Category Archives: This is the Way (podcast)

Episode 5 of “This Is the Way”: Cultivation and the Autobiography of Confucius

In the fifth episode of This Is the Way, we discuss Confucius’s autobiography as found in Analects 2.4, one of the most famous passages in the Analects and a rich resource for reflection on the process of moral self-cultivation. Among the many topics we explore: what Confucius meant by being “free of doubts” and “understanding Heaven’s Mandate,” and the relationship between practicing and understanding the Confucian Way. We discuss how traditional commentaries and commentators have interpreted some of the most interesting and disputed lines, and puzzle over the philosophical concept of ‘wholeheartedness.’ Continue reading →

Episode 4 of “This Is the Way”: Daoist Persuasion

In the fourth episode of This Is the Way, we return to the familiar format of doing a close reading of a classical passage and connecting it to a theme. Our theme is “persuasion” and the passage is the dialogue between Confucius and Yan Hui in the Zhuangzi (ch. 4). It’s a great passage — somehow, not so widely discussed as others! But it should be of interest to anyone interested in rhetoric, the power of reasons (or lack thereof), arguments (in at least two senses of “arguments”), and the delicate games we play with our egos and the egos of others when we attempt to persuade.

Somehow, we just immensely enjoyed talking about this passage.

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Episode 3 of “This Is the Way”: Oneness

In the third episode of This Is the Way we explore the topic of oneness with our guest Philip J. Ivanhoe, a distinguished scholar and translator of East Asian philosophy. In part I, Justin gives a quick overview of Neo-Confucian philosophy and its connection to oneness. In part II, we talk with Ivanhoe about his book, Oneness: East Asian Conceptions of Virtue, Happiness, and How We Are All Connected. Some issues that we discuss include the following: the truth value of oneness (neither “strictly true” nor a groundless and pointless hallucination), the benefits of oneness (security, spontaneity, and metaphysical comfort), and the sense in which we are the minds of Heaven, Earth and the myriad things (Wang Yangming was right after all!).

Below you will find a more detailed accounting of topics, some specific passages and books or articles mentioned in the episode, and an opportunity to “weigh in” and share your views about the topic (or about the hosts’ wild claims about oneness or Chinese philosophy).

Your feedback is very welcome! Please leave a comment below, mail the hosts at ChinesePhilosophyPodcast@gmail.com, or follow them on X @ChinesePhilPod.

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Episode 2 of “This Is the Way”: Confucians on Shame

The second episode of This Is the Way is on shame as a moral emotion, as understood by classical Confucian philosophers (especially Confucius and Mencius, but also Xunzi). Our special guest is Jing Iris Hu (HU Jing 胡婧), author of “Shame, Vulnerability, and Change.” Key questions include the following: What are the Confucian arguments for having a sense of shame? To what extent can shame be autonomous or independent of social attitudes, and what mechanisms do the Confucian recommend for making it so independent? Do fully virtuous people need a sense of shame?
Below you will find a more detailed accounting of topics, some specific passages and books or articles mentioned in the episode, and an opportunity to “weigh in” and share your views about the topic (or about the hosts’ wild claims about the text). Continue reading →

Episode 1 of “This Is the Way”: Daoist Detachment

Richard Kim and Justin Tiwald are pleased to present a new podcast series on Chinese Philosophy, This Is the Way. The administrators of Warp, Weft, and Way have generously agreed to host supporting materials and discussions of specific podcast episodes.  Links to support pages for all published episodes can be found here.

The first episode is titled “Daoist Detachment.” In fact, it’s really just about the distinctive sort of detachment that seems to be at the heart of some (“core”) passages of the Zhuangzi. In this episode, Richard and Justin introduce themselves and talk about the motivation for the podcast series, the idea of “philosophical double-vision” that makes Zhuangzi-style detachment possible, and some worries about this sort of detachment. Below you will find a more detailed accounting of topics, some specific passages and books or articles mentioned in the episode, and an opportunity to “weigh in” and share your views about the topic (or about the hosts’ wild claims about the text).

Your feedback is very welcome! Please leave a comment below, mail the hosts at ChinesePhilosophyPodcast@gmail.com, or follow them on X @ChinesePhilPod.

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