Category Archives: Confucianism

New edited collection on role ethics

Routledge has published a collection of essays on role ethics edited by Tim Dare and Christine Swanton, which includes two essays on early Confucian ethics. More information is here.

The publisher’s description is as follows:

Although our moral lives would be unrecognisable without them, roles have received little attention from analytic moral philosophers. Roles are central to our lives and to our engagement with one another, and should be analysed in connection with our core notions of ethics such as virtue, reason, and obligation.

This volume aims to redress the neglect of role ethics by confronting the tensions between conceptions of impartial morality and role obligations in the history of analytic philosophy and the Confucian tradition. Different perspectives on the ethical significance of roles can be found by looking to debates within professional and applied ethics, by challenging existing accounts of how roles generate reasons, by questioning the hegemony of ethical reasons, and by exploring the relation between expertise and virtue. The essays tackle several core questions related to these debates:

What are roles and what is their normative import?
To what extent are roles and the ethics of roles central to ethics as opposed to virtue in general, and obligation in general?
Are role obligations characteristically incompatible with ordinary morality in professions such as business, law, and medicine?
How does practical reason function in relation to roles?
Perspectives in Role Ethics is an examination of a largely neglected topic in ethics. It will appeal to a broad range of scholars in normative ethics, virtue ethics, non-Western ethics, and applied ethics interested in the importance of roles in our moral life.

Roberts, “Why Confucius Rubs America the Wrong Way”

Moss Roberts has published an opinion piece in the Asia Times entitled “Why Confucius Rubs America the Wrong Way.” Roberts begins:

The campaign to eliminate the Confucius Institutes from American education marks a level of ideological insecurity that has characterized this country for a long time. Willful ignorance about China has been an important part of that insecurity. The mission of the institutes is not ambitious; it is mainly devoted to offering Chinese language courses in colleges that lack them or have fledgling programs. As for Confucius himself, in America, interest in his thinking has never been strong; in China relatively greater attention is given to American thinkers and writers.

Vol 32 of The Journal of Confucian Philosophy and Culture (JCPC)

The editors are delighted to announce the publication of Volume 32 of The Journal of Confucian Philosophy and Culture (JCPC), the inaugural issue of the revised format of the journal. JCPC is published biannually (in February and August) and welcomes contributions of both articles and book reviews by qualified authors from around the world. This attached file contains the front matter, including a complete table of contents, of Volume 32. The complete volume will be available on line, within the week at our web site: http://jcpc.skku.edu/.

CEACOP Monthly Talk by Eirik Lang Harris

Title: A Han Feizian Worry with Confucian Meritocracy – and a Non-Moral Alternative

Speaker: Eirik Lang Harris (Hong Kong Baptist University)

Date: 27 September 2019 (Friday)

Time: 16:00 – 17:30

Venue: Center for East Asian and Comparative Philosophy (Room 4433, Mong Man Wai Building)

For detailed information, please see the event flyer here.

Updates on SKKU Conference “Confucianism, Buddhism, and Kantian Moral Theory”

The Sungkyun Institute for Confucian Studies and East Asian Philosophy (SICEP) at Sungkyunkwan University will be hosting an international conference on September 6-7th, featuring the title: Confucianism, Buddhism, and Kantian Moral Theory.

For further details, please see here for the poster and the webpage.

New Book: O’Dwyer, Confucianism’s Prospects


SUNY Press has published Shaun O’Dwyer, Confucianism’s Prospects: A Reassessment. SUNY’s website is here.

The publisher’s blurb: In Confucianism’s Prospects, Shaun O’Dwyer offers a rare critical engagement with English-language scholarship on Confucianism. Against the background of historical and sociological research into the rapid modernization of East Asian societies, O’Dwyer reviews several key Confucian ethical ideas and proposals for East Asian alternatives to liberal democracy that have emerged from this scholarship. He also puts the following question to Confucian scholars: what prospects do those ideas and proposals have in East Asian societies in which liberal democracy and pluralism are well established, and individualization and declining fertility are impacting deeply upon family life? In making his case, O’Dwyer draws upon the neglected work of Japanese philosophers and intellectuals who were witnesses to Japan’s pioneering East Asian modernization and protagonists in the rise and disastrous wartime fall of its own modernized Confucianism. He contests a sometimes Sinocentric and ahistorical conception of East Asian societies as “Confucian societies,” while also recognizing that Confucian traditions can contribute importantly to global philosophical dialogue and to civic and religious life.

New Books: Behuniak, Experiments in Intra-cultural Philosophy

SUNY has brought out a major work by Jim Behuniak: John Dewey and Daoist Thought: Experiments in Intra-cultural Philosophy, Volume One and John Dewey and Confucian Thought Experiments in Intra-cultural Philosophy, Volume Two.

There is also a significant savings in buying the two volume set; see here. Congratulations, Jim! Summaries follow.

Volume One:

In this timely and original work, Dewey’s late-period “cultural turn” is recovered and “intra-cultural philosophy” proposed as its next logical step—a step beyond what is commonly known as comparative philosophy. The first of two volumes, John Dewey and Daoist Thought argues that early Chinese thought is poised to join forces with Dewey in meeting our most urgent cultural needs: namely, helping us to correct our outdated Greek-medieval assumptions, especially where these result in pre-Darwinian inferences about the world.

Continue reading →

New Book: The Wrong of Rudeness

Oxford University Press has now published Amy Olberding’s The Wrong of Rudeness: Learning Modern Civility from Ancient Chinese Philosophy.

A short description follows. I also recommend that people look at the brief blog entry that introduces some major themes and the remarkable first-person approach of the book to these issues. Anyone familiar with the look-to-oneself-first methodology and tenor of so much Confucian reflection will particularly appreciate this approach, and it makes the book all the more compelling reading as well.

Description:

In a time of fractious politics, being rude can feel wickedly gratifying, while being polite can feel simple-minded or willfully naïve. Do manners and civility even matter now? Is it worthwhile to make the effort to be polite? When rudeness has become routine and commonplace, why bother? When so much of public and social life with others is painful and bitterly acrimonious, why should anyone be polite? Continue reading →

[CEACOP Seminar] Can Confucianism Meet Contemporary Challenges in Hong Kong? by Professor Baogang He

The Centre of East Asian and Comparative Philosophy of City University of Hong Kong is hosting a public seminar on 19 August, 2019, titled: “Can Confucianism Meet Contemporary Challenges in Hong Kong?” The speaker is professor Baogang He from Deakin University, Australia. For more information, please see the event flyer here.