Publication opportunity (non-peer-reviewed) for articles on “early Chinese self-cultivation”. On July 1st, 2015, Paul Fischer (Western Kentucky University) and Lin Zhipeng 林志鵬 (Fudan University) hosted a workshop in Shanghai on early Chinese self-cultivation (entitled 治氣養心之術——中國早期修身方法), hosted by the 復旦大學中華文明國際研究中心. (Please find the schedule attached.) The Center is willing to publish the collected papers of the workshop, but have allowed us to expand the volume somewhat. Therefore we are seeking submissions from non-participants to be included in this volume.
The latest issue of Frontiers of Philosophy in China has been published. The table of contents is also located below:
According to the Guangming Daily, “the interpretation of Confucian political philosophy” was one of the ten “hot” areas within Chinese academia in 2014. According to the newspaper’s staff, one of the key questions that scholars sought to answer was “What conceptual resources does the Confucian tradition have that can assist with the design of institutions in today’s China 儒家传统对今日中国之制度设计有哪些可资借鉴的思想资源？” For those with Chinese, some more details, and the other nine hot areas, are below. (It is item 3 on the list.)
Fudan University professor and sometime contributor to this blog, Bai Tongdong, has his own blog here, and has recently posted some essays there (in Chinese) that some readers may be interested in. The most recent is “传统正名系列3 作为普适价值的儒学” or “Rectification of Names #3: Confucianism as Universal Value.” It is a provocative and (in my view) constructive interjection into the debates that have been raging over “universal” (which often is code for “Western”) values. Enjoy
I have just learned that in 2018, the World Congress of Philosophy will be held in Beijing, hosted by Peking University. Intriguing. If anyone has a report on the recently-completed WCP in Athens, I’m sure many readers would be interested!
A Call for Drafts for the Inaugural English-language Edition of Heritage and Transition: Studies in Chinese Humanities
Last weekend, Wesleyan hosted an interdisciplinary forum on “comparative enlightenments” that blog readers might find interesting; read here for an account in English, and here for a Chinese summary. Keynote remarks were offered by Wang Weiguang and Gao Xiang of CASS and Hayden White of Stanford. Participants included philosophers like Chen Lai (Tsinghua), Wu Genyou (Wuhan), Ding Yun (Fudan), Han Shuifa (Beijing), and Akeel Bilgrami (Columbia), as well as literary theorists and historians. (It’s interesting to note the differences of emphasis in the two write-ups :-).)
How to Make a World of Perpetual Peace
Prof. Zhao Tingyang (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; HYI Visiting Professor of East Asian Thought)
Discussant: Professor Stephen Angle (Philosophy and East Asian Studies, Wesleyan University)
Date: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Time: 4:15 pm
Location: Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave., Cambridge, MA
The new problem of our times is that of a failed world rather than failed states. Globalization has brought us to the unpleasant fact that our supposed world is actually a non-world. Rather than dealing with the problems of globality by means of modernity, we must make a world, one of perpetual peace, with an ‘all-under-heaven’ system that reaches beyond the nation state system, with relational rationality emphasized more than individual rationality.
The essay “Reassessing Chinese Society’s ‘Rigid Stability’: Stability Preservation Through Pressure, Its Predicament and the Way Out,” by Chinese scholar Yu Jiangrong, introduced and translated at the China Story website, is well-worth a read.
In this guest post, Ralph Weber of the University of Zurich shares with us his English translation of an opinion piece just published in Germany (as “Politik, Konfuzianismus und konfuzianische politische Philosophie in der VR China heute.” In: Widerspruch – Münchner Zeitschrift für Philosophie, Nr. 56, 2013.) Please direct comments to Dr. Weber.
The Politics of ‘Confucian Political Philosophy’
Ralph Weber, University of Zurich
In the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Confucius, the Master, is “standing tall” again, as a People’s Daily headline put it (13 January 2011), referring to a ten meter bronze statue which since January was standing right next to Tiananmen Square in Beijing, before it was dislocated to a less prominent spot in April 2011 for reasons as yet unknown. Not to be mistaken, the statue was not the latest version of the Goddess of Democracy, which students had erected in June 1989 as a symbol of protest and reform. The Confucius statue was not erected against the Chinese government; it had been put there with official endorsement – something that only decades ago would have been unthinkable – and surely it was also dislocated again with official endorsement. The short but prominent appearance of the Confucius statue at one of the most symbolic places in all of China showcases the wavering attitude of the Chinese government on what to do with Confucianism and perhaps reveals once more how split the government is in terms of doctrine and ideology.
