Author Archives: Michael Ing

CFP: 10th Annual Midwest Conference on Chinese Thought (EXTENDED to Jan. 31)

Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
April 25-27, 2014

Keynote Address to be given by
Professor Kai-Wing Chow, Professor of History and East Asian Languages and Cultures
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
“Ethics and Society: The Revival of Confucianism in Contemporary China”

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CFP: Contemporary East Asia and the Confucian Revival



organized by the Department of Asian and African Studies, Faculty of Arts, Ljubljana University in collaboration with the Scientific Research Center of the Slovene Academy for Science and Art (ZRC SAZU)

Date: October 3th – 5th 2014
Venue: Ljubljana, Scientific Research Center of the Slovene Academy for Science and Art (ZRC SAZU), Novi trg 2

CALL FOR PAPERS Continue reading →

Roger Ames Awarded 2013 Confucius Culture Prize

“UH Mānoa Philosophy Professor Roger T. Ames has been presented with a 2013 Confucius Culture Prize at the Sixth Annual World Confucian Conference in Shandong, China.  The prizes are sponsored by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Ministry of Culture and the provincial government of Shandong Province—the home province of the sage Confucius.”

The full press release can be found here:

Graduate Programs at Indiana University

With graduate school applications due in the next few months, I’d like to put a plug in for our MA and PhD programs here at Indiana University. In particular we are looking for students interested in early Confucian thought (roughly the 6th century BCE through the 3rd century CE). Continue reading →

Is it Possible to be Too Yi 義?

Passage 3B10 in the Mengzi stood out during my last read through the text. In 3B10 Mengzi tells the story of Chen Zhongzi, who in seeking purity (lian 廉) refused to eat his mother’s food or live in his brother’s house (believing that his brother had not rightly [buyi 不義] attained his salary and home). Mengzi’s critique of Chen Zhongzi is that “only an earthworm could fill out [the values] he holds to” 蚓而後充其操, which I take to mean that living in the human world (i.e., a world of complex relationships) entails living a life where one cannot live to such a degree of purity and at the same time realize other (often more important) values. Mengzi seems to have similar sentiments about figures such as Bo Yi in passage 5B1. While he praises Bo Yi (and Chen Zhongzi in 3B10), being too lian 廉 or qing 清 is problematic for Mengzi. Continue reading →

CFP–Constructing and Interpreting the Daotong

Call for papers
Constructing and Interpreting the Daotong (Transmission of the Way) in the Perspective of Chinese and Korean Neo-Confucianism

International conference organised by:
–         The Centre of Chinese Studies (CEC, ASIEs, Inalco),
–         The Centre of Korean Studies (CECO, ASIEs, Inalco)
–         The Institute of Confucian Philosophy and Culture (Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul)
The organising committee is pleased to invite colleagues and Ph.D students interested in Neo-Confucianism to submit abstracts for this international conference regarding the construction and (re-)interpretations of the Daotong. Its objective is to re-examine the process through which Neo-Confucian discourse was legitimated by promoting the notion of Transmission of the Way, both in Chinese and Korean contexts.

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The Shortcomings of the Sages

I’d like to use this as an opportunity to think about depictions of sages in early Confucian texts (Mengzi in particular). I’ve thought, for better or worse, that the authors of these texts used the figures of the sages as representations of fully cultivated people. Yet I’ve noticed that these sages are sometimes described as falling short of perfection, and this gives rise to a question–in what ways can one be deficient, and yet still be considered a sage? Continue reading →