A Talk by Justin Tiwald at the Columbia Society for Comparative Philosophy

The Columbia Society for Comparative Philosophy Welcomes: Justin Tiwald (San Francisco State University)

With responses from: Katja Vogt (Columbia University).

Please join on September 20, 2019, at 5:30 for his lecture entitled,

Autonomy, Deference, and “Getting it Oneself” (zì dé 自得)

ABSTRACT: This paper is on the topic of deliberative autonomy in (primarily) post-classical Chinese moral epistemology. By “deliberative autonomy,” I mean the epistemic state or achievement in which one’s ethical views or beliefs are those that seem right to oneself and are based on reasons or considerations that one understands for oneself. This is to be contrasted withholding a view or belief based primarily on the authority or expertise of others, without seeing for oneself that the view is correct or why it is correct. The Chinese philosophical tradition is rich in discussion of the nature, value, and function of deliberative autonomy, having much to say both in its defense and against it. I will focus my discussion by looking more closely at what Neo-Confucians have said about a particular term of art, zide 自得 (“getting it oneself”). I translate and discuss some passages on “getting it oneself” in the works and recorded lessons of influential Song, Ming, and Qing Confucians, note different types of deliberative autonomy implied by these passages, and discuss Wm. Theodore de Bary’s famous explication of “getting it oneself.” I consider whether the premium these Confucians placed on zide has the implications for liberal education that de Bary proposes and describe how proponents of zide could respond to formidable and important Xunzian arguments for deference to traditions and expertise.

Date: September 20, 2019 TIME: 5:30-7:30 pm

Place: Rm. 101, 80 Claremont Ave, Columbia University

Please visit our website: http://universityseminars.columbia.edu/seminars/comparative-philosophy/

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