Warp, Weft, and Way

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

2nd Kant In Asia conference

Hong Kong Baptist University will host “Intuition East and West: The Second Kant in Asia International Conference” from 17-20 December, 2016. More information can be found here.

December 6, 2016 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Comparative philosophy, Conference, Modern Chinese Philosophy, Mou Zongsan | no comments

New Book: Van den Stock, The Horizon of Modernity

Ady Van den Stock, The Horizon of Modernity: Subjectivity and Social Structure in New Confucian Philosophy. Leiden: Brill, 2016.

Continue reading “New Book: Van den Stock, The Horizon of Modernity”

July 9, 2016 Posted by | Books of Interest, China, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Comparative philosophy, Contemporary Confucianism, Hong Kong, Modern Chinese Philosophy, Modernity, New Confucianism | no comments

Two New Books on Modern Chinese Philosophy

Two books in Brill’s “Modern Chinese Philosophy” series have recently been published:

Xiaoqing Diana Lin, Feng Youlan and Twentieth Century China: An Intellectual Biography


King Pong Chiu,  Thomé H. Fang, Tang Junyi and Huayan Thought: A Confucian Appropriation of Buddhist Ideas in Response to Scientism in Twentieth-Century China


March 5, 2016 Posted by | Books of Interest, Buddhism, China, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Comparative philosophy, Modern Chinese Philosophy | no comments

New Translation of Mou’s Autobiography

An English translation of Mou Zongsan’s Autobiography at Fifty has been published. Enjoy!

August 4, 2015 Posted by | Books of Interest, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Comparative philosophy, Contemporary Confucianism, Modern Chinese Philosophy, Mou Zongsan, New Confucianism | no comments

New book on Early 20th Century Thought

Xiaoqun Xu, Cosmopolitanism, Nationalism, and Individualism in Modern China: The Chenbao Fukan and the New Culture Era, 1918-1928. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2014. Pp.255. ISBN 978-0-7391-8914-6.

The book analyzes aspects of intellectual life and cultural practices in the New Culture era of modern China by examining an influcential newspaper supplement published in Beijing during 1918-1928, along with other contemporary sources. It highlights a key intellectual-moral paradox in Chinese disourses between cosmopolitanism as an idealistic aspiration and nationalism as a practical imparative, both in complext relationship to indivudialism, and in constant negotiations between Chinese tradition and Western culture in the making of Chinese modernity. It argues for a re-consideration and re-appreciation of the New Culture era in modern Chinese history, as the issues treated in the book remain relevant to China and the world today.

Continue reading “New book on Early 20th Century Thought”

June 3, 2014 Posted by | Books of Interest, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Modern Chinese Philosophy | one comment

New Book on Buddhist Influence on Modern Chinese Thought

An important new book on in role of Yogacara Buddhism in shaping modern Chinese thought has been published. Click here or read on for details.

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March 23, 2014 Posted by | Books of Interest, Buddhism, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Comparative philosophy, Modern Chinese Philosophy | no comments

New Article on Feng Youlan and New Realism

The new issue of Modern China has an article by Xiaoqing Diana Lin entitled “Creating Modern Chinese Metaphysics: Feng Youlan and New Realism.” The abstract is available at this link.

January 7, 2014 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Feng Youlan, Metaphysics, Modern Chinese Philosophy, New Confucianism | no comments

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

Digital Bibliography of Chinese Buddhism 中國佛教電子書目

Especially given the great importance of Buddhist discourse in the 19th and 20th centuries to modern Chinese thought more broadly, this resource looks to be very valuable!

From: “Gregory Adam Scott” <gas2122@columbia.edu>

I am very pleased to announce the public opening of the online search interface to my Digital Bibliography of Chinese Buddhism 中國佛教電子書目.

Continue reading “Digital Bibliography of Chinese Buddhism 中國佛教電子書目”

November 6, 2012 Posted by | Buddhism, Modern Chinese Philosophy, Resource | no comments

Nanjing Decade Returns to Life at China Heritage Quarterly

The China Heritage Quarterly, a terrific electronic journal cum research project, has published its August-September issue with a special focus on an early-twentieth century English-language journal called the China Critic. The editor writes:

The China Critic was a product of a cosmopolitan demeanour, a fluency in English-language expression and ideas and an informed concern for contemporary China, its achievements and its limitations. The era of The Critic was also one of mounting international conflict and patriotic fervour. It is timely to reconsider The Critic and also to make available some of the insightful and controversial writing that appeared in its pages over a fourteen-year period.

