It might interest some readers of this blog that the “International Center for Chinese Philosophy” (affiliated with the Philosophy Department at Soochow University, Taipei) has a new website.
The International Center for Chinese Philosophy aims at both fostering philosophical discourse on Chinese thought and disseminating Western Sinology in the Sinophone world. And this is certainly an important task (disclosure: I am one of the two directors of the Center). According to quite a few observers, the Sinophone world sometimes is still rather self-centered, and in particular scholars/intellectuals in the Chinese-speaking world who engage with pre-modern Chinese thought tend to hold rather Sinocentric views about their past and the world in general. And it is certainly no exaggeration to say that Western scholarship on Chinese culture/thought/philosophy is often still not taken very seriously by many Chinese/Sinophone readers. It is one of our goals to change this situation and to foster the dialogue between Western scholars writing about Chinese philosophy and Taiwanese/Sinophone scholars. At the same time, we think that philosophical discourse can flourish only if a society encourages free and open discussion; we also believe that philosophical traditions need open and fair criticism – so it might not necessarily be very helpful to identify Chinese philosophy with a particular culture/civilization/place. Or, as we put in our introduction to the Center: “Taipei is situated between China and the world. In fact, there is an urgent need to reflect on the ongoing internationalization of Chinese philosophy and the possible dialogue thereof with Western modes of thought.”
Scrolling through our website, you’ll notice that we also have established a lectures series on issues relating to Chinese philosophy (in the future, we plan to put these lectures online). Next wednesday (December 26), Prof. Hans-Georg Moeller (Philosophy Department, University College Cork) will speak about “‘Rambling without Destination’: On the Notion of you 遊 in Daoist Philosophy”. So if you happen to be around, feel free to join us!
Will these be recorded or aired anywhere?
Yes, we plan to begin putting them online soon. Just check our website in the weeks ahead.
Kai, as you might expect, I find the mission of your Center to be of great importance; I think you put it very well! Perhaps it would be worth some brainstorming about possible ways in which Warp, Weft, and Way can formally or informally assist in promoting that mission? Thoughts, from Kai or anyone?
Hi Joshua. Yes, they will be put online soon. Just check our website in the weeks ahead.
Steve, thanks for your encouraging words. Probably the best way of promoting this mission is to write good books, organize substantial conferences, try to deepen existing contacts within the Chinese/Western world. What can a blog like this one contribute? Maybe we should think about engaging more students and younger people who are not in the profession yet?! Could be important…
If I remember correctly, Manyul first started this blog as a place where his undergraduates students could discuss Chinese philosophy with each other, with him, and with whoever else happened along. I wonder if it would make sense to set aside a room in the blog for discussions in English between partnered classes, one class in China and one class in an English-speaking country – perhaps with nobody else allowed to participate. The discussions could be on topics set by the teachers or on ideas proposed by individual students.
Hi Bill. Partnered classes might be a good idea, indeed. I could imagine organizing something like this.
Plea can anybody help me with email address of some international journal? Please you can send them to my mail box firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks and God bless.