Category Archives: China

New CCT Issue on Chen Jiaying

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.”

Confucianism as Virtue Ethics in the Sinophone World

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….

CEACOP On-Line Conference on Confucian Pluralism

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.

Three upcoming on-line talks via Rutgers

I’d like to bring to your attention three upcoming talks at Rutgers Center for Chinese Studies. They are open to the public, but registration is required. Click on the titles to get more info and to register:
1. Civility and Manners in These Times: Early Confucian Strategies and Sensibilities (Amy Olberding, University of Oklahoma), Thursday, October 22, 04:30 – 06:00pm EDT
2. Beaconism and the Trumpian Metamorphosis of Chinese Liberal Intellectuals (Yao LIN, Yale Law School), Friday, October 30, 01:00pm EDT
3. Translating Tianxia: Confronting Sinophobic Narratives and Reimagining Cosmopolitan Ideals (Joseph Harroff, Rutgers University), Wednesday, November 18, 01:00pm EDT

Bai On-Line Lecture on Confucian Meritocracy

Of the People, for the People, but not by the People ― Confucian Meritocracy as a Correction of Democracy (BAI Tongdong, Fudan University, China)
Thursday, October 08, 2020, 07:00pm – 08:30pm

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.

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Song Reviews Li, “A History of Classical Chinese Thought” (Lambert, trans.)

Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

2020.06.17 View this Review Online   View Other NDPR 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 resources[1]that introduce Li’s thought, I won’t dwell on those questions. Instead, I will critique Li’s philosophy as presented in this book.

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Confucianism and Resistance in Hong Kong

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.