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.
I am very happy to pass on the news that the Chinese translation of my book Contemporary Confucian Political Philosophy: Toward Progressive Confucianism (Polity, 2013) has been published by Jiangxi People’s Press, as 《当代儒家政治哲学：进步儒学发凡》. More information, including the Preface to the Chinese Edition, can be found here. In case anyone is interested in an English-language version of this new Preface, I will post it below.
Leigh Jenco’s review of my Contemporary Confucian Political Philosophy: Toward Progressive Confucianism (Polity, 2013) has been published in the Journal of Moral Philosophy 12(5).
An English translation of Mou Zongsan’s Autobiography at Fifty has been published. Enjoy!
Three new books, all interesting-looking, have recently been published:
- Jung-Yup Kim, Zhang Zai’s Philosophy of Qi: A Practical Understanding (Lexington)
- Mou Zongsan (Esther C. Su, trans.), Nineteen Lectures on Chinese Philosophy: A Brief Outline of Chinese Philosophy and the Issues It Entails (Foundation For the Study of Chinese Philosophy and Culture / CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform)
- Jason P.Blahuta, Fortune and the Dao: A Comparative Study of Machiavelli, the Daodejing, and the Han Feizi (Lexington)
Julie Lee Wei, who has been embroiled in a long-running copyright dispute over her translation of Mou Zongsan’s Nineteen Lectures on Chinese Philosopy, has decided to post her complete, 490-page translation on the internet:
(One technical note: for reasons I cannot explain, sometimes the links on this site have not worked for me, but I find that if clicking on a link gives you a url of this form — http://ninteenlects.com/page.php?p=Titlepage — then changing that to this form (note the “nine” instead of “nin”) will work — http://nineteenlects.com/page.php?p=Titlepage)
As Ms. Wei explains there, a few years ago her translation was accepted for publication by Columbia University Press, but the copyright dispute has put that on indefinite hold. During a stretch of time when she and Columbia believed that they had secured permission, though, I was asked to write an Introduction to the translation, which I did. That essay has languished along with Ms. Wei’s translation, and I have chosen to make it freely available on my own website:
I hope that my essay, and especially the translation, prove useful to those who would like to engage more deeply with this extremely important twentieth-century Confucian philosopher.
‘Tis the season for reviews of works in Chinese philosophy to be published, apparently! The latest issue of The China Journal has reviews of three recent works in our field, along with much else of interest:
- Leigh Jenco reviews Contemporary Chinese Political Thought: Debates and Perspective, edited by Fred Dallmayr and Zhao Tingyang; she finds much to like about several of the included articles, though has misgivings about the introduction and some of the editorial choices.
- Jason Clower reviews The Thought of Mou Zongsan by N. Serina Chan; Clower emphasizes its usefulness as a reference on the sprawling writing and thinking of Mou.
- John Makeham reviews China: The Political Philosophy of the Middle Kingdom by Tongdong Bai; Makeham emphasizes the book’s idiosyncracies.
NDRP has published a review by BAI Tongdong of Fudan University of my recent book, Contemporary Confucian Political Philosophy: Towards Progressive Confucianism (Polity, 2012). Many thanks to Tongdong for this generous review!
I’d like to take this opportunity to respond very briefly to a couple of the things that Tongdong says in his review. He feels that both Mou Zongsan and I, in our related but separate ways, have left largely unaddressed the question: “can Confucianism make any constructive and systematic contributions to fundamental issues in political philosophy other than being only a “cheerleader” (a sincere one, as Angle tries to show) of liberal democracy?” This is related to some of the other critical remarks he raises late in the review, including the suggestion that in my chapter on human rights, I rest content with the current “responsibility to protect” doctrine, and also Tongdong’s questions about how “Confucian” Progressive Confucianism is.
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”
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!
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”
Chapter 5 of my Sagehood book is concerned in various ways with the scope of ethics. On p. 92, I articulate some of my conclusions as follows:
…There is no morality-versus-prudence distinction. Instead, everything matters. The style and form with which one acts are important, though not in a way that can be detached from other aspects of the situations in which we find ourselves. There is, to be sure, a great emphasis on avoiding selfishness. But when everything matters, we are included: it is appropriate that we matter to ourselves, though we must be careful that we do not become so focused on our own immediate concerns that we view things in a skewed way.
In some recent discussions with colleagues, my claim that there is no morality-versus-prudence distinction (in either Neo-Confucianism or classical Confucianism, though the details and evidence will differ somewhat between the two cases) has met with some resistance. Continue reading “Morality vs. Prudence in Confucianism?”
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”