A month ago I noted that Sungmoon Kim’s review of Fred Dallmayr and ZHAO Tingyang, eds. Contemporary Chinese Political Thought: Debates and Perspectives had been published at NDPR. My own review for Dao of the same book has now been published on-line first, and should be accessible to those with institutional access to Dao. I’ll paste the first couple paragraphs, as well as the penultimate paragraph (which makes a fairly self-standing point), below.
(Please note the “Special Note” at the end: even if you cannot take part in this event, if you are interested in the theme you are invited to submit a paper for inclusion in two publication projects.)
|Call for Papers
徵稿通知Symposium / 學術研討會“Philosophical Issues Concerning Chinese Language and Development of Contemporary Philosophy of Language” “關於漢語的哲學問題與當代語言哲學發展”
2013 Term / Wuhan“Beijing Roundtable on Contemporary Philosophy” 2013届-武漢“北京當代哲學國際圓桌學術研討會”
A listing of panels to be held at the 2013 Association of Asian Studies Conference, to be held March 21–24, 2013 in San Diego, California, is now available (titles of panels only). It is a long list, and I have not perused it carefully. A couple immediately stood out to me: “339: Chinese Thought as Global Theory?” and “167: Elite and Popular Confucianism in Contemporary China” (I will be taking part in the latter). I imagine there will be plenty more that would interest readers of this blog, though AAS has unfortunately had little philosophy and little on early China in recent years. (See, though, the recent announcement of a meeting-in-conjunction with AAS on the part of the Society for the Study of Early China.)
The fascinating new(ish) website and project, Thinking China, is well worth a look. Part of a broader project called The China Story, it aims to document contemporary Chinese thinking on a range of subjects, and offers information and links to resources on several intellectuals already. The following discussion of its goals is quite compelling — and interestingly connected to some recent discussions on this blog: Continue reading “"Thinking China" Website”
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”
Prof. SHAN Chun (University of Politics and law in Beijing; International Confucian Association) has published a new book with Springer titled Major Aspects of Chinese Religion and Philosophy. Those with institutional access to SpringerLink should be able to get the full text on-line; everyone should be able to access at least the Table of Contexts and the abstracts of each chapter. It is a broad, synthetic account, appreciative rather than historically or philosophically critical, that represents one contemporary Chinese approach to China’s religio-philosophic traditions.
Contemporary Chinese Political Thought: Debates and Perspectives, edited by Fred Dallmayr and Zhao Tingyang, is a collection of essays, most of them by contemporary Chinese philosophers (some in China, some outside China) that has just been published. It looks fascinating. I plan to write a review of it sometime in the next few months, but first I need to read it! (Amazon will give you a look at the Table of Contents.)
Apparently there is a current meme in China alledging that Chinese people are too often illogical (and, instead, swayed by rhetoric, emotions, and politics) and that the cause of this may be the lack of concern for logical reasoning in China’s philsoophical traditions. Recently a journalist from the magazine Window on the Southern Wind 南风窗 interviewed well-known CASS philosopher Zhao Tingyang concerning these ideas. The conversation is pretty interesting: Zhao suggests that too much attention to “dialectic” and too little training in logic–and, more generally, in critical reasoning–is the main culprit. He grants that early Chinese classics mainly were concerned with “thought 思想” rather than “theory 理论,” and adds that in this context:
…to have some inconsistencies between a few concepts would not be odd; and we should also consider, life itself is full of contraditions, therefore “thought” that seeks to express life and thus has some self-contradictions is actually in this way reflecting life. This is not to be illogical.
Several of us have written a bit on the blog about manifestations of the “Confucian revival” underway in China. I want to call readers’ attention to an excellent recent article by Sébastien Billioud of the University of Paris, published in Oriens Extremus 49 (2010), called “Carrying the Confucian Torch to the Masses: The Challenge of Structuring the Confucian Revival in the People’s Republic of China” Here is an except from the first paragraph: Continue reading “Billioud on the "Confucian Revival"”
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”
|Volume 6 Number 2 is now available on SpringerLink|
The latest issue of Frontiers of Philosophy in China has been published… Continue reading “TOC for Frontiers of Philosophy in China 6:1”
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”
CALL FOR PAPERS
Virtue and Luck: Virtue Theory and Chinese Philosophy
International Conference and Book Symposium
Hosted by the Department of Philosophy, Soochow University, Taiwan
Co-hosted by the Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy, Academia Sinica, and the Department of Philosophy, Huafan University.
June 02 ~ June 04, 2011, Taipei, Taiwan
Summary: Our three-day program includes the following three events: (a) a series of Philosophical Dialogues; (b) a Book Symposium; and (c) the one-day International Conference “Virtue and Luck: Virtue Theory and Chinese Philosophy”. Continue reading “CFP: Virtue and Luck: Virtue Theory and Chinese Philosophy”
An open letter, signed by several prominent Chinese scholars and endorsed by numerous Confucian organizations, has been released criticizing the plans to build a large Christian church in Qufu, about 3 km from the Qufu Confucian Temple. The letter begins:
We have recently heard that a large, Gothic-style Christian church, more than 40 meters high and capable of holding more than 3000 people, is under construction in the vicinity of Qufu’s Confucian Temple. We Confucian scholars, organizations, and websites are deeply shocked and worried, and call upon all concerned parties to respect this sacred ground of Chinese culture and halt construction of this Christian church….
I paste the entire letter, including the list of signatories (many of whom have been prominently identified with “Confucian teaching” or “Confucian religion” [rujiao 儒教]), below. Continue reading “Confucians React to Planned Christian Church in Qufu”
Shaojin Chai draws our attention to a recent and intriguing essay by Mark Lilla in The New Republic, entitled “Reading Strauss in Beijing: China’s Strange Taste in Western Philosophers.” Shaojin expresses some skepticism about a connection between the interest in Schmidt and “China’s imperialistic ambition or statist future”; but I found this bit of Lilla’s piece to ring true: Continue reading “Lilla in TNR on Strauss and Schmitt in China”
The latest issue of Frontiers of Philosophy in China has appeared; the table of contents, abstracts, and full text are available here. It contains a nice essay by Gao Ruiquan on Confucianism and ideas of equality, Wu Genyou’s essay on Dai Zhen’s philosophy of language, and much more.
A Yale website is reporting that Shelly Kagan, Professor of Philosophy at Yale University, is “the most popular foreign teacher” in China. Kagan’s online Open Yale course, “Death,” is apparently a great success. Quoting from the article:
“China National Radio in September noted: ‘Kagan lectures the students while sitting on the podium with legs crossed and wearing jeans and sneakers. His image, resembling that of an ‘immortal’ in Chinese mythology, has made him a ‘star’ closely followed by the youth in China. Ever since Kagan’s philosophy class ‘Death’ appeared on the internet through Open Yale Courses, many young people in China scramble for the lectures given by this unconventional professor who could have been considered ‘out of line’ according to the traditional Chinese standard of teaching style and manner.'”
Hat tip to Brian Leiter’s blog, where I first saw this.
Last week I attended the first Nishan Forum on World Civilizations (尼山论坛). Nishan is the reputed birthplace of Confucius, near Qufu (in Shandong province) where the Kong family has lived for many generations. The Forum was an interesting event, heavily supported by various levels of government (notice the orchestra, playing pieces specially written for the event), and clearly designed to contribute to the increasing visibility of Confucianism, both domestically and internationally. There is a lot one could say about the event, both in terms of its content and in terms of the way it was framed (e.g., why was Robert Schuller chosen as the most prominent representative of Christianity at this “dialogue between Confucianism and Christianity”?). There is no simple conclusion, positive or negative, that one can draw from a complex event such as this, but I thought I would share some concerns that crystallized in my mind when thinking about a question that a journalist at the Forum asked me. He said, “Do you think Americans should be worried about the rise of Chinese culture?” Continue reading “Nishan Forum and Rise of Chinese Culture”
The latest issue of Frontiers of Philosohy in China has been published. The table of contents, abstracts, and full-texts for those with institutional access, are available here. This issue features several articles on Song-Ming Neo-Confucianism, among other topics.
The Harvard-Yenching Institute has announced its 2010-2011 Visiting Scholars and Visiting Fellows, and included among them are three philosophers who will spend the year in Cambridge:
- GU Hongliang, East China Normal University (20th century Chinese philosophy)
- QU Hongmei, Jilin University (Kant and cosmopolitainism)
- CAO Qingyun, Ph.D. candidate, Peking University (Aristotle)
They will arrive later this month and can be contacted via the Institute.