Conference on the Reception of Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss in the Sinophone World

There will be a conference at the Academia Sinica next week (September 1 and 2) on the reception of Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss in the sinophone world which might be of interest to some readers of this blog.

Anyone who has ever talked to Chinese intellectuals knows that the legacy of these two highly controversial thinkers plays an important role in the contemporary Chinese academy, but also among the wider public. Why is this so? Doubtless, Schmitt´s and Strauss´s critique of liberalism helps Chinese to articulate deeper-seated doubts about the current international order, especially about the political and cultural influence of the United States. A few years ago, Mark Lilla wrote a fascinating piece on this phenomenon; and The New Yorker, in July 2008, even ran a piece that spoke of “the new generation´s neocon nationalists” (here). But is this analysis convincing? Or can we say more about such a complex phenomenon that obviously relates to many other issues, f.ex. the problems of modernization and secularism? Could there even be a truly philosophical dimension behind this cross-cultural encounter? The organizors of this conference (Carl K. Y. Shaw 蕭高彥 and I) do think so.

It is a little bit late for formal registration, but if you happen to be in Taibei, I think, you still will get a seat somewhere (just contact me)!

The preliminary schedule of our conference can be found here (English/Chinese).

4 thoughts on “Conference on the Reception of Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss in the Sinophone World

  1. I’ve talked to some Chinese intellectuals but do not know the legacy of these two thinkers. Those who do Chