmarks. I hope to meet you there (I’m going to initiate a discussion on world philosophies after this mailing).

[Congratulations to Prof. Kirloskar-Steinbach and co-editor Jim Maffie on this new phase of their project. The Facebook page includes the table of contents for the new issue; looks very interesting! –TC]

November 20, 2016 Posted by | Comparative philosophy, Journal News, Journal Related | 3 comments

Daily Nous cartoon hits the mark

See it here.

October 12, 2016 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学 | one comment

Is the mind less puzzling in Chinese?

Yes, suggests Perry Link at the The New York Review of Books.

July 8, 2016 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学 | one comment

New issue of Confluence

The latest issue of Confluence: Online Journal of World Philosophies, has just been released. It contains about 300 pages of articles, including a symposium led by Jonardon Ganeri on the question, “Is reason a neutral tool in comparative philosophy?” Near the end of the issue is a short survey article I wrote about the competing role ethical and virtue ethical interpretations of early Confucianism.

June 17, 2016 Posted by | Comparative philosophy, Confucianism, Indian Philosophy, Methodology | 2 comments

Stephen Hawking on Zhuangzi’s Butterfly


May 20, 2016 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学 | one comment

The relational self, and the value of comparative philosophy

An article by Julian Baggini, the latest entry in the New York Times’ “Stone” column.

February 9, 2016 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学 | 4 comments

The most cross-cultural APA ever?

The upcoming 2016 APA Pacific will feature sessions on Chinese Philosophy of Language; Contemporary Latin American Philosophy; Jonardon Ganeri’s The Self: Naturalism, Consciousness, and the First-person Stance; The Moral Significance of Shame and Disgust: Chinese and Western Perspectives; Trends in Brazilian Epistemology; Confucianism and Neo-Confucianism; Comparing Chinese and Korean Philosophies; Contemporary Indigenous Philosophy; Paradox in Contradiction in East Asian Philosophy; Confucianism; Cultural Evolution; and Barry Allen’s Vanishing into Things . . .

. . . and that is just on the main program!

Continue reading “The most cross-cultural APA ever?”

January 16, 2016 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学 | one comment

Tsai Chih Chung animated cartoons available on YouTube

Including his versions of Zhuangzi, Laozi, and Zen!

August 23, 2015 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Popular Culture | no comments

New book: Doing Philosophy Comparatively

My new book introducing the basic concepts and problems of comparative philosophy is now available in paperback on Amazon. A while back, I wrote on this blog about some of the topics that are discussed in the book (here and here).

August 23, 2015 Posted by | Books of Interest, Comparative philosophy, Methodology | 2 comments

New study finds no significant difference in Gettier intuitions across cultures

Read about it here (via dailynous.com).

August 20, 2015 Posted by | Empirical Studies, Epistemology | no comments

Genius of the Ancient World: Buddha, Socrates, Confucius

A new three-part series from BBC Four. The first two episodes, on Buddha and Socrates, are available online. Just from watching the first few minutes, it seems like there is a heavy influence of Jaspers’ “Axial Age” theory. If you’ve seen the full episodes already, let the rest of us know what you think!

August 20, 2015 Posted by | Buddhism, Comparative philosophy, Confucius, Popular Culture | no comments

Confucius on gay marriage

Bryan W. Van Norden comments here.

July 13, 2015 Posted by | Confucianism, Confucius, In the News | 4 comments

Confucius referenced in U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage

“The centrality of marriage to the human condition makes it unsurprising that the institution has existed for millennia and across civilizations. Since the dawn of history, marriage has transformed strangers into relatives, binding families and societies together. Confucius taught that marriage lies at the foundation of government. 2 Li Chi: Book of Rites 266 (C. Chai & W. Chai eds., J. Legge transl. 1967). This wisdom was echoed centuries later and half a world away by Cicero, who wrote, “The first bond of society is marriage; next, children; and then the family.” See De Officiis 57 (W. Miller transl. 1913). There are untold references to the beauty of marriage in religious and philosophical texts spanning time, cultures, and faiths, as well as in art and literature in all their forms.” [Read full opinion here.]

June 28, 2015 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学 | 5 comments

Articles on Asian Philosophy in General and Specialist Philosophy Journals, 1940-2014

Numbers and discussion here.

May 20, 2015 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Profession | one comment

Rewriting the story of philosophy

Via Feminist Philosophers, I learned of this paper by Don Howard, entitled “The History That We Are: Philosophy as Discipline and the Multiculturalism Debate.” A couple of excerpts:

The hypothesis that I want to put forward here is that the conception of the “philosophical” underlying this state of affairs does not correspond to a timeless Platonic form, but that it is instead a construction undertaken in a specific cultural context, at a specific historical moment, for some very specific reasons, not all of which have to do with the love of wisdom. The time is the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century. The place is northern Europe, chiefly, though not exclusively, Prussia and Hanover.
Continue reading “Rewriting the story of philosophy”

May 12, 2015 Posted by | Comparative philosophy, History, Methodology | one comment

Zhuangzi and Climate Change

Two new articles about the Peng Bird in as many days! Here’s one about a Zhuangzi-inspired art installation at the 56th Venice Biennale. More information on the installation, along with some pictures, here.

May 7, 2015 Posted by | Zhuangzi | no comments

China’s Apolitical Political School of Thought

A new article by Bryan W. Van Norden at The National Interest.

May 7, 2015 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Daoism, Political Theory, Zhuangzi | no comments

Philosophy, Culture, and Public Life

A reflection by Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther (UC-Santa Cruz).

