Category Archives: Comparative philosophy

Bin Song Lecture on Transcendence Debate

Bin Song 宋斌 will be giving a lecture (in Chinese) this Friday:

題目: 儒耶對話中“超越性”爭論之癥結與方案
Title: The Transcendence Debate in the History of Christian-Ru (Confucian) Interaction

Time:October 30th, Friday, 7-9 am, Est (U.S), 7-9 pm (China).
Place: Tencent Meeting (Zoom for back-up), details in the poster.

Confucianism as Virtue Ethics in the Sinophone World

Almost 15 years ago when I spent a year in Beijing, much of it spent writing Sagehood, there was relatively little engagement with the idea that Confucian ethics might be helpfully understood through the lens of “virtue ethics.” Quite a lot has changed since then in the Chinese-speaking philosophical world. (OK, that’s an understatement; I’m confining myself to the question of virtue ethics for today.) Consider these 2020 articles:

  • Tang Wenming 唐文明, “美德伦理学、儒家传统与现代社会的普遍困境——以陈来《儒学美德论》为中心的讨论 [Virtue Ethics, The Confucian Tradition, and the Universal Predicament of Modern Societies—Taking Chen Lai’s Confucian Virtue Theory as Focus]” (On-line publication on 《儒家网》 here)
  • Yang Guorong 杨国荣, “德性、知识与哲学进路——由黄勇新著《当代美德伦理——古代儒家的贡献》引发的若干思考 [Virtue, Knowledge, and the Philosophical Road Ahead—Some Thoughts Prompted by Huang Yong’s Contemporary Virtue Ethics—Contributions from Ancient Confucianism]” (On-line publication on 《儒家网》 here)

Each of these essays, in turn, reacts to a fairly recent book-length publication, also in Chinese, exploring the subject in depth. (Details on the contents of Chen Lai’s book are here; Huang Yong’s are here.)

You might reasonably expect given what I’ve written so far that I’d now go on to explain and engage with the details of Prof. Tang and Prof. Yang’s take on virtue ethics and Confucianism. Alas, it’s all I can do right now to find time to share this much! Perhaps after classes are over….

CEACOP On-Line Conference on Confucian Pluralism

The Center for East Asian and Comparative Philosophy (CEACOP) at the City Univeristy of Hong Kong will host an on-line conference on “The Problem of Pluralism in Confucian Political Theory” on October 23-24, with an outstanding line-up of young scholars. More information is available here.

Philosophy as a Way of Life book series

Eli Kramer writes with the following announcement:

The official web-page for the series “Philosophy as a Way of Life: Text and Studies” is now up: https://brill.com/page/pwl
Philosophy as a Way of Life: Texts and Studies will make available English translations of key studies on PWL and publish scholarly monographs and edited collections that consider its different aspects and implications.

Books in this series will explore PWL in antiquity, the renaissance, the early modern period, and up to the present, PWL as a methodological approach to the history of philosophy, the implications of PWL for understanding education and its history, the cross-cultural possibilities it opens up, the relationships between PWL, virtue ethics and philosophy of culture, and the different literary genres of PWL, including the way these genres impact the style and content of ancient, medieval and early modern philosophical works.

Manuscripts should be at least 80,000 words in length (including footnotes and bibliography). Manuscripts may also include illustrations and other visual material. The editors will consider proposals for original monographs, edited collections, translations, and critical primary source editions.

CFP: East-West Center International Graduate Student Conference

A message from the organizers of the East-West Center International Graduate Student Conference (ISGC):

We are excited to send out our third call for abstracts for the East-West Center’s student-led 20th annual International Graduate Student Conference, to be held in February 2021! The conference theme is Lei of Knowledge: Communicating Knowledge across Communities and Disciplines, and the geographic focus is the Asia-Pacific region. The deadline to submit an abstract and a non-technical summary for your paper presentation, poster talk, or any other format of presentation is October 9, 2020.

We look forward to connecting our many communities, in academia and beyond, through this year’s conference. Please circulate our call for abstracts to your contacts in as many offices and fields as possible!

Conference Information:

  • Venue: Hawai‘i Imin International Conference Center
  • Location: Honolulu, Hawai‘i, USA
  • Dates: Thursday, February 11, through Saturday, February 13, 2021
  • Abstract Submission Deadline: October 9, 2020, 11:59 PM Hawai‘i Standard Time
  • Abstract Criteria: 350-word abstract (for review) and a non-technical summary (to be printed in the booklet) submitted to Submittable
  • Website: International Graduate Student Conference / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter
  • Contact Email: igscewc@gmail.com

Continue reading →

Song Reviews Li, “A History of Classical Chinese Thought” (Lambert, trans.)

Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

2020.06.17 View this Review Online   View Other NDPR Reviews

Li Zehou, A History of Classical Chinese Thought, Andrew Lambert (tr., intr.), Routledge, 2020, 353pp., $160.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780367230128.

Reviewed by Bin Song, Washington College

It is a daunting task for me to review Li Zehou’s work, not least because while born in and always philosophizing about the same land, Li had entered his intellectual heyday in the 1980s when I was not yet a teenager. While reading Li’s work using Andrew Lambert’s stellar translation, I repeatedly asked myself: what is the difference between him and me regarding the approach to doing comparative Chinese philosophy? Why is there such a difference? What can I learn from him? And what inspirations can Li’s work generate globally.  Since there are English resources[1]that introduce Li’s thought, I won’t dwell on those questions. Instead, I will critique Li’s philosophy as presented in this book.

Continue reading →

New ISCWP Officers

On behalf of my colleagues on the 2020 International Society for Comparative Studies of Chinese and Western Philosophy (ISCWP) Election Committee, I am happy to formally announce that Prof. SUN Wei has been elected Vice President, and Prof. Mercedes Valmisa has been elected Secretary-Treasurer, both for three-year terms beginning on July 1, 2020. Congratulations to both!

Many thanks to our retiring President (Prof. PENG Guoxiang) and Secretary-Treasurer (Prof. Mat Foust) for all of their efforts on behalf of the ISCWP, and congratulations to our current Vice-President, who will automatically take over as President, Prof. Alexus McLeod!

With best wishes to all for healthy, restorative, and fruitful summers,

Steve

2019 Dao Annual Best Essay Award

Dao has established “The Annual Best Essay Award” since 2007. In addition to a certificate of achievement, the award comes along with a prize of US$1,000. The award winners are noted in the website of the journal as well as the website of Springer, the publisher of the journal. The award ceremony is held each year at the American Philosophical Association Annual Meeting (Eastern Division) in January, where a special panel on the theme of the award winning essay is held. The critical comments and the author’s responses to them presented at the panel, after revision and review, will be published in the last issue of Dao each year.

The selection process consists of two stages. At the beginning of each year, a nominating committee of at least three editorial members, who have not published in Dao in the given year, is established. This committee is charged with the task of nominating three best essays published in the previous year. These three essays are then sent to the whole editorial board for deliberation. The final winner is decided by a vote by all editorial board members who are not authors of the nominated essays.

The editorial board has just finished its deliberation on the best essay published in 2019, and the award is given to:

Alexei Procyshyn and Mario Wenning, “Recognition and Trust: Hegel and Confucius on the Normative Basis of Ethical Life.” Dao 18 (2019): 1-22.

Continue reading →