Category Archives: Lecture

Erica Brindley – Columbia Society for Comparative Philosophy Lecture: “Spontaneous Arising and an Ethics of Creativity in Early Daoism” Friday Nov 2 at 5:30pm


Welcomes: Erica Brindley (Penn State University)
With a response from: Christopher Gowans (Fordham University)

Please join on us at Columbia University’s Religion Department on FRIDAY, November 2nd at 5:30 PM for her lecture entitled:

Spontaneous Arising and an Ethics of Creativity in Early Daoism

ABSTRACT: In the early part of the 20th century, Joseph Needham formulated a substantial claim concerning the Chinese predilection for self-generated creation rather than creator gods and myths. Half a century later, scholars working in the West like Frederick Mote, Derk Bodde, and Chang Kwang-chih picked up on Needham’s insight to discuss the so-called lack of a “creation myth” in early Chinese culture, basing their arguments on what they called the “inner necessity” or “spontaneously self-generating” nature of things in the cosmos. While the claim that there are no creator gods or myths in early China is false and has since been convincingly refuted by many scholars, there may indeed be a way in which Bodde and company were onto something. In this talk, I will show how the notions of “inner necessity” and “spontaneity” are close but not the best fit for understanding certain early Chinese accounts of creation and the creative process. Continue reading →

Eske Møllgaard – Columbia Society for Comparative Philosophy Lecture: “How I Came to Conclude that Confucian Discourse is not Philosophy” Friday Oct 12 at 5:30pm


Welcomes: Eske Møllgaard  (University of Rhose Island)
With responses from: Andrew Lambert (College of Staten Island, CUNY)

Please join us at Columbia University’s Religion Department on FRIDAY, October 12th at 5:30 PM for his lecture entitled:

How I Came to Conclude that Confucian Discourse is not Philosophy

ABSTRACT: The paper follows and elaborates on a line of argument in my book The Confucian Political Imagination, which was published by Palgrave Macmillan this summer. I do not address the main argument of the book, but sum up a line of thought that has gradually taken form since I began to read Confucian texts. I explain what I learned about reading Confucianism from my teacher Tu Weiming, and why I could not follow the philosophical turn in American Confucian studies. I point to the importance of reading in an emphatic sense, and argue that the philosophical approaches to Confucian texts often leads to an impoverished reading of these texts. Then I provide my own suggestions towards a definition Confucian discourse. I briefly point to the historical reasons Confucian discourse is not philosophy, and finally I ask if all this really matters.

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Harvard lecture on Suicide and Confucian Eldercare

Wednesday, September 19, 2018, 4:00 p.m.
Professor Jing-Bao Nie, University of Otago, New Zealand
Chair: Professor Arthur Kleinman, Esther and Sidney Rabb Professor of Anthropology, Harvard University; Professor of Medical Anthropology and Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
S153, 1st Floor, CGIS South, 1730 Cambridge St., Cambridge
Asia Center Seminar Series; co-sponsored by the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies

Lecture on Buddhist Perfectionism and Kantian Liberalism


Welcomes: David Cummiskey (Bates College)

With a Response From: Carol Rovane (Columbia University)

Please join on us at Columbia University’s Religion Department on FRIDAY, May 11th at 5:30 PM for his lecture entitled:

Buddhist Perfectionism and Kantian Liberalism on Self-Constitution Continue reading →

Moeller and D’Ambrosio Lecture at Ghent University

Hans-Georg Moeller and Paul J. D’Ambrosio will be giving a lecture on their new book
on the philosophy of the Zhuangzi at Ghent University on June 1, 2018. The lecture is entitled
Genuine Pretending: A Daoist Mode of Existence”.

Venue: Ghent University, Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, Campus Boekentoren (Blandijnberg 2), Ghent (Belgium), 5th floor, room 150.018. Time: 14.00 – 15.30. The poster is available here.

For any additional information, please mail to

World Literature and Philosophies Lecture in Brussels

The 2nd Vol. of the VUB-ULB World Literature and Philosophies Lecture Series is taking place on March 16th 2018 (this Friday). The organizers encourage anyone interested to join them at Bozar at the end of your work day and keep our discussions on literature and philosophy going in the streets of Brussels.

The speaker for this event is Dr. Gwennaël Gaffric (ULB-EASt) and he is one of the leading scholars and French translator in the field of contemporary Chinese literature. More information is here.

If you have any inquiries concerning the series, please do not hesitate to contact the organizing members, Takeshi at ( or Pierre at (

Anna Sun to Lecture at BU

Anna Sun will deliver a lecture at BU Confucian Association on March 17th at 2:00pm; its title is “Towards a Global Confucianism in the 21st Century: Field notes from China, South Korea, and Indonesia.” Respondents include Prof. Robert Neville, Dr. Yair Lior, and Dr. Bin Song. 

New Book and Roundtable: Michael Sandel and Chinese Philosophy

Harvard University Press has published by Michael J. Sandel and Paul J. D’Ambrosio, eds., Encountering China: Michael Sandel and Chinese Philosophy. Amazon is here; HUP is here.

Also note that there will be a Roundtable Discussion of the book on Feb. 2, 3:00 to 5:00 pm at Harvard, with a distinguished list of discussants; see more here. The book’s Table of Contents is below.

Continue reading →