Future of Cosmopolitanism Blog

P. J. Ivanhoe writes:

The U.S.-China Research Group on Cosmopolitanism consists of nine scholars from the United States and the Chinese cultural sphere who are pursuing a structured exploration of theoretical and practical problems related to cosmopolitanism. In particular, we are looking to draw upon Chinese philosophical traditions in order to explore alternative understandings of the nature and future of cosmopolitanism. As a first step, each member of the group has composed a short reflection describing her or his initial thoughts on the topic. These are presented in a blog at the bottom of our web page:

https://uschinadialogue.georgetown.edu/topics/research-group-cosmopolitanism

We offer these as points of departure for an ongoing conversation and invite comments and suggestions by anyone interested in this set of issues.

Shogimen lecture: Metaphor Analysis and Comparative History of Political Thought

Jun-Hyeok KWAK writes:

The 20th Comparative Philosophy Workshop sponsored by Sun Yat-sen University will be held virtually at 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM (Beijing Time), 3rd December (Friday), 2021.

Topic: “Metaphor Analysis and Comprative History of Political Thought”
Speaker: Takashi SHOGIMEN (Professor of History, University of Otago)
Moderator: Jun-Hyeok KWAK (Professor of Philosophy (Zhuhai), Sun Yat-sen University)

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On-line Lecture: Jenco: The Ming-Qing Transition as a Philosophical Problem

Leigh Jenco: The Ming-Qing Transition as a Philosophical Problem

Time: Dec 3, 2021 04:00 PM (German time); register here.

Description: The transition from the Ming dynasty to the Qing dynasty was not experienced as a sharp break for those who lived through it, but it has come to stand in the minds of later Chinese literati as nothing less than an existential crisis for Chinese identity—both driving and driven by a shift in intellectual perspective that emerged in the early years of Qing consolidation. Many educated literati retrospectively blamed the fall of the Ming on the abstruse philosophizing that preoccupied followers of Wang Yangming, a sixteenth-century statesman, frontier general and philosopher whose rejection of state-sponsored Confucian orthodoxy rode a wave of interest in metaphysical speculation about the sources of moral knowledge. In its place—just as the government policy adapted from an inward-looking, Han-dominated state to a cosmopolitan, expansionist inner Asian empire—seventeenth- and eighteenth-century literati turned their attention to the historical and philological verification of classic texts, inaugurating the “evidential learning” (kaozheng) that twentieth-century Chinese reformers would see as proof of an indigenous, modern “scientific spirit.” In this paper I argue that such divisions obscure from view the extent to which the Manchu victory and the territorial consolidation that followed continued the strong parallels that marked both Chinese and European societies in early modernity. There are thus important philosophical consequences for periodizing the Chinese early modern period as an abrupt transition from “Ming to Qing” or “philosophy to philology”. I use my current research to offer examples of these consequences. Specifically, I argue that characterizing this time period in terms of a rupture between dynasties, rather than as a more general epoch of early modernity, leaves us unable to assess philosophically the ways in which ideas and practices thematized by scholars of Yangming learning enabled particular kinds of discourse about human difference to take shape.

New book: Philosophical Enactment and Bodily Cultivation in Early Daoism

Philosophical Enactment and Bodily Cultivation in Early Daoism: In the Matrix of the Daodejing

By Thomas Michael

Published: 9/9/21

Description: In Philosophical Enactment and Bodily Cultivation in Early Daoism, Thomas Michael illuminates the formative early history of the Daodejing and the social, political, religious, and philosophical trends that indelibly marked it.
This book centers on the matrix of the Daodejing that harbors a penetrating phenomenology of the Dao together with a rigorous system of bodily cultivation. It traces the historical journey of the text from its earliest oral circulations to its later transcriptions seen in a growing collection of ancient Chinese excavated manuscripts. It examines the ways in which Huang-Lao thinkers from the Han Dynasty transformed the original phenomenology of the Daodejing into a metaphysics that reconfigured its original matrix, and it explores the success of the Wei-Jin Daoist Ge Hong in bringing the matrix back into its original alignment.
This book is an important contribution to cross-cultural studies, bringing contemporary Chinese scholarship on Daoism into direct conversation with Western scholarship on Daoism. The book also concludes with a discussion of Martin Heidegger’s recognition of the position and value of the Daodejing for the future of comparative philosophy.

For more info on the book see here.

