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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Columbia Neo-C Seminar: Wong on Wang Yangming

The next session of the Columbia Neo-Confucianism seminar will convene on Friday 2/2 from 3:30-5:30 pm in the Heyman Center on Columbia’s campus. The guest speaker will be Professor Baldwin Wong of Hong Kong Baptist University. Professor Wong will present his draft “To Confucianism, are Perfectionist Policies a Help or a Trap? Lessons from Wang Yangming’s Moral Psychology”. The draft will be circulated a week before the talk. To be on the list, please RSVP to Weiling Kong at wk2363@columbia.edu before 1/31.

New series of bilingual editions of source texts in Chinese philosophy (Chinese & German)

Meiner, a renowned philosophy publisher from Hamburg, has established a new series of bilingual editions of source texts in Chinese philosophy in both Chinese and German. For the series see: https://meiner.de/monographien-reihen/sino-philosophica.html

The first volume of the series is a translation by Iso Kern of a selection of the correspondence between Wang Yangming, Ouyang De and Luo Qinshun on the basis of ethical action. For this new publication see:

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Israel, “The Trouble with Wang Yangming”

George Israel published a lovely on-line essay titled “The Trouble with Wang Yangming” a little over a year ago, but it remains highly relevant. If you are interested in all the enthusiasm about Wang in the contemporary PRC, or about Wang more generally, this is essential reading.

Announcement of 2022 Dao Annual Best Essay Award

Announcement of 2022 Dao Annual Best Essay Award

Dao established “The Annual Best Essay Award” in 2007. In addition to a certificate of achievement, the award comes along with a prize of US$1,000. The award winners will be noted in the website of the journal as well as the website of Springer, the publisher of the journal. The award ceremony is held each year at the American Philosophical Association Annual Meeting (Eastern Division) in early January, where a special panel on the theme of the award-winning essay is held. The critical comments and the author’s responses to them presented at the panel, after review and revision, will be published in the last issue of Dao each year.

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Ivanhoe and Lederman on Wang Yangming

In the most recent issue of the Journal of Confucian Philosophy and Culture, P. J. Ivanhoe published an essay engaging with Harvey Lederman’s account of Wang Yangming titled “The Introspective, Perceptual, and Spontaneous Response Models of Wang Yangming’s Philosophy.” Lederman has published a reply, currently uploaded to PhilPapers here. Enjoy!

PS–the Journal of Confucian Philosophy and Culture website was down for a week or more, apparently because Sungkyunkwan University (the host of JCPC) decided to block overseas access to protect itself from a spate of attacks from Chinese hackers … but the site is back up now and hopefully will remain so!

Studying Wang Yangming

Posting on behalf of Larry Israel:

Dear Warp Weft and Way readers – I am just writing to let you know that I have self-published a book titled “Studying Wang Yangming: History of a Sinological Field.” This is a survey of the Western-language literature (17th c.-2019 or so) on Wang Yangming and his first-general followers written in historical and to some extent biographical context. I know that many will disapprove of self-publication and look down on it, but I did so because this book is about to be published in Chinese by a press in Beijing, and also because it will need to be updated every few years (hard to do if I give it to a publisher). Also, given how limited the audience will be, I felt that signing it over would result in this reference book becoming even less accessible globally. In sum, I had a contract with an okay press but didn’t feel right about giving it away. Much content is based on peer-reviewed articles and the rest went through several hands. Thanks for your forbearance! If you would like a free e-version just email me, I’m happy to send it. larry.israel@mga.edu



Larry Israel

Wang Yangming Conference

On March 18-20, 2022, there will be a conference at Princeton on “Wang Yangming and Ming Thought,” organized by Harvey Lederman, PJ Ivanhoe, and Xueyin Snow Zhang. Details can be found at this website:


Note that this will be in-person at Princeton, not on Zoom. Graduate students or early career researchers concerned about the expense of attending the conference might want to reach out to Harvey Lederman (hlederma@princeton.edu) for more information on possible available resources.

MARCH 12, 2021: A Passage from Wang Yangming’s “Questions on the Great Learning


PresentsA Passage from Wang Yangming’s “Questions on the Great Learning”

Presenter: Harvey Lederman (Princeton University)
Discussants: Stephen Angle (Wesleyan University), Warren Frisina (Hofstra University), Xiaomei Yang (Southern Connecticut State University)

ABSTRACT: This session will follow the organization of those we had on Zhuangzi and Śāntideva from Fall 2020. A lead presenter will give some background on the text from which the passage below is derived–namely, Wang Yangming’s “Questions on the Great Learning” (大學問)–and introduce Wang’s notion of liangzhi (良知). The presentation will then discuss Wang’s understanding of “the extension of knowledge” (致知) and “making inclinations wholehearted” (誠意) from the Great Learning (大學) before giving a focused reading of the passage itself. According to this reading, a person has extended their knowledge if and only if they have made their inclinations wholehearted. Each of the discussants will then follow with some brief comments and questions before we open things up for Q&A.

DATE: March 12, 2021
TIME: 7:00-8:30 pm

Here is the passage:

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New Book: Chung on Wang Yangming in Korea

Rowman & Littlefield has published Edward Chung, The Great Synthesis of Wang Yangming Neo-Confucianism in Korea. The author adds that for those colleagues who would like to purchase it at the author’s discount (30%), its special promotion code is LEX30AUTH20. The table of contents follows.

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