A great line-up for a conference on political meritocracy, starting tomorrow at Harvard:
Here is a call for papers for a workshop on “Political Pluralism in Greater China – 大中华的政治多元化,” to be held in July 2019 at the University of Lucerne, organized by Philipp Renninger (Lucerne) and Ewan Smith (Oxford).
I have made another post over at Neo-Confucianism.com, this time describing how I used the role-playing pedagogy “Reacting to the Past” in my recent course on Neo-Confucianism. It was great fun, and I encourage you to check it out!
Three significant articles, all open access, on contemporary Chinese political thinking.
“Research dialogues on the intellectual public sphere in China (Part I),” Guest edited by Timothy Cheek, David Ownby, and Joshua Fogel. China Information Volume 32, Issue 1, March 2018
First Published March 14, 2018; pp. 107–120
First Published January 2, 2018; pp. 121–138
First Published March 14, 2018; pp. 139–159
David Ownby’s and Timothy Cheek’s analysis and translation of “Jiang Shigong on ‘Philosophy and History: Interpreting the “Xi Jinping Era” through Xi’s Report to the Nineteenth National Congress of the CCP’,” posted here at The China Story, is extremely well-done!
Readers may be interested in this “Advice to Washington From Ancient China,” based on the Huainanzi.
I’d like to call out one item in the recently-published issue of Comparative Philosophy for special mention. “The Future of Confucian Political Philosophy” is a 22,000 word edited transcript of a roundtable discussion that was held in Hong Kong in February 2017. (Direct link to the transcript is here.) The main speakers are:
- Stephen C. ANGLE, Wesleyan University
- Elton CHAN, Yale-NUS College
- Joseph CHAN, University of Hong Kong
- Jiwei CI, University of Hong Kong
- Ruiping FAN, City University of Hong Kong
- Yong HUANG, Chinese University of Hong Kong
- Yi-Huah JIANG, City University of Hong Kong
- Sungmoon KIM, City University of Hong Kong
We each make presentations, and then there is ample time for discussion, both among the invited speakers and with other attendees. On behalf of all participants, I hope that readers will find this to be an engaging snapshot of the some of the state of the art — and some glimpses of the future — of Confucian political philosophy. Discussion here of its themes is of course encouraged!
SUNY has published Confucianism for the Contemporary World: Global Order, Political Plurality, and Social Action, edited by Kristin Stapleton and Tze-ki Hon. More details are here and below.
A couple weeks ago, Bryan Van Norden published “The Confucian roots of Xi Jinping’s policies” in The Straits Times (Singapore); a Chinese translation was also subsequently published. The essay begins:
Commentators have been quick to observe that the recent Chinese Communist Party Congress guaranteed President Xi Jinping’s firm grip on power for years to come. However, few have noted the Confucian roots of Mr Xi’s world view.
Mr Xi himself has been very candid about his admiration for traditional Chinese thought and his view that Chinese socialism is consistent with it. As I point out in my recent book, Taking Back Philosophy: A Multicultural Manifesto, Mr Xi’s appropriations of traditional Chinese thought are sometimes opportunistic. But the same can be said of the way many US politicians appeal to the Bible. In addition, there are at least four points on which Mr Xi is genuinely Confucian in spirit.
Sam Crane has published an essay called “Philosopher King: The classical philosophy that Xi Jinping ignores” via the Los Angeles Review of Books China Channel. It opens:
In his first five-year term as General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party and President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping regularly cited classical Chinese philosophy in order to bolster his image as a man of learning and virtue. In May 2014, he implied his own rectitude by invoking Confucius in Analects 15.1 at a meeting of young people: “The noble man considers righteousness essential.” Although we’ve been hearing more Marxism in connection to Xi’s name of late, there is good reason to believe he will continue to reach for a neo-traditionalist brand of political legitimation over the next five years. But his apparent erudition is selective….
Duke University Press has published Bin Wang, ed., Chinese Visions of World Order: Tianxia, Culture, and World Politics, which looks like an important collection of essays. More information is here.
A new essay called “In Defense of Hierarchy,” the joint responsibility of several of us but largely written by Julian Baggini, has been published at Aeon. It is the fruit of discussions at a conference sponsored by the Berggruen Philosophy and Culture Center, and is an interesting example of comparative or what some folks are now calling cosmopolitan philosophy. Enjoy!
Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
Eirik Lang Harris, The Shenzi Fragments: A Philosophical Analysis and Translation, Columbia University Press, 2016, 173pp., $55.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780231177665.
Reviewed by Franklin Perkins, University of Hawai’i at Manoa
Cambridge University Press has published East Asian Perspectives on Political Legitimacy: Bridging the Empirical-Normative Divide, edited by Joseph Chan, Doh Chuli Shin, and Melissa S. Williams. More details and table of contents here.
Columbia University Press has also published Eirik Harris’s outstanding study of the Shenzi fragments — congratulations, Eirik!
Eirik Lang Harris, The Shenzi Fragments: A Philosophical Analysis and Translation (Columbia University Press, 2016)
Read on for details on the book, as well as a code that can be used for a 30% discount on the book.