Author Archives: Michael Ing

AAR Panel Invitation

As the co-chair of the Confucian Traditions Group in the American Academy of Religion, I wanted to bring to your attention the invitation below to form a panel for the annual conference, which will be held in Denver from 19 November through 22 November. Christopher Yang, a graduate student at Brown University, is the organizer. He can be contacted at christopher_yang@brown.edu for further information. Proposals for the conference are due March 1.

On “Religion” Versus “Philosophy” in the Study of Chinese Texts and Traditions
Ever since Jesuit missionaries cast Confucius as “sinarum philosophus” and Enlightenment thinkers seized on the notion of a people who had arrived at an ethics without recourse to theism, “religion” and “philosophy” have often operated as conjoined yet opposite terms in the analysis of Chinese texts and traditions. Take, for just one example, the longevity of the distinction between philosophical and religious Daoism and the ways in which it has influenced the way we talk about the early Zhuangzi 莊子versus the later Zhen’gao 真告. This panel solicits papers that reflect on the histories and consequences of this distinction in and for research about Chinese materials. How has it governed the reception and organization of our shared objects of study, whether at the local bookstore or the academic conference? What does it mean—and it clearly means different things to different people—to engage our materials qua philosophy, over against religion, and vice versa? What are the historical sources of this distinction and the shapes it has assumed in its application to the Chinese data, and are we helped or hamstrung by it? What, if any, are the alternatives?

CFP: 15th Annual Midwest Conference on Chinese Thought

15th Annual Midwest Conference on Chinese Thought
North Central College (Naperville, IL)
April 26-27, 2019

The Midwest Conference on Chinese Thought (MCCT) is an annual conference dedicated to exploring past and present aspects of Chinese thought. It is an interdisciplinary gathering of scholars and students coming from disciplines or fields such as philosophy, religious studies, history, philology, and other disciplines or fields in the humanities and social sciences. While the conference is hosted each year by an institution in the Midwest United States, we welcome the participation of scholars and students from around the world.

This year’s conference will be held on Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27, 2019 at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. Our keynote speaker will be Peimin Ni, Professor of Philosophy at Grand Valley State University and author of Confucius: The Man and the Way of Gongfu and Understanding the Analects of Confucius. Dr. Ni’s keynote address is titled “Theories of the Heart-Mind and Globalization of Confucianism Today: Reflections after Sixty Years of the Publication of the ‘Manifesto on the Reappraisal of Chinese Culture.’”

Submissions are invited for papers on any aspect of Chinese thought, including those dealing with comparative issues that engage Chinese perspectives. As with previous conferences, we anticipate selecting 15-18 papers for presentation. For consideration, submit a 1-page abstract to Brian Hoffert at bhoffert@noctrl.edu by January 31, 2019 for blind review. More information to follow on the conference website at http://www.indiana.edu/~mcct/home.php.

New Book: The Vulnerability of Integrity in Early Confucian Thought

Pardon the self promotion. My book was published earlier this month by Oxford University Press.

Here’s the synopsis:

The Vulnerability of Integrity in Early Confucian Thought is about the necessity and value of vulnerability in human experience. In this book, Michael Ing brings early Chinese texts into dialogue with questions about the ways in which meaningful things are vulnerable to powers beyond our control, and more specifically how relationships with meaningful others might compel tragic actions.

Vulnerability is often understood as an undesirable state; invulnerability is usually preferred. While recognizing the need to reduce vulnerability in some situations, The Vulnerability of Integrity demonstrates that vulnerability is pervasive in human experience, and enables values such as morality, trust, and maturity. Vulnerability is also the source of the need for care for oneself and for others. The possibility of tragic loss fosters compassion for others as we strive to care for each other.

