We’ve launched a YouTube channel animating Zhuangzi stories (subtitles in various languages):
It’s also available in Spanish:
And on Bilibili in Chinese:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org by January 31, 2021 for blind review. For more information, visit the conference website here.
My colleagues Tushar Iriani, Steven Horst, and I have a post at the Daily Nous site about our experience teaching a new “Philosophy as a Way of Life” course that centrally features students doing structured philosophical exercises associated with each of the four main schools we covered (Confucianism, Aristotelianism, Daoism, and Stoicism). The course website itself is here; each of the “Live Like a ______” weeks are linked from here. Comments or questions either here or at Daily Nous most welcome!
THE COLUMBIA SOCIETY FOR COMPARATIVE PHILOSOPHY
Presents: Zhuangzi’s Robber Zhi: A Discussion
Presenter: Stephen Walker (University of Chicago)
Discussants: Timothy Connolly (East Stroudsburg University), Tao Jiang (Rutgers University), Qianyi Qin (CUNY Graduate Center), Hagop Sarkissian (CUNY Graduate Center & Baruch College)
ABSTRACT: This session will focus on the celebrated ‘Robber Zhi’ (盜跖) dialogue from the Miscellaneous Chapters (雜篇) of the Zhuangzi. In the dialogue, Kongzi (or Confucius) tries to persuade Robber Zhi to abandon his marauding ways and lead a more conventional life. While the character of Robber Zhi is obviously brutal, and a person few of us would want to emulate (or interact with in any way), he’s also strikingly insightful about human needs and frailties, and attentive to the more covert kinds of brutality we endure simply by living in organized societies. Not only does he raise the possibility that attempts to morally reform individuals might produce more harm than good, but he also embodies, in his own person, the pointlessness of making appeals to powerful persons who don’t value morality at all. The presenter will spend about 15 minutes summarizing the dialogue, and the discussants will spend about five minutes each raising points for discussion. The rest of the session will consist of Q&A. Those planning to attend are strongly encouraged to read the dialogue before the session begins. You can download a recent translation by Brook Ziporyn by clicking on this link.
DATE: November 6, 2020
TIME: 7:00-9:00 pm
Huang Yong writes to share this news:
Dao Companion to Chinese Philosophy of Logic (volume 12 in the series of Dao Companions to Chinese Philosophy), edited by Yiuming Fung, has just been published by Springer. Below is an overview of the book. Here is a link to the Dao Companions series.
Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
Lin Ma and Jaap van Brakel, Beyond the Troubled Water of Shifei: From Disputation to Walking-Two-Roads in the Zhuangzi, SUNY Press, 2019, 283pp., $32.95 (pbk), ISBN 9781438474823.
Reviewed by Ricki Bliss, Lehigh University
Interpretation is always underdetermined and indeterminate. It is underdetermined by the data and it is indeterminate because meaning doesn’t allow it to be any other way. Interpretation is by no means a hopeless enterprise, however. Necessary conditions on the activity of interpretation are: (i) the assumption, on the part of the interpreter, of the family resemblance of forms of life; (ii) the assumption that all general concepts and conceptual schemes in all languages are family resemblance concepts; and (iii) a principle of mutual attunement.
Below is information from the ISCP regarding the 22nd International Conference of the International Society for Chinese Philosophy (ISCP):
The May 2020 issue of the Journal of Chinese Religions is now online at https://muse.jhu.edu/issue/42207. Among other things, it contains a review of Hans-Georg Moeller and Paul J. D’Ambrosio, Genuine Pretending: On the Philosophy of the Zhuangzi by Stephen C. Walker.
Scott Barnwell has recently added a new chapter to his series of essays on classical Daoism, called Classical Daoism’s Amoral Ethos. On the site he explains that this is the first in a three-part series exploring early Daoist ethics.