Registration for ISEAP 2021 Conference (10-11 December, 2021)

The International Society for East Asian Philosophy (ISEAP) 2021 Conference will be held on 10-11 December, 2021 (Japan Time).
The conference program is now available at the following link:
https://iseap.jp/iseap-2021-conference/Also, the registration for ISEAP 2021 Conference (free of charge) is now open for audience participation.
The link for conference registration is as follows: https://forms.gle/vfe5MLyufrL1riCKA
The deadline will be 1 December, 2021 (Japan Time).

See the launch of the new website here: https://iseap.jp/

New Book – Cosmic Coherence: A Cognitive Anthropology through Chinese Divination

Dr William Matthews recently announced the publication of his new book Cosmic Coherence: A Cognitive Anthropology Through Chinese Divination with Berghahn Books. The introduction can be read here.

Description:

Humans are unique in their ability to create systematic accounts of the world – theories based on guiding cosmological principles. This book is about the role of cognition in creating cosmologies, and explores this through the ethnography and history of Yijing divination in China. Diviners explain the cosmos in terms of a single substance, qi, unfolding across scales of increasing complexity to create natural phenomena and human experience. Combined with an understanding of human cognition, it shows how this conception of scale offers a new way for anthropologists and other social scientists to think about cosmology, comparison and cultural difference.

To recommend this book to your library, use this online form.

ToC:Asian Philosophy, Volume 31, Issue 4 (2021)

Existence as a first-order predicate: Themes from Mirdamad
Davood Hosseini
Pages 353-367

Re-visiting the role of craft in Zhuangzi’s philosophy
Raymond W.K. Lau
Pages 368-384

Historical materialism in medieval China: The cases of Liu Zongyuan (773-819) and Li Gou (1009-1059)
Dawid Rogacz
Pages 385-401

Eastern and Western creativity of tradition
ConRong Wang
Pages 402-413

On self-deception: from the perspective of Zhu Xi’s moral psychology
Kaili Wang
Pages 414-429

Is Mohism really li-promotionalism?
Yun Wu & Amin Ebrahimi Afrouzi
Pages 430-440

L. K. Gustin Law reviews Seok at NDPR

Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

2021.10.02 View this Review Online View Other NDPR Reviews

Bongrae Seok (ed.), Naturalism, Human Flourishing, and Asian Philosophy: Owen Flanagan and Beyond, Routledge, 2020, 256pp., $160.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780367350246.

Reviewed by L. K. Gustin Law, University of Chicago

This volume includes contributions engaging the works of Owen Flanagan, as well as his responses to them. As Flanagan’s works cut across conventional academic boundaries, so does the contributors’ expertise fall under different disciplines, including philosophy, psychology, religion, and Asian studies. Each essay either compares Flanagan’s view with a Ruist (Confucian) or Buddhist counterpart or addresses his engagement with it. It is a scholarly and illuminating book for those interested in the enduring significance of Mengzi’s ethical psychology or Buddhism, the rich and diverse accounts of mind that fall under the label of “Buddhism,” Flanagan’s naturalism, the way he adapts and naturalizes Buddhism for a model of human flourishing, or how intellectual enterprises of independent origins might enter into fruitful dialogue. Navigating all these is made easier by the editor, Bongrae Seok, who masterfully summarizes the contributions, highlighting the significance of each and their connections to one another.

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New book: Patt-Shamir, Three Neo-Confucian Perspectives on Transcending Self-Boundaries

Three Neo-Confucian Perspectives on Transcending Self-Boundaries

By Galia Patt-Shamir

Summary:

Persons Emerging explores the renewed idea of the Confucian person in the eleventh-century philosophies of Zhou Dunyi, Shao Yong, and Zhang Zai. Galia Patt-Shamir discusses their responses to the Confucian challenge that the Way, as perfection, can be broadened by the person who travels it. Suggesting that the three neo-Confucian philosophers undertake the classical Confucian task of “broadening the way,” each proposes to deal with it from a different angle: Zhou Dunyi offers a metaphysical emerging out of the infinitude-finitude boundary, Shao Yong emerges out of the epistemological boundary between in and out, and Zhang Zai offers a pragmatic emerging out of the boundary between life and death.

Through the lens of these three Song-period China philosophers, the idea of “transcending self-boundaries” places neo-Confucian philosophies within the global philosophical context. Patt-Shamir questions the Confucian notions of person, Way, and how they relate to human flourishing to highlight how the emergence of personhood demands transcending metaphysical, epistemological, and moral self-boundaries.

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