Author Archives: Yong Huang

Second Call for Papers: International Conference on the Philosophy of Criminal Punishment

Second Call for Papers
International Conference on the Philosophy of Criminal Punishment
June 18-20, 2013
Department of Philosophy, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

Keynote speakers:

Erin Kelly, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy, Tufts University; author of “Criminal Justice without Retribution,” The Journal of Philosophy (2009).

T. M. Scanlon, Alford Professor of Natural Religion, Moral Philosophy, and Civil Polity, Harvard University; author of What We Owe to Each Other, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1998.

Tommie Shelby, Professor of African and African American Studies and of Philosophy, Harvard University; author of “Justice, Deviance, and the Dark Ghetto,” Philosophy and Public Affairs (2007).

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Slingerland Wins Dao 2011 Annual Best Essay Award

Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy has an annual best essay award. The award comes with a check of $1,000 and a certificate; the award winning essay will be set for free access; and a special panel will be arranged at APA Eastern Annual Meeting, whether the the check and the certificate will be awarded, together with a critical discussion of the award-winning essay.

At the beginning of each year, a selection committee of three editorial board members of the journal is formed to select three best essays published in the journal in the past year. These three essays are then sent to the whole editorial board for evaluation. The final selection of the best essay is made by a vote of the whole editorial board.

We have just finished this process of selecting the best essay published in our journal in 2011, and Edward Slingerland’s essay, “Metaphor and Meaning in Early China,” published in Dao (2011) 10:1–30, wins the award. The article is for free access at:

Here is the official citation:

This is a ground-breaking essay. Slingerland debunks a fairly common assumption that Chinese way of thinking is metaphoric, while the Western way of thinking is logical, an assumption shared by both earlier Orientalists, who claimed the superiority of the Occidental, and more recent “reverse Orientialists,” who claim the superiority of the Oriental. In contrast, using his expertise in contemporary cognitive sciences, Slingerland argues convincingly that metaphor is a universal and fundamental feature of human cognition. What makes the Chinese way of thinking unique is thus not that it is metaphoric but that early Chinese thinkers were more self-aware of the metaphoric nature of language, while modern Western thinkers are more self-deluded about what they are doing. The essay as a whole is thus original in its interdisciplinary, comparative, and philosophical natures. It is the type of work that Dao aims to promote.

Is "Besire" Really Bizarre?

A few weeks ago, I posted “Is There Something More than Knowing-How and Knowing-that?,” where I promised a follow-up, and here it is.

In the previous post, I argue that Confucian moral knowledge has something more than knowing-how and knowing-that, and the extra thing is its ability to incline the knower to act according to the knowledge. From the Humean point of view, Confucians must be either confused or confusing (or both) in holding such a view of moral knowledge, since this inclination or motivation is not knowledge and does not belong to knowledge, whether it is knowledge-that or knowledge-how, but something other than knowledge: desire. According to Humeans, in order for an action to take place, both belief and desires are needed: belief tells one what to do, and desire motivates one to do it. Without desire, one’s belief will not incline a person to act; without belief, one’s desire will not tell one what action to take and how to take the action.

Although there are some contemporary philosophers of action who are not Humeans and even are claimed (either by themselves or by others) to be anti-Humeans, most of them still agree that belief and desire are separate mental states. They are anti-Humeans only in the sense that they try to provide different explanations of action than the Humean one. On the one hand, we have those anti-Humeans who, as cognitivists or rationalists, claim that knowledge or belief alone can motivate a person to act and there is no need for desire in our explanation of action (Scanlon). On the other hand, we have those anti-Humeans who, as noncognitivists or emotivists, claim that all that is involved in our action is desire or emotion (Ayer). Continue reading →

Call for paper: Special issue on Sino-Japanese philosophy (Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy)

As is well known, the term “philosophy” was translated with two ideographs 哲学 (Jap: tetsugaku) by Nishi Amane in 1874 and has been widely used not only in Japan but also in Chinese-speaking regions (Chi: zhexue). Since then, philosophy has extensively been flourishing in these two countries, including, though definitely not limited to, the two profound philosophical “schools”, namely, the Kyoto School and New Confucianism. These sophisticated philosophical movements in Japan and China, however, somewhat have not undergone an extensive and in-depth dialogue till recent years. This special issue, therefore, is intended to fill this gap up by demonstrating how “philosophy” is received, confronted and made in the context of Sino-Japanese philosophical interchange. Rigorous academic papers on all time periods and all areas of Sino-Japanese philosophy, classical to contemporary, from a variety of perspectives are welcomed.

All papers will be undergone a peer-reviewed process, which takes approximately two months. If we have more papers accepted than can be put into a single special issue, they can be published in the regular issues of the journal.

We very much look forward to hearing your favorable reply. The submission deadline of full paper is June 30, 2012. For details of the journal, please kindly refer to

Guest editors of the special issue
LAM Wing-keung (Hong Kong Institute of Education;
CHEUNG Ching-yuen (Chinese University of Hong Kong;

Is There Something More Than Knowing-how and Knowing-that?

As this is my first blog, please forgive me if it is not consistent with the standard style of common blogs. What is posted below is potentially the first of two installments (i.e., if the second one will ever come through).

