Ralph Weber and Xu Zhenxu have guest edited a volume of Contemporary Chinese Thought on the philosophy of Chen Jiaying. Here is the link: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/mcsp20/51/3-4. The Abstract begins: “The thought of Chen Jiaying offers a possibility of philosophy in China that is not confined to the mere expression of ancient Chinese tradition nor the simple transplanting of Western philosophy.”
Volume 43 / September 2020 of Early China has been published; the Table of Contents is available here.
Almost 15 years ago when I spent a year in Beijing, much of it spent writing Sagehood, there was relatively little engagement with the idea that Confucian ethics might be helpfully understood through the lens of “virtue ethics.” Quite a lot has changed since then in the Chinese-speaking philosophical world. (OK, that’s an understatement; I’m confining myself to the question of virtue ethics for today.) Consider these 2020 articles:
- Tang Wenming 唐文明, “美德伦理学、儒家传统与现代社会的普遍困境——以陈来《儒学美德论》为中心的讨论 [Virtue Ethics, The Confucian Tradition, and the Universal Predicament of Modern Societies—Taking Chen Lai’s Confucian Virtue Theory as Focus]” (On-line publication on 《儒家网》 here)
- Yang Guorong 杨国荣, “德性、知识与哲学进路——由黄勇新著《当代美德伦理——古代儒家的贡献》引发的若干思考 [Virtue, Knowledge, and the Philosophical Road Ahead—Some Thoughts Prompted by Huang Yong’s Contemporary Virtue Ethics—Contributions from Ancient Confucianism]” (On-line publication on 《儒家网》 here)
Each of these essays, in turn, reacts to a fairly recent book-length publication, also in Chinese, exploring the subject in depth. (Details on the contents of Chen Lai’s book are here; Huang Yong’s are here.)
You might reasonably expect given what I’ve written so far that I’d now go on to explain and engage with the details of Prof. Tang and Prof. Yang’s take on virtue ethics and Confucianism. Alas, it’s all I can do right now to find time to share this much! Perhaps after classes are over….
The Center for East Asian and Comparative Philosophy (CEACOP) at the City Univeristy of Hong Kong will host an on-line conference on “The Problem of Pluralism in Confucian Political Theory” on October 23-24, with an outstanding line-up of young scholars. More information is available here.
Bloomsbury has published Chinese Philosophy of History: From Ancient Confucianism to the End of the Eighteenth Century, by Dawid Rogacz; see here for more details. Congratulations, Dawid!
The Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Department of Philosophy are offering PhD fellowship programs and research grants! Applications are due on December 1st, 2020. More information can be found here.
This talk is co-sponsored by Rutgers Global-China Office. It is open to the public, but registration is required; please see below for information.
Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
Li Zehou, A History of Classical Chinese Thought, Andrew Lambert (tr., intr.), Routledge, 2020, 353pp., $160.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780367230128.
Reviewed by Bin Song, Washington College
It is a daunting task for me to review Li Zehou’s work, not least because while born in and always philosophizing about the same land, Li had entered his intellectual heyday in the 1980s when I was not yet a teenager. While reading Li’s work using Andrew Lambert’s stellar translation, I repeatedly asked myself: what is the difference between him and me regarding the approach to doing comparative Chinese philosophy? Why is there such a difference? What can I learn from him? And what inspirations can Li’s work generate globally. Since there are English resourcesthat introduce Li’s thought, I won’t dwell on those questions. Instead, I will critique Li’s philosophy as presented in this book.
Earlier this month Joseph Chan, a well-known authority on Confucianism at the University of Hong Kong, published a short essay (in Chinese) that draws on the Analects (especially 8:13) to think about people’s responsibilities when a state “lacks the Way.” A very brief summary: when Confucius says that in a state lacking the Way one should “yin 隱” (which is translated “conceal” in that Ctext link), he does not mean that one should hide away and fail to engage with the society. It might be worth contrasting this with questions raised in 2014 during the Umbrella Movement about the lack of Confucian discourse at that time.