Category Archives: Metaphysics

Body and Cosmos in China: An Interdisciplinary Symposium in Honor of Nathan Sivin

The Department of East Asian Languages & Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania is delighted to announce an interdisciplinary symposium in honor of Nathan Sivin at Perry World House, 3803 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104, on Oct. 14-15, 2017.

The symposium is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required.  Just click here if you’d like to attend:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/body-and-cosmos-in-china-an-interdisciplinary-symposium-in-honor-of-nathan-sivin-tickets-37455848451.

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Crary the Neo-Confucian? NDPR Reviews Inside Ethics

I’ve long been interested in Alice Crary’s work — her 2007 book is reviewed here — in part because of intriguing resonances between her ideas and some aspects of Neo-Confucianism that I find most attractive, such as the need to “discern patterns” in an “already moral world.” These issues come out even more strongly in her latest book, Inside Ethics, which is reviewed here. Rejecting an “ethically indifferent metaphysic” seems to me to be starting off in the right direction!

CFP: Metaphysics of Contingency: East and West

The 2017 annual meeting of the Metaphysical Society of America will be on the theme “The Metaphysics of Contingency: East and West.” The meeting will be held in Cambridge/Boston from Thursday March 30, 2017 to noon Sunday, April 2. They would be delighted to receive your expressions of interest by the September 1, 2016 deadline for submitting abstracts. The Call for Papers can be found here.

Awalt-Conley, Neo-Confucianism and Physicalism

At my invitation, my former student Dylan Awalt-Conley has agreed to make the following short essay public as a Guest Post. Please address any questions or comments to Dylan. 

Neo-Confucianism and Physicalism 

© 2016, Dylan Awalt-Conley

Despite general enthusiasm for engaging with the Neo-Confucian imaginary in a serious philosophical way, there seem to be some widely held reservations against its use in scientific contexts. Yet I believe that much of the intuitive incompatibility between the Cheng-Zhu metaphysic and a scientific framework comes from a sense of ‘science’ that is constrained by an implicit ontological reductionism. If we are willing to take Neo-Confucianism seriously, then the ontology invoked by concepts like li and qi can provide an experimentally sound alternative to physicalism, complete with new ways of thinking and working scientifically.

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Adler reviews Chinese Metaphysics and Its Problems

Chenyang Li and Franklin Perkins (eds.), Chinese Metaphysics and Its Problems, Cambridge University Press, 2015, 242 pp., $95.00 (hbk), ISBN 9781107093508.

Reviewed by Joseph A. Adler, Professor Emeritus of Asian Studies and Religious Studies, Kenyon College

Read on-line at NDPR.

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