This book demonstrates the plurality of Confucian thought on this topic. The first two chapters describe traditional and contemporary arguments for the invulnerability of integrity in early Confucian thought. The remainder of the book focuses on neglected voices in the tradition, which argue that our concern for others can and should lead to us compromise our own integrity. In such cases, we are compelled to do something transgressive for the sake of others, and our integrity is jeopardized in the transgressive act.

More information can be found here.

12th Annual Midwest Conference on Chinese Thought CFP (Extended)

12th Annual Midwest Conference on Chinese Thought
The University of Chicago
March 11-12, 2016

The Midwest Conference on Chinese Thought was created to foster dialogue and interaction between scholars and students working on Chinese thought across different disciplines and through a variety of approaches. Submissions are invited for papers on any aspect of Chinese thought, as well as papers dealing with comparative issues that engage Chinese perspectives.

This year’s conference will be held on Friday, March 11 and Saturday, March 12 at the University of Chicago. Our keynote speaker will be Chad Hansen, Chair Professor of Chinese Philosophy Emeritus at the University of Hong Kong.

Professor Hansen will discuss classical Chinese ethical naturalism, which elaborates dao (ways, paths) as its focal normative metaphor. Extending his career-long argument that Daoist texts ground normativity in emergent natural contexts, he will present a broadly Zhuangist response to the is-ought problem and moral anti-realism. Modern science does not dispel the mystery of natural ways, but only demarcates more clearly their boundaries. Natural ways include normatively-laden social practices, and seeing those practices as part of nature does not rule out our finding, choosing, constructing and following them correctly. Such a stance does render normative relativism likely and skepticism a constant threat, but this fact need neither paralyze us nor undermine our free and easy pursuit of dao in a rich and complex natural context.

Please submit a 1-page abstract to Stephen Walker at scwalker@uchicago.edu by January 15, 2016 for blind review. For more information, visit the conference website here.

12th Annual Midwest Conference on Chinese Thought (CFP)

12th Annual Midwest Conference on Chinese Thought
The University of Chicago
March 11-12, 2016

The Midwest Conference on Chinese Thought was created to foster dialogue and interaction between scholars and students working on Chinese thought across different disciplines and through a variety of approaches. Submissions are invited for papers on any aspect of Chinese thought, as well as papers dealing with comparative issues that engage Chinese perspectives.

This year’s conference will be held on Friday, March 11 and Saturday, March 12 at the University of Chicago. Our keynote speaker will be Chad Hansen, Chair Professor of Chinese Philosophy Emeritus at the University of Hong Kong.

Professor Hansen will discuss classical Chinese ethical naturalism, which elaborates dao (ways, paths) as its focal normative metaphor. Extending his career-long argument that Daoist texts ground normativity in emergent natural contexts, he will present a broadly Zhuangist response to the is-ought problem and moral anti-realism. Modern science does not dispel the mystery of natural ways, but only demarcates more clearly their boundaries. Natural ways include normatively-laden social practices, and seeing those practices as part of nature does not rule out our finding, choosing, constructing and following them correctly. Such a stance does render normative relativism likely and skepticism a constant threat, but this fact need neither paralyze us nor undermine our free and easy pursuit of dao in a rich and complex natural context.

Please submit a 1-page abstract to Stephen Walker at scwalker@uchicago.edu by January 15, 2016 for blind review. For more information, visit the conference website here.

Workshop on Chinese Thought (November 6 at Indiana university)

The Department of Religious Studies and the East Asian Studies Center at Indiana University are sponsoring a workshop on Chinese thought next Friday, November 6, 2-5pm in Sycamore Hall 224.

 

Presentations:

Aaron Stalnaker, Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies, Indiana University

“Mastery as the Fruit of Shared Practices”

 

Lionel M. Jensen, Associate Professor, Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures, University of Notre Dame

“Spirits, Flesh, and Philosophy: The Place of Zhu Xi”

 

Macabe Keliher, Jerome Hall Postdoctoral Fellow, Indiana University Maurer School of Law

“The Meanings of Li and Ritual Theory”

 

More information can be found here.