Warp, Weft, and Way

Chinese and Comparative Philosophy 中國哲學與比較哲學

Liu Shuxian Passed Away

Prominent Confucian philosopher and scholar Liu Shuxian died last week in Taiwan at the age of 82.

Here’s a link to the announcement of his passing on the website of the Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy at Academia Sinica.

June 14, 2016 Posted by | Contemporary Confucianism, In the News | no comments

Confucius on gay marriage

Bryan W. Van Norden comments here.

July 13, 2015 Posted by | Confucianism, Confucius, In the News | 4 comments

Confucian values and the rise of Asia

An essay by Robert D. Kaplan in the Wall Street Journal.

February 8, 2015 Posted by | Confucianism, In the News | 2 comments

NPR Story about Shanghai Subway Passenger

This story about a foreigner passing out on the subway in Shanghai caught my attention; and I thought it might interest some of our readers as well. It turns out that after fainting and falling to the floor, not a single person tried to help the foreigner. The explanations in the article seem a bit dubious; and there’s no fat villan to throw in front of the subway car, which would make for a more interesting discussion; but I’m guessing a few of you might have some thoughts on the piece nonetheless.

September 4, 2014 Posted by | In the News, Popular Culture | 4 comments

Waldorf meets guoxue in off-the-grid Chinese schools

Read about it here.

July 22, 2014 Posted by | China, Education Models, In the News | no comments

From China, With Pragmatism

The latest entry in the New York Times’ Stone column. Discussion welcome!

June 10, 2014 Posted by | China, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Comparative philosophy, Confucius, In the News | 4 comments

Malik’s Piece on Buddhism and Bigotry in the NYT

I thought this was interesting, though Malik clearly undermines his own implied connection between Buddhism and the bigotry late in the article. Worth a quick read perhaps? Here’s a little bit to get you started:

There is perhaps no religion that Western liberals find more appealing than Buddhism. Politicians fawn over the Dalai Lama, celebrities seek out Buddhist meditation, and scientists and philosophers insist that Buddhism has much to teach us about human nature and psychology.

Even some of the so-called New Atheists have fallen for Buddhism’s allure. For most of its Western sympathizers, Buddhism is a deeply humanist outlook, less a religion than a philosophy, a way of life to create peace and harmony.

The Rohingya people of Myanmar take a very different view of Buddhism. The Rohingya are Muslims who live mostly in Rakhine, in western Myanmar, bordering Bangladesh. Early Muslim settlements there date from the seventh century. Today, in a nation that is 90 percent Buddhist, there are some eight million Muslims, of whom about one in six is Rohingya.

For the Myanmar government, however, the Rohingya simply do not exist…

May 20, 2014 Posted by | Buddhism, In the News, Politics, Religion | 7 comments

Individualism, Collectivism, and American Football

The fascinating story of the Chongqing Dockers:


April 15, 2014 Posted by | China, In the News, Popular Culture | one comment

NY Times – Tibetan Buddhist Texts in Chengdu, China

The New York Times just published an excellent piece on E. Gene Smith’s collection of Tibetan Buddhist texts and their new home in Chengdu, China. The texts are housed in a new library bearing Smith’s name at Southwest University for Nationalities in Chengdu.

Continue reading “NY Times – Tibetan Buddhist Texts in Chengdu, China”

February 19, 2014 Posted by | Buddhism, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, In the News, Religion | no comments

Bell Op-ed on Harmony Index

Today’s Financial Times has an op-ed by Daniel Bell on the Harmony Index (an index that ranks countries according to level of social harmony that he developed with Yingchuan Mo at Tsinghua’s Center for International and Comparative Political Theory):
Here’s a link to the index itself:

November 19, 2013 Posted by | Comparative Political Theory, In the News, Philosophy in China, Politics | one comment

Roger Ames Awarded 2013 Confucius Culture Prize

“UH Mānoa Philosophy Professor Roger T. Ames has been presented with a 2013 Confucius Culture Prize at the Sixth Annual World Confucian Conference in Shandong, China.  The prizes are sponsored by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Ministry of Culture and the provincial government of Shandong Province—the home province of the sage Confucius.”

The full press release can be found here: http://manoa.hawaii.edu/news/article.php?aId=6047

October 23, 2013 Posted by | Contemporary Confucianism, In the News, Modern Chinese Philosophy, Roger Ames | no comments

The Atlantic Profiles Puett & Chinese Philosophy at Harvard

Great piece!



“Picture a world where human relationships are challenging, narcissism and self-centeredness are on the rise, and there is disagreement on the best way for people to live harmoniously together.

It sounds like 21st-century America. But the society that Michael Puett, a tall, 48-year-old bespectacled professor of Chinese history at Harvard University, is describing to more than 700 rapt undergraduates is China, 2,500 years ago.

Puett’s course Classical Chinese Ethical and Political Theory has become the third most popular course at the university….”

October 8, 2013 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, In the News | 5 comments

Fililal Piety Law

Interesting New York Times piece about the new law in China that requires filial piety.  Here’s a snippet:

The government enacted a law on Monday aimed at compelling adult children to visit their aging parents. The law, called “Protection of the Rights and Interests of Elderly People,” has nine clauses that lay out the duties of children and their obligation to tend to the “spiritual needs of the elderly.”

Children should go home “often” to visit their parents, the law said, and occasionally send them greetings. Companies and work units should give employees enough time off so they can make parental visits.

The law was passed in December by the standing committee of the National People’s Congress. It does not stipulate any punishments for people who neglect their parents. Nevertheless, that officials felt the need to make filial duty a legal matter is a reflection of the monumental changes taking place throughout Chinese society.

July 3, 2013 Posted by | China, Filial piety, In the News | 8 comments

Do Nothing, Blue!

Manyul and I both received our PhDs from the University of Michigan, so I must call attention to Sam Crane’s blog post concerning UM basketball player Jon Horford’s fascination with the Dao De Jing. Michigan plays for the National Championship on Monday night; as Sam says, Do Nothing Blue — and there is nothing that will be undone!

April 7, 2013 Posted by | Daodejing, In the News | 2 comments

NYT Columnist Brooks on Chinese Education

This was kind of a fun read. (Read the rest at the New York Times website, here.) Any thoughts?


Jin Li grew up in China during the Cultural Revolution. When the madness was over, the Chinese awoke to discover that far from overleaping the West, they were “economically destitute and culturally barren.” This inspired an arduous catch-up campaign. Students were recruited to learn what the West had to offer.

Li was one of the students. In university, she abandoned Confucian values, which were then blamed for Chinese backwardness, and embraced German culture. In her book, “Cultural Foundations of Learning: East and West,” she writes that Chinese students at that time were aflame — excited by the sudden openness and the desire to catch up.

Li wound up marrying an American, moved to the States and became a teacher. She was stunned. American high school students had great facilities but didn’t seem much interested in learning. They giggled in class and goofed around. Continue reading “NYT Columnist Brooks on Chinese Education”

March 1, 2013 Posted by | China, Education Models, In the News | 16 comments