The 1st Oxford Symposium on Comparative Political Philosophy will be held at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford on 10-12 July. The program is here:
A brief article from the South China Morning Post that is relevant for anyone interested in the uses and abuses of Confucianism in the modern world: “China runs Confucian culture courses for religious leaders in bid to boost control.”
Leigh Jenco is the series editor for a new series at Cambridge Univeristy Press that adopts their novel “elements” approach. Leigh explains that an “element” is a “work of up to 30,000 words, is peer-reviewed, efficiently published, fully searchable and downloadable online with print-on-demand, and can be enhanced with images, videos, sound files, etc.” She adds that “the format is, in other words, combining the best features of books and journal articles at the same time. I think it is very well-suited to comparative philosophy and political theory, because it gives space to say more about background and context while also allowing the development of a substantive argument.” For more information, see here.
A website with the schedule and more information about the “1st Oxford Symposium on Comparative Political Philosophy” is now live: see here!
The Issue is Not the Issue: A Podcast with Hans-Georg Moeller and Dan Sarafinas
Hans-Georg Moeller and Dan Sarafinas discuss contemporary debates on “political correctness” and related moral and social issues. They point to concepts such as virtue speech (“virtue signalling”), civil religion, “profilicity,” and the role of critique to better understand their nature.
Episode 3—Critique: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3W1m0Bez8vU
Philosophy today runs the risk of once more becoming the “handmaiden of theology” by being put in the service of civil religion. The Kantian concept of critique is revived to reflect on contemporary dogmatism and associated power structures that lead to phenomena such as “competitive wokeness” in entertainment (Taylor Swift) or the need to write “diversity statements” in academia. The idea of a therapeutic rather than a normative philosophy is suggested and it is explained how society, along with critique, evolves rather than progresses.
Episode 4—Profilicity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Yz1C0-mtWI
Why do we need to produce “virtue speech”? We need it to be competitive in society and to bolster our public profiles. A new profile-based identity paradigm, called “profilicity,” is on the rise. It is replacing other identity paradigms such as sincerity and authenticity and provides not only individuals but also institutions (political parties, companies, universities, etc.) with identity value.
Heaven is Empty offers a new perspective on the relationship between religion and the creation of the first Chinese empires. Heaven Is Empty offers a new comparative perspective on the role of the sacred in the formation of China’s early empires (221 BCE–9 CE) and shows how the unification of the Central States was possible without a unitary and universalistic conception of religion.
Hans-Georg Moeller and Dan Sarafinas discuss contemporary debates on “political correctness” and related moral and social issues. They point to concepts such as virtue speech (“virtue signalling”), civil religion, and the role of critique to better understand their nature.
Episode 1–Virtue Speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pg8H-b87Cs;
The phenomenon of virtue speech (“virtue signalling”) has become a central feature in recent outrage movements pervasive throughout the West. Virtue speech, which is implicitly tied to accusations of hate speech, is a form of moralistic discourse setting speech examples that make it difficult to openly discuss elements of our culture without falling into the trap of moralizing.
Episode 2–Civil Religion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EDEuXCPHOQ
Civil religion plays a central role in the virtue speech, or political correctness, discourse. The history of the concept is discussed as well as the structure of the American form of civil religion and how tenets of civil religion are constantly being performed and re-enacted, particularly in current social media outrage movements.
In the latest Perspectives on Politics, Hui-chieh Loy reviews Sungmoon Kim’s Public Reason Confucianism (Cambridge, 2016). See here.
The Center for East Asian and Comparative Philosophy at the City University of Hong Kong is hosting a seminar by Eric Nelson on “Zhang Junmai and Confucian Social Democracy” on 12 November 2018; see here for details.
A great line-up for a conference on political meritocracy, starting tomorrow at Harvard: