The Center for East Asian and Comparative Philosophy at the City University of Hong Kong is hosting a seminar by Eric Nelson on “Zhang Junmai and Confucian Social Democracy” on 12 November 2018; see here for details.
Faculty Seminar with Joseph Chan – “Democratic Equality and Confucian Hierarchy”
The Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard will be hosting a seminar with Joseph Chan, who will present his paper, “Democratic Equality and Confucian Hierarchy.” Archon Fung will be the discussant. This event is co-sponsored with the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, May 23 3:00-5:00pm
LOCATION: Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics
More information here.
Philosopher Jiwei Ci from the University of Hong Kong will be spending a couple weeks at Harvard in November and giving a series of lectures. The details here here: Fairbank Democracy and China poster. There will also be a one-day conference on Friday, November 13 titled “Democracy and China: Philosophical-Poltical Reflections” with a number of speakers, and Prof. Ci’s commentary. (I’ll post details of that once it has been finalized.)
Two new articles in the latest China: An International Journal may be of interest, one on “Chinese democracy” and one on “Confucianism” and Chinese labor activism.
This is a rich review of Joseph Chan’s important new book; the review is significant, in part, because it represents an engagement by someone from outside the Chinese philosophy world with contemporary Chinese thought. Wall is himself an advocate of perfectionism, which helps to explain why the cross-tradition engagement here is so fruitful.
Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
Joseph Chan, Confucian Perfectionism: A Political Philosophy for Modern Times, Princeton University Press, 2014, 256pp., $35.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780691158617.
Reviewed by Steven Wall, University of Arizona
This is an unusual book. It is partly an effort to reconstruct and revive an ancient tradition of political thought, partly an exercise in comparing that tradition to western liberalism and partly a contribution to contemporary political theory. It does not fit into any well-defined disciplinary niche. Its unusual aims, in turn, present a challenge to the reviewer. Should the success of the project be assessed in terms of its fidelity to a tradition of thought that has shaped Chinese culture for over two millennia, or should it be assessed in terms of its contribution to contemporary political thought? No doubt the right answer to this question is that it should be assessed along both dimensions, but this answer does not tell us how much weight to give to each measure of assessment. My own assessment will not grapple with this problem, since I am in no position to gauge its success in remaining faithful to traditional Confucian ideas. Accordingly, this review does not offer a verdict on how well Confucian Perfectionism succeeds in its aim of staying true to Confucian political thought (leaving that judgment to others who are better placed to make it). It focuses instead on how well the view of politics that it presents hangs together and how well it contributes to an understanding of the political topics that it addresses.
The Global Contest for the Future of Government (new Foreign Affairs article).
Sungmoon Kim’s new book, Confucian Democracy in East Asia: Theory and Practice has just been published by Cambridge University Press. According to my blurb on the back of the book:
Confucianism is neither ready-made for democracy nor inalterably opposed to it. As Sungmoon Kim shows in this important book, however, a Confucianism worth defending in the complex, multicultural East Asia of today both can and must incorporate a robust form of democracy. Kim deploys a wealth of careful arguments that draw from classical Confucianism, a wide range of Western political theorists, and the distinctive political culture of modern Korea. The result is a rich and provocative work that successfully bridges theory and practice. Anyone interested in the future possibilities for democracy and for Confucianism – whether conjoined or not – will have to take this book seriously.
Cambridge is offering a 20% discount to readers of this blog, though Amazon has the book discounted as well, and may be less expensive (depending on shipping options). In any event, congratulations, Sungmoon!
“Conceptions of Democracy on Taiwan and the Chinese Mainland”
Professor David Lorenzo, College of International Affairs, Chengchi National University, Taiwan and author of Concepts of Chinese Democracy (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013).
Tuesday, February 4, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Eilts Room, Department of International Relations | 154 Bay State Road, 2nd Floor
Boston University Center for the Study of Asia (BUCSA)