Category Archives: Virtue

Did Confucius think our virtues are contagious?

Did Confucius think that if one of us has general virtue, or some particular virtue such as courage or filial piety, that general or particular virtue will have a substantial tendency to spread directly to the people around her, even if she holds no government position?

Here I’ll survey Confucius’ statements in the Analects and conclude that the answer is No. Confucius probably did not hold that view.  (I gave the opposite reading in both my published papers on Chinese philosophy.)

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Foust Reviews Virtue Ethics and Confucianism

Mat Foust has published a review of Stephen C. Angle and Michael Slote, eds., Virtue Ethics and Confucianism (Routledge, 2013) in the Sungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies. The full text of the review is available on-line here (look for “Book Review 4”). Thanks, Mat!

Opportunities Related to “Intellectual Humility”

With the support of the John Templeton Foundation, and subject to a final grant agreement, the University of Connecticut’s Humanities Institute announces a funding proposal competition of $2 million dollars to support interdisciplinary research projects on intellectual humility and its role in promoting meaningful public discourse. The deadline for letters of intent is May 1st 2016

Topical areas of focus include both the barriers that prevent people from engaging in constructive, reason-based dialogue, conducted with intellectual humility, regarding culturally divisive issues, as well as scalable models or other interventions that may be effective or ineffective in promoting this sort of talk. 

In addition, applications are being accepted for both residential and non-residential fellowships for work relevant to the project’s aims. The deadline for residential fellowship applications is April 15th 2016; non-residential fellowship applications will be considered on a rolling basis. 

Full details can be found at:

Review of new book in Comparative Ethics

I was intrigued by Brandon Warmke’s recent review in NDPR of Judith Andre’s book Worldly Virtue: Moral Ideals and Contemporary Life. Apparently Andre makes considerable (and self-aware) use of Buddhist ideas as she argues that “the realities of our contemporary world require us both to re-interpret traditional virtues and to recognize new ones altogether.” Take a look!

Review of new book on virtue with Chinese perspectives

Erica Lucast Stonestreet’s review at NDPR of Nancy E. Snow (ed.), Cultivating Virtue: Perspectives from Philosophy, Theology, and Psychology (Oxford University Press, 2015) highlights Ted Slingerland’s contribution to the volume, nicely bringing Chinese philosophy into this broader conversation.

New Book: Ethics in Public Life in Asia

Kenneth Winston of Harvard’s Kennedy School writes:

I am pleased to announce the publication of my book “Ethics in Public Life:  Good Practitioners in a Rising Asia” from Palgrave Macmillan.  The book is a set of five case studies of practitioners in different Asian countries making life-defining decisions in their work.  They include a doctor in Singapore, a political activist in India, a mid-level bureaucrat in central Asia, a religious missionary in China, and a journalist in Cambodia—each struggling with ethical challenges that shed light on what it takes to act effectively and well in public life.

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Two More Book Reviews

Xiaomei Yang’s review of Stephen C. Angle (Ph.D, 1994) and Michael Slote, eds., Virtue Ethics and Confucianism has appeared in the most recent issue of Ethics, Vol. 125,# 1, 2014.

Joseph’s Chan’s feature review of my book Contemporary Confucian Political Philosophy: Toward Progressive Confucianism has just appeared in Philosophy East and West, Vol. 64,#3,2014, as well as two follow-ups:

  • Joseph Chan. “’Self-Restriction’ and the Confucian Case for Democracy.”
  • Stephen C. Angle. “Sages and Self-Restriction: A Response to Joseph Chan.”
  • Joseph Chan. “Reply to Stephen C. Angle.”

Taiwanese Journal Discussion of Sagehood

The latest issue of the Research Newslatter of the Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy at the Academia Sinica has a special section on my 2009 book Sagehood. The issue (and all articles), including my reply to the various perspectives offered, is available here. I will also paste the Table of Contents below. My thanks to Fabien Heubel and Kai Marchal for organizing and editing this issue!

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2nd Rutgers Workshop on Chinese Philosophy

I am very happy to announce the 2nd Rutgers Workshop on Chinese Philosophy, which will be held on Friday, April 11, on the topic “Xunzi on Authority.” Four scholars of Chinese philosophy will present papers, each followed by a critical commentary from a member of the Rutgers University Philosophy Department. Attendance (including lunch) is free but requires an advance RSVP so that we know how much food to get. Please read on for details!

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