Gilbert Ryle has made the famous distinction between knowing-that and knowing-how. Knowing that is the knowledge that something is the case, and knowing how is the knowledge about how to do something. With this distinction in mind, it has been common among students of Chinese philosophy in general and Confucianism in particular to think that Confucians advocate knowing-how in contrast to knowing-that.

Given the fact that Confucians are primarily concerned with moral knowledge and they have undoubtedly put great emphasis on moral self-cultivation, it is clear that knowledge in Confucianism is not merely propositional and theoretical knowing-that. Indeed, if knowing-that and knowing-how have exhausted all possible types of knowledge, then I would certainly also agree that moral knowledge in Confucianism is knowing-how rather than knowing-that or at least is more knowing-how than knowing-that. However, what I would like to challenge is precisely the assumption that knowing-how and knowing-that have exhausted all types of knowledge, and consequently I would also like to challenge the characterization of Confucian moral knowledge as knowing-how. In contrast, I would like to claim that it is other (or more) than knowing-how and knowing-that. I shall use Wang Yangming as an example.  Continue reading →

Call For Papers


Keynote Speaker: Chung-Ying Cheng, PhD
Professor of Philosophy
Department of Philosophy
University of Hawaii


The University of Texas at San Antonio announces a call for papers in any area of philosophy. Submissions are not to exceed 12 pages (20 minutes reading time). Papers of comparative studies of Eastern and western philosophies are particularly welcome. All manuscripts must be submitted as e-mail attachments to or in two hardcopies to:

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Call for Ideas on Confucian Business Ethics

We are exploring about the feasibility of a large project on Confucian Applied Ethics, which includes a section of Confucian Business Ethics. What we would like to have is the Confucian perspective on some standard issues of business ethics, such as justification (or the lack thereof) market economy, justice of economic (re)distribution, corporate agency, employee rights, consumer rights, whistle-blowing, advertisement, business and environment, international business…. However, we are not experts in business ethics (to say nothing of Confucian business ethics), and while our knowledge of the field is limited, we have found that very little is done in Confucian Business Ethics. So we would like to send this public call for ideas before we decide whether to pursue this project. We will greatly appreciate it if those of you who have done work in this area either in your teaching or research let us know whether you think this is a feasible project, and if so, what kind of contribution you (or persons you know of) can and are willing to make (for example on which particular topic you think you are able and willing to write an original essay).

Please direct your response to:
Ruiping Fan, City University of Hong Kong at:


Yong Huang, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania at:

Call for Papers: Bhagavad Gita and Chinese Philosophy

As a forum for comparative studies between Chinese philosophy and other philosophical traditions in the world, Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy is soliciting contributions that make creative and fruitful use of the vast conceptual resources in the Chinese philosophical traditions to approach central issues and ideas in the Bhagavad Gita for a special issue, with the theme “Bhagavad Gita and Chinese Philosophy,” guest edited by Professor Tao Jiang. The Bhagavad Gita, or simply the Gita, is the best-known Indian religious scripture, and one of the most translated texts in the world along with the Bible and the Dao De Jing (Tao Te Ching). Due to its prominence and influence within India and beyond, the Gita has been the subject of constant scholarly studies in the West, quite often in the context of fruitful comparisons with Western religious and philosophical texts. However, there has been little, if any, effort in the scholarly community to engage the Gita from perspectives arising out of Chinese philosophical texts. In order to facilitate philosophical engagement between Chinese and Indian traditions, we are soliciting papers that draw meaningful and fruitful connections between the ideas presented in the Gita and those in Chinese philosophical texts. The submissions need to be explicitly comparative involving the Gita and some Chinese text/thinker. Please send an electronic copy of your paper by January 31, 2012 to the editor-in-chief, Yong Huang ( If you have any question, please feel free to contact either Yong Huang or the guest editor of the issue, Tao Jiang (

Dao Annual Best Essay Award

The deliberation of Dao Annual Best Essay Award 2010 has comes to a conclusion. The process was divided into two stages. At the first stage, we formed a selection/nomination committee consisting of three editorial board members, who went through all main articles published in the four issues of Dao in 2010 and selected the following three articles as the finalists:

KIM Myeong-seok, “What Ceyin zhi xin (Compassion/Familial Affection) Really Is”
Tan Sor-hoon, “Authoritative Master Kong (Confucius) in an Authoritarian Age”
James Behuniak, “John Dewey and the Virtue of Cook Ding’s Dao.”

Congratulations to Drs. Kim, Tan, and Behuniak!

At the second stage, these three articles were presented to the whole editorial board, and each editorial board member was asked to provide a ranking of these three articles. As a result, Dr. Kim Myeong-seok’s paper receives the highest ranking. So the award goes to Dr. Kim, who is currently an assistant professor of philosophy at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul.

Congratulations, Dr. Kim!

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Free Download of Springer E-Books/Journals at Boston APA

Springer, the publisher of Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy and Dao Companions to Chinese Philosophy will start to shift to electronic display at Boston APA. Instead of shelves of books, there will be a line of computers. All Springer e-books, including the first volume of our Dao Companion volume, and e-journals, including Dao, are free to download at the site. So if you are going to go to Boston APA and are interested in any publications by Springer, be sure to bring your flash drive with you.