Category Archives: Political Theory

Critical Theory From and Beyond the Margins: Public Online Workshop

CRITICAL THEORY FROM AND BEYOND THE MARGINS

24 OCTOBER 2020, SATURDAY | 10:00 AM TO 6:00 PM (UTC +8)
ZOOM MEETING- ID: 976 4344 1616 | PASSCODE: 241
HTTPS://UMAC.ZOOM.US/J/97643441616?PWD=BTJYBLH5NMTNSDFFA2NML285WDJLUT0924

Critical theory is a Western, and distinctly European, intellectual tradition that drew its normative resources from the social and political events that transpired in Europe over the course of the 20th century. It is relevant to ask the question whether, as a critical-practical
tradition, critical theory has anything to contribute outside the Western-European context, given the emergence of globalization and the issues that arose with it. For some, the Eurocentrism of critical theory is symptomatic of its very own crisis, one which challenges the universality of its normative claims, e.g., the abolition of social injustice. Is it possible for critical theory to overcome its Eurocentrism and, therefore, its own crisis? The irony is that critical theory is only able to defend the universality of its normative claims when it is able to
renew itself. If it is at all possible to renew critical theory, what does this renewal entail? The workshop will pursue these questions by expanding the scope of traditional critical theory, especially, but not exclusively, by drawing on critical perspectives on modern societies and
emancipation movements that have originated in Asia.

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New book: Mastery, Dependence, and the Ethics of Authority, by Aaron Stalnaker

Oxford University Press has just published my new book on early Confucian social thought, and what contemporary people might learn from it: Mastery, Dependence, and the Ethics of Authority.  The publisher’s page is here.  At present the cheapest way to purchase it is directly from Oxford, with a discount code for 30% off (AAFLYG6).

This comes with hearty thanks to Steve Angle and Bryan Van Norden, who were belatedly revealed as the press’s referees.

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KIM Sungmoon – Columbia Society for Comparative Philosophy Lecture: “BEYOND THE PLURALISM DILEMMA — A CONSTITUTIONAL RECONSTRUCTION OF CONFUCIAN DEMOCRACY” Friday Nov 8

THE COLUMBIA SOCIETY FOR COMPARATIVE PHILOSOPHY

Welcomes: KIM SUNGMOON (City University of Hong Kong)
With responses from: OMAR DAHBOUR  (Hunter College & Graduate Center, CUNY)

Please join on November 8, 2019 at 5:30 for his lecture entitled,

BEYOND THE PLURALISM DILEMMA — A CONSTITUTIONAL RECONSTRUCTION OF CONFUCIAN DEMOCRACY

Recently, a group of scholars has challenged the moral legitimacy of Confucian democracy from a liberal philosophical standpoint. Continue reading →

New translation of Xinyu 新語

Just a quick announcement that Elisa Levi Sabattini and I are about to publish a new translation of Xinyu:

https://brill.com/view/title/56294?rskey=msXfbz&result=1

Also watch out for my new book on classical Chinese philosophy, forthcoming from Princeton University Press.  Since I’m not ashamed of self-promotion, I’ll be posting with details in due course.

New episodes of The Issue is Not The Issue

The Issue is Not the Issue: A Podcast with Hans-Georg Moeller and Dan Sarafinas

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfs0MY7rs8J6jWlCdneoPVQ

 

Hans-Georg Moeller and Dan Sarafinas discuss contemporary debates on “political correctness” and related moral and social issues. They point to concepts such as virtue speech (“virtue signalling”), civil religion, “profilicity,” and the role of critique to better understand their nature.

 

Episode 3—Critique:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3W1m0Bez8vU

Philosophy today runs the risk of once more becoming the “handmaiden of theology” by being put in the service of civil religion. The Kantian concept of critique is revived to reflect on contemporary dogmatism and associated power structures that lead to phenomena such as “competitive wokeness” in entertainment (Taylor Swift) or the need to write “diversity statements” in academia. The idea of a therapeutic rather than a normative philosophy is suggested and it is explained how society, along with critique, evolves rather than progresses.

 

Episode 4—Profilicity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Yz1C0-mtWI

Why do we need to produce “virtue speech”? We need it to be competitive in society and to bolster our public profiles. A new profile-based identity paradigm, called “profilicity,” is on the rise. It is replacing other identity paradigms such as sincerity and authenticity and provides not only individuals but also institutions (political parties, companies, universities, etc.) with identity value.

The Issue is Not the Issue: A Podcast with Hans-Georg Moeller and Dan Sarafinas

Hans-Georg Moeller and Dan Sarafinas discuss contemporary debates on “political correctness” and related moral and social issues. They point to concepts such as virtue speech (“virtue signalling”), civil religion, and the role of critique to better understand their nature.

Episode 1–Virtue Speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pg8H-b87Cs;

The phenomenon of virtue speech (“virtue signalling”) has become a central feature in recent outrage movements pervasive throughout the West. Virtue speech, which is implicitly tied to accusations of hate speech, is a form of moralistic discourse setting speech examples that make it difficult to openly discuss elements of our culture without falling into the trap of moralizing.

Episode 2–Civil Religion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EDEuXCPHOQ

Civil religion plays a central role in the virtue speech, or political correctness, discourse. The history of the concept is discussed as well as the structure of the American form of civil religion and how tenets of civil religion are constantly being performed and re-enacted, particularly in current social media outrage movements.