There’s a tremendous amount of material available at the site: scores of original articles available as pdfs (much of it available via this annotated chronology), insightful commentary, articles about related figures, and so on. One thing that caught my eye was the journal’s endorsement of Chiang Kai-shek’s “New Life Movement.” Certainly there is much about the Nanjing Decade (1927-37) that resonates with contemporary China!

October 14, 2012 Posted by | Journal News, Modern Chinese Philosophy, Tables of Contents | one comment

The Non-Sequitur of Epistemological Nativism

I have recently finished a draft review for The China Journal of John Makeham, ed., Learning to Emulate the Wise: The Genesis of Chinese Philosophy as an Academic Discipline in Twentieth-Century China. I thought that one paragraph from my review might be of general interest and worth discussing here. Let me know what you think! Continue reading “The Non-Sequitur of Epistemological Nativism”

September 2, 2012 Posted by | Book Review, Comparative philosophy, Modern Chinese Philosophy, Philosophy in China | 30 comments

Two Book Reviews on 20th c. Chinese Thinkers

Two excellent recent books on important figures in modern Chinese thought, Zhang Taiyan and Mou Zongsan, have recently been published in The China Journal (July, 2012). I quote the details and first paragraphs of the reviews here. Continue reading “Two Book Reviews on 20th c. Chinese Thinkers”

August 24, 2012 Posted by | Books of Interest, Buddhism, Modern Chinese Philosophy, Mou Zongsan, Reviews | one comment

Wikipedia and Modern Chinese Philosophy

Like many of you, I suspect, I regularly use Wikipedia as a first-stop when looking something up on the internet. It has many limitations, of course, but often enough it proves useful. It is only as useful as its contributors make it, though. Since I have been struck by the paucity of informaton in Wikipedia concerning topics in 20th-century Chinese philosophy, I decided to see what would happen if I made improving a Wikipedia page one of the assignments in my Modern Chinese Philosophy course this semester.  Continue reading “Wikipedia and Modern Chinese Philosophy”

May 14, 2012 Posted by | Modern Chinese Philosophy, Pedagogy | 8 comments

New Scholarship on 20th Century Chinese Philosophy

As the semester winds toward its end, and with it, my class on Modern Chinese Philosophy,I find myself reflecting on how much new scholarship has become available on 20th- and 21st-century Chinese philosophy in just the last 18 months. Most of these books are, alas, quite expensive, but the quality is very high. This slew of excellent books makes me feel that the field of modern Chinese philosophy has suddenly come of age — and, at the same time, become eminently teachable. Reflect with me on this list:

Continue reading “New Scholarship on 20th Century Chinese Philosophy”

May 1, 2012 Posted by | Contemporary Confucianism, Modern Chinese Philosophy, Pedagogy | 7 comments

"Beyond New Confucianism" Conference at University of Buffalo

The conference will be held April 27-28, 2012; please see this poster for details.

April 11, 2012 Posted by | Conference, Modern Chinese Philosophy, New Confucianism | 2 comments

Billioud's Book Thinking Through Confucian Modernity Published

Sebastien Billioud (University of Paris)’s Thinking Through Confucian Modernity: A Study of Mou Zongsan’s Moral Metaphysics has just been published by Brill, as part of the impressive (albeit expensive) series on modern Chinese philosophy edited by John Makeham. Congratulations!

December 4, 2011 Posted by | Books of Interest, Metaphysics, Modern Chinese Philosophy, Mou Zongsan | no comments

Soochow/Academia Sinica Conference Report

The three-day conference and book symposium “Virtue and Luck: Virtue Theory and Chinese Philosophy” has now concluded, and I thought I might offer a summary and some thoughts. The idea that linked together the three quite distinct days’ activities was “virtue,” East and West, in ethics and in epistemology, pro and con. Continue reading “Soochow/Academia Sinica Conference Report”

June 5, 2011 Posted by | Comparative philosophy, Conference, Epistemology, Modern Chinese Philosophy, Mou Zongsan, Philosophy in China, Philosophy in Taiwan, Virtue | 2 comments

Must Ruists practice what they philosophize about?

For my first post here, I’d like to invite opinions on a contemporary issue. I’ve been coming across a common critique of contemporary Ruism and I’m curious what people think about it. As a preface, let me say that I’m close to giving up on various permutations of “Confucian” and “Confucianism,” so I hope you’ll all bear with my use of “Ruism” and “Ruist” instead.

The critique, which is generally directed against New Ruists, particularly Mou Zongsan, is something like this: the essence of Ruism is a social practice which aims not at developing theories, but realizing the Way in society. Making it into an object of academic study, so that it becomes an isolated practice of theorizing, is a mistake. The 20th century turn of making Ruism into a kind of philosophy and carrying out philosophical research in philosophy departments is emblematic of this mistake. Since Mou Zongsan is often considered the arch-theorist of New Ruism, he tends to get the brunt of this criticism. Continue reading “Must Ruists practice what they philosophize about?”

April 5, 2011 Posted by | Contemporary Confucianism, Jiang Qing, Modern Chinese Philosophy | 38 comments

Kant and Regional Differences of Interpretation

I think it might be worthwhile for us to reflect a bit on some of the regional differences in interpretation of the Chinese philosophers we all study. I was struck by two aspects of this recently. First, in the Conference and Book Symposium announcement that Kai Marchal wrote (though I posted it for him), Kai says: “Traditionally, Chinese scholars have argued that Neo-Confucian teachings are best understood within a Kantian deontological framework.” This interpretive trend is in part a result of Mou Zongsan’s influence, but some evidence that it is more complicated than that comes in two essays in the new anthology, Taking Confucian Ethics Seriously, edited by Kam-por Yu, Julia Tao, and Philip J. Ivanhoe. Two essays in this volume, by Qianfan Zhang and by Julia Tao, draw strong links between the idea of ren in early Confucianism and Kantian notions of the equal humanity or human dignity of all (among other things). At the very least, neither of these essays shows any direct evidence of the influence of Mou, and they can serve to suggest that the influence of the Kantian framework among Chinese scholars is widespread, indeed. Continue reading “Kant and Regional Differences of Interpretation”

January 29, 2011 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Confucianism, Modern Chinese Philosophy, Mou Zongsan, Philosophy in China | 9 comments

Confucian Fundamentalism?

As a follow-up to my earlier post regarding the controversy that has arisen around the proposed Christian church in Qufu, the following remarks from Prof. Peng Guoxiang of the Tsinghua University Philosophy Department are quite interesting (I quote his remarks with his permission):

…Some self-proclaimed Confucians…are trying to stop [the church] by launching a social movement. This fundamentalist attitude, mingling with nationalism, is embraced not only by the young people, but also by some scholars in Confucian studies. A typical feature of Confucian tradition, religious tolerance and open-mindedness, which we have been proud of and exactly from which that multiple religious participation and multiple religious identity has been developed, is now severely damaged by this extremism. How to redevelop a healthy and profound Confucian vision as one of the great spiritual traditions and make its contributions to humankind in a global context is really a painstaking project.

Also: Continue reading “Confucian Fundamentalism?”

January 4, 2011 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Confucianism, Contemporary Confucianism, Modern Chinese Philosophy, Religion | 10 comments

Zhao Tingyang on "Rethinking China"

Manyul’s post about Chinese “philosophy” relates in an interesting way to some reading I’ve been doing lately of the work of contemporary Chinese philosopher Zhao Tingyang 赵汀阳. Zhao first gained attention for his 1993 book 《论可能生活:一种关于幸福和公正的理论》[On possible lives : a theory of happiness and justice]. He vaulted into super-stardom with his 2005 book, 《天下体系:世界制度哲学导论》[The All-Under-Heaven System: An Introduction to the Philosophy of a World Institution]. This appropriation of the “tianxia” idea has been widely discussed, positively and negatively, both within philosophy and IR circles. Some of Zhao’s work is available in English translation; I’ll cite this at the end of this post. What I want to focus on, though, is Zhao’s insistence on the need to “rethink China (重思中国)” [Zhao 2005, 6]. Continue reading “Zhao Tingyang on "Rethinking China"”

July 16, 2010 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Contemporary Confucianism, Modern Chinese Philosophy | 5 comments

Brill Series on Modern Chinese Philosophy

Here’s an announcement from John Makeham of a Brill Publishers series that he is editing on modern Chinese philosophy. Continue reading “Brill Series on Modern Chinese Philosophy”

March 28, 2010 Posted by | Modern Chinese Philosophy | 5 comments