Category Archives: Chinese philosophy – 中國哲學 – 中国哲学

New Book: Origins of Moral-Political Philosophy in Early China: Contestation of Humaneness, Justice, and Personal Freedom

My new book, Origins of Moral-Political Philosophy in Early China: Contestation of Humaneness, Justice, and Personal Freedom, has just been published by Oxford University Press (OUP 2021). It is available in both paperback and hardcover. Use the code AAFLYG6 to get a 30% discount off on the publisher’s website (OUP website). A detailed Table of Contents (including a tentative Chinese translation of ToC) can be found here.

From the publisher’s website:

This book rewrites the story of classical Chinese philosophy, which has always been considered the single most creative and vibrant chapter in the history of Chinese philosophy. Works attributed to Confucius, Mozi, Mencius, Laozi, Zhuangzi, Xunzi, Han Feizi and many others represent the very origins of moral and political thinking in China. As testimony to their enduring stature, in recent decades many Chinese intellectuals, and even leading politicians, have turned to those classics, especially Confucian texts, for alternative or complementary sources of moral authority and political legitimacy. Therefore, philosophical inquiries into core normative values embedded in those classical texts are crucial to the ongoing scholarly discussion about China as China turns more culturally inward. It can also contribute to the spirited contemporary debate about the nature of philosophical reasoning, especially in the non-Western traditions.

This book offers a new narrative and interpretative framework about the origins of moral-political philosophy that tracks how the three normative values, humaneness, justice, and personal freedom, were formulated, reformulated, and contested by early Chinese philosophers in their effort to negotiate the relationship among three distinct domains, the personal, the familial, and the political. Such efforts took place as those thinkers were reimagining a new moral-political order, debating its guiding norms, and exploring possible sources within the context of an evolving understanding of Heaven and its relationship with the humans. Tao Jiang argues that the competing visions in that debate can be characterized as a contestation between partialist humaneness and impartialist justice as the guiding norm for the newly imagined moral-political order, with the Confucians, the Mohists, the Laoists, and the so-called fajia thinkers being the major participants, constituting the mainstream philosophical project during this period. Thinkers lined up differently along the justice-humaneness spectrum with earlier ones maintaining some continuity between the two normative values (or at least trying to accommodate both to some extent) while later ones leaning more toward their exclusivity in the political/public domain. Zhuangzi and the Zhuangists were the outliers of the mainstream moral-political debate who rejected the very parameter of humaneness versus justice in that discourse. They were a lone voice advocating personal freedom, but the Zhuangist expressions of freedom were self-restricted to the margins of the political world and the interiority of one’s heartmind. Such a take can shed new light on how the Zhuangist approach to personal freedom would profoundly impact the development of this idea in pre-modern Chinese political and intellectual history.

Book cover

CFP: On-line Conference of the International Society of East Asian Philosophy

International Society of East Asian Philosophy (ISEAP) On-line Conference
December 10-11 (Japan time)
Keynote Speakers:
Professor Philip J. IVANHOE (Georgetown University)
Professor Michiko YUSA (Professor Emerita, Western Washington University)Abstracts for individual papers and organized panels should be submitted to eastasianphilosophy@gmail.com by Oct 15, 2021 (Japan Time).

For more details, please see the attached flyer and kindly disseminate to those who may be interested.

CFP: EACS Young Scholar Award 2022

The Board of the European Association for Chinese Studies is pleased to announce the EACS Young Scholar Award (YSA). The purpose of this award is to encourage research in Chinese studies among young scholars, especially, but not exclusively, scholars studying and working at European institutions.
(See eligibility and submission info below)

Continue reading →

CFP: EACP online conference on Chinese Philosophy

The European Association for Chinese Philosophy (EACP) is hosting its first online conference on December 3rd 2021, in the theme of “Chinese Philosophy: Paths Between Convergence and Divergence” (more info here; deadline for submission October 31st).

We are particularly excited for the opportunity afforded by the online medium to get to know scholars of Chinese philosophy who cannot normally travel to Europe for our conferences. We strongly encourage the participation of junior scholars, women, scholars of color, and other groups who aren’t well represented in the fields of Chinese philosophy and Sinology.

I hope we’ll get to see many new faces and that many will get advantage of this opportunity to get to know our association.

You can write Mercedes Valmisa (mvalmisa@gettysburg.edu) and Selusi Ambrogio (selusi.ambrogio@unimc.it) with any questions or suggestions!

Mercedes Valmisa
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Gettysburg College
Secretary/Treasurer ACPA
Board EACP
mvalmisa@gettysburg.edu

 

 

 

CFP: Journal of Chinese Studies (no.73)

The latest issue of the Journal of Chinese Studies (no.73) has just been published by the Institute of Chinese Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Included in this issue are four articles and fourteen book reviews and spans 285 pages. Digital copies of articles and book reviews are available for download at Journal of Chinese Studies (cuhk.edu.hk).
See also the Journal’s official flyer here