Call for Papers for Midwest Conference on Chinese Thought (Virtual)

16th Annual Midwest Conference on Chinese Thought
Wright State University
30 April-1 May 2021
The Midwest Conference on Chinese Thought was created to foster dialogue and interaction between scholars and students working on Chinese thought across different disciplines and through a variety of approaches. Submissions are invited for papers on any aspect of Chinese thought as well as papers dealing with comparative issues that engage Chinese perspectives.


This year’s conference will be held virtually on Friday, April 30 and Saturday, May 1 and hosted by Wright State University. Our keynote speaker will be Robin R. Wang, Professor of Philosophy at Loyola Marymount University.

Professor Wang will present “Dao of Rou 柔 (Suppleness): Proprioceptive Knowledge and Its Epistemological Value in Early Daoism”:

Through Chinese intellectual history, early Daoism, a Dao-based and inspired teaching and practice, has been considered the philosophy of rou 柔 (suppleness, pliant, yielding, softness), which the Daodejing couples with water, the infant, and the feminine. A popular Chinese binary expression of culture, gen 根 (root/foundation) and hun 魂 (soul/spirit), takes Dao as the root of Daoist teaching and rou as a spirit of Lao-Zhuang. However, rou has often been understood only as de (德) moral virtue or shu (术) strategy, something more practical than conceptual. This talk will respond to this theoretical gap and argue for rou as a form of proprioceptive awareness or bodily knowledge that shapes a cognitive style and an epistemological stance to guide our rational effort, illumination, and well-being. More importantly, this rou style of knowing embodies the epistemic value, such as intellectual humility, openness, receptivity and resilience, for a cognitive success.
Similar to previous conferences, we anticipate selecting 12-16 papers for presentation. For consideration submit a 1-page abstract to Judson Murray at judson.murray@wright.edu by January 31, 2021 for blind review. For more information, visit the conference website here.

BNU Summer Philosophy program on Daoism

An announcement from Thomas Michael:

Beijing Normal University is again offering its Summer Philosophy program; this year, it is on the theme of Daoism. The program runs from July 10 to July 25, 2017, and the deadline for submitting application materials is April 23rd, 2017. Please see here for the brochure, here for the Facebook link and application, and read on for more information.

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Irene Cronin (UCLA): The Notion of Accepted Contradiction in Early Chinese Daoism. 12 Dec 2016 at CUNY Graduate Center

FALL 2016 Logic and Metaphysics Workshop

DateMonday December 12, 4.15-6.15

Place: Room 5382, CUNY Graduate Center.

Speaker: Irena Cronin, UCLA

TitleThe Notion of Accepted Contradiction in Early Chinese Daoism

Abstract: Although the representation of the Dao differs a little between the representative Early Chinese Daoist works Zhuangzi and Dao de jing, the differences are one of degree, rather than “substance”.  In Zhuangzi, the common man as possible master craftsman, whether it be as a cook, woodmaker, or fisherman, or other kind of craftsman, has the capability of understanding and embracing the Dao (although these occurrences would be relatively rare), while in Dao de jing, it is only the Sage, a rare man of extreme ability that can do so; all others do not have this capability and have minor, shadowy and totally indeterminable experiences of the Dao, and are “condemned” to live an ignorant and almost animal-like existence, finding solace in creature comforts.

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Buber on the Daodejing: Next week at Harvard

Monday, November 16, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
China Humanities Seminar: Laozi the Existentialist: Martin Buber’s Transformation of the Daodejing
Speaker: Jonathan Herman, Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies, Georgia State University
Sponsored by the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies
K262, Bowie-Vernon Room, CGIS Knafel, 1737 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA

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.

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Lecture at Yale tomorrow

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
12:00 PM to 1:30 PM

The Seduction of Daoist Philosophy: What Was Lost on the Way to Understanding the Daoist Religion?

Room 202, Luce Hall, 34 Hillhouse Avenue

James Robson – Professor, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University

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