March 22, 2015 Posted by | Comparative philosophy | no comments

Confucian values and the rise of Asia

An essay by Robert D. Kaplan in the Wall Street Journal.

February 8, 2015 Posted by | Confucianism, In the News | 2 comments

New IEP entries on Chinese Philosophy

An overview of topics in Chinese philosophy, by Ronnie Littlejohn; and an article on gender in Chinese philosophy, by Lijuan Shen and Paul D’Ambrosio. Looking forward to reading these in their entirety!


February 5, 2015 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学 | 2 comments

Know the Analects?

Get a free tour of Qufu!

December 29, 2014 Posted by | Analects, China, Confucius | no comments

Explaining Daoism with help from RZA


December 4, 2014 Posted by | Daodejing, Daoism, Popular Culture | 3 comments

Interpreting an Alien Philosophy: What Works for Me

[Dear readers: I am happy to present the following invited guest post from Dr. Elisa Freschi of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Dr. Freschi (BA +MA in Indology and Tibetology, BA in Philosophy, PhD in South Asian Studies) has worked on topics of Classical Indian Philosophy and more in general on comparative philosophy, epistemology, philosophy of religion, philosophy of language and on the re-use of texts in Indian philosophy (about which she has just finished editing a volume). She is a convinced upholder of reading Sanskrit philosophical texts within their history and understanding them through a philosophical approach. She has worked at the Austrian Academy of Sciences since September 1, 2012, with a Lise Meitner project on Epistemology of Sacred Texts in Vedāntadeśika’s Seśvaramīmāṃsā. For more information about her work see here.]

No matter whether one focuses on Classical Chinese philosophy (as probably most readers of this blog) or on Classical Indian philosophy (like myself), one works on something which is different than oneself. I will contend that this feeling is useful also if one focuses on contemporary Chinese, or Indian (or Tibetan and so on) philosophy, or on Classical, Medieval, Modern Western philosophy, since it alerts one to a key factor, namely the difference between oneself and one’s object of study.

Continue reading “Interpreting an Alien Philosophy: What Works for Me”

October 22, 2014 Posted by | Buddhism, Comparative philosophy, Indian Philosophy, Methodology | 24 comments

Why do many Americans still say “Confucius say”?

Confucius valued careful and serious speech. One passage in the Analects says that a person can be judged as wise or unwise on the basis of a single sentence. So how is it possible that for many Americans, the first thing they think of when they hear the name of the Chinese teacher is “Confucius say,” followed by a silly one-liner?

Continue reading “Why do many Americans still say “Confucius say”?”

October 5, 2014 Posted by | Confucius, Popular Culture | 24 comments

New SEP article on Epistemology in Chinese Philosophy

By Jana Rošker, found here.

September 28, 2014 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Epistemology | no comments

An Institute for Cosmopolitan Philosophy in a Culturally Polycentric World

A blueprint by Jonardon Ganeri, which has sparked some interesting discussion over at the Indian Philosophy blog.

September 25, 2014 Posted by | Comparative philosophy | no comments

Philosophy’s Western bias and what can be done about it

A post at New APPS by Christian Coseru, with Owen Flanagan, Eric Schwitzgebel, and Jonardon Ganeri weighing in thus far in the comments section.

September 17, 2014 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学 | 2 comments

Waldorf meets guoxue in off-the-grid Chinese schools

Read about it here.

July 22, 2014 Posted by | China, Education Models, In the News | no comments

The State of the State

The Global Contest for the Future of Government (new Foreign Affairs article).


June 18, 2014 Posted by | Comparative Political Theory, Democracy, Politics | no comments

From China, With Pragmatism

The latest entry in the New York Times’ Stone column. Discussion welcome!

June 10, 2014 Posted by | China, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Comparative philosophy, Confucius, In the News | 4 comments

Making Philosophy of Religion Less Parochial

Every Spring I teach a course on Philosophy of Religion, a subject that, though not my area of expertise, I enjoy teaching because it attracts a passionate and diverse group of students.

Still, it gets to me every time that the religion in Philosophy of Religion is limited to Western monotheistic traditions. Continue reading “Making Philosophy of Religion Less Parochial”

May 6, 2014 Posted by | Buddhism, Religion | 12 comments

How using a foreign language changes moral decisions

Via Leiter Reports, a new study about how the use of foreign languages affects people’s judgments about trolley problems. May be of interest in light of the thread below regarding culturally variant intuitions.


May 2, 2014 Posted by | Empirical Studies | no comments

Culturally Variant Intuitions

A session at the recent APA Pacific on “Multicultural Epistemology” (featuring Jason Stanley and Edouard Machery, among others) has got me thinking about culturally variant intuitions. Recent evidence from experimental philosophy has indicated that respondents in East Asian countries tend to have different reactions than their Western counterparts to cases such as “The Magistrate and the Mob,” or Kripke’s Gödel scenario. A recurring question at the APA session concerned what these differences ought to mean for philosophers working in the given areas. Stanley argued that rather than refuting a prevalent methodology that begins from philosophers’ intuitions about cases, cultural variances simply provide us with a wider data set to be explained. Machery in turn presented his research-in-progress suggesting that cross-cultural intuitions about Gettier cases exhibited far more similarity than previous work by experimental philosophers has suggested. Continue reading “Culturally Variant Intuitions”

April 27, 2014 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Comparative philosophy, Empirical Studies, Methodology | 32 comments

Individualism, Collectivism, and American Football

The fascinating story of the Chongqing Dockers:


April 15, 2014 Posted by | China, In the News, Popular Culture | one comment