A brief article from the South China Morning Post that is relevant for anyone interested in the uses and abuses of Confucianism in the modern world: “China runs Confucian culture courses for religious leaders in bid to boost control.”
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, “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.
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.
Jiwei Ci (HKU) will give a lecture at City University of Hong Kong, sponsored by the Center for East Asian andComparative Philosophy, titled “The Rise of China: Outline of a Philosophically Informed Interpretation” on 3 December 2018, 16:00-17:30. More details are here.
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
Readers may be interested in this “Advice to Washington From Ancient China,” based on the Huainanzi.