Category Archives: Neo-Confucianism

Vedal at Columbia Neo-Confucianism Seminar

The next session of the Columbia Seminar on Neo-Confucian Studies (University Seminar #567) will convene on November 1st, from 3:30 to 5:30pm in the main board room of the Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University.
The speaker will be Nathan Vedal, who will be sharing his book chapter titled “Script, Antiquity, and Mental Training: Metaphysical Inquiry into the History of Writing.” This will be part of his new book The Culture of Language in Ming China. If you plan on attending and would like a copy of the paper, please contact Chuyu Tian, Rapporteur for the Seminar on Neo-Confucian Studies, at

Columbia Neo-Confucianism Seminar: Ng, Qing Philosophy

The next session of the Columbia University Seminar on Neo-Confucian Studies will convene on Friday, Oct 4th, from 3:30 to 5:30pm, in the Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University.

Our speaker will be On-Cho Ng, who will be presenting his paper “Qing Philosophy”. Please contact Chuyu Tian, Rapporteur for the Seminar on Neo-Confucian Studies, if you would like a copy of the paper in advance.

New Book: Zhu Xi

Zhu Xi: Selected Writings has been published. This is the first volume in the new translation series, Oxford Chinese Thought.

This is the first book-length translation to give a comprehensive look at Zhu Xi’s thought and his place in history, literature, philosophy, and religion. It includes Zhu’s writings or lessons on a wide variety of topics, including his ethics, metaphysics, political thought, views on ghosts and spirits, objections to Daoism and Buddhism, selected commentaries, and his thoughts on literature, poetry, and current social conditions. The volume is edited by Philip J. Ivanhoe with contributions from experts in various areas and aspects of Zhu Xi’s writings.

The book has been released directly into paperback and there is a companion website that includes the Chinese text for all translated materials, both of which we hope will appeal to instructors looking to adopt the volume for their courses. The paperback edition is quite affordable, and the easy reference to the Chinese text gives language instructors a way to teach Song dynasty Chinese as applied to a variety of topics and genres.

The table of contents is below the fold.

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New Book: Harrington’s translation of Cheng Yi, The Yi River Commentary on the Book of Changes

Yale University press is about to release Michael Harrington’s excellent translation of Cheng Yi’s very important The Yi River Commentary on the Book of Changes, with an introduction by Michael and Robin Wang. More details are here.

Defoort reviews Angle and Tiwald, Neo-Confucianism

Carine Defoort has published a review of Justin’s and my book Neo-Confucianism: A Philosophical Introduction (Polity, 2017) in Tijdschrift voor Filosofie 80(3): 591-592. The review is in Dutch, but Google translate (plus a little help from Carine!) did a pretty good job. Here’s one short passage:

Because these thinkers [i.e., the Neo-Confucians] propose a variety of insights that seem somewhat Western, they have never really aroused my interest: fixed order patterns in a changing world seemed to me a diluted variant of an all too familiar dualistic worldview. The careful and broadly varied representation of Angle and Tiwald has changed that.

Thanks, Carine!

Song Reviews Liu, Neo-Confucianism

Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

2019.03.33 View this Review Online   View Other NDPR Reviews

JeeLoo Liu, Neo-Confucianism: Metaphysics, Mind, and Morality, Wiley-Blackwell, 2018, 316pp., $34.95 (pbk), ISBN 9781118619414.

Reviewed by Bin Song, Washington College

This book is clearly one of the greatest accomplishments among English Neo-Confucian philosophical studies in recent decades. JeeLoo Liu uses clear language and rigorous philosophical reasoning to analyze eight pivotal Neo-Confucian figures regarding three major areas: metaphysics, moral theory and moral practice. The book can be aptly used as both an introduction to Neo-Confucianism for beginners and a top reference for researchers, which is itself a rare achievement.

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Conference in Taipei: “Phenomenology and Chinese Philosophy” (March 18-20)

Dear colleagues,

this is to inform you about the international conference “Selfhood, Otherness, and Cultivation. Phenomenology and Chinese Philosophy” (March 18-20, at National Chengchi University in Taipei). You can still register on our website which also contains many helpful information (list of speakers, abstracts, etc.). The conference is co-hosted by the philosophy department and the interdisciplinary “Research Center on Chinese Cultural Subjectivity in Taiwan” at National Chengchi University. Our guest of honor is Dan Zahavi (Kopenhagen/Oxford) who, besides participating in our conference, will also give a series of lectures next week (see here).

Kai Marchal




Ivanhoe Reviews Makeham (ed.), The Buddhist Roots of Zhu Xi’s Philosophical Thought

Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

2018.11.26 View this Review Online   View Other NDPR Reviews

John Makeham (ed.), The Buddhist Roots of Zhu Xi’s Philosophical Thought, Oxford University Press, 2018, 354pp., $74.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780190878559.

Reviewed by Philip J. Ivanhoe, Sungkyunkwan University

This volume aims at answering important questions about the historical sources of Zhu Xi’s philosophical system; it includes a wealth of information about earlier, Buddhist philosophical writings and makes clear how some of these appear to have informed and influenced the development of Zhu’s philosophical system. I will very briefly describe the contents of the volume, highlighting some of the ways in which the various chapters fill out our understanding of how Chinese Buddhist philosophy provided sources and context for the development of Zhu’s thought. I then will consider what the volume aims to and does achieve.

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Using _Neo-Confucianism: A Philosophical Introduction_ in class

I used Neo-Confucianism: A Philosophical Introduction as the main textbook in a course on Neo-Confucianism this past semester. Student comments on the book (submitted anonymously as part of the teaching evaluation process) are available here. If any readers have used the book, Justin and I would love any further feedback! (I’d also be happy to share similar information about other course books, for other authors out there.)