Category Archives: Philosophy in China

“Comparative Enlightenments” Forum at Wesleyan

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 :-).)

Zhao Tingyang Lecture at Harvard this Wednesday

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.

Weber, The Politics of Confucian Political Philosophy

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.[1] 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.

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Angle’s Review of Fred Dallmayr and ZHAO Tingyang, eds. Contemporary Chinese Political Thought

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.

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CFP: June, 2013 ISCWP event in Wuhan on Language

(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”
Wuhan University/Philosophy School “Advanced Forum in Comparative Philosophy” 武漢大學哲學學院“比較哲學高峰論壇”

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Panel information available for 2013 AAS

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.)

"Thinking China" Website

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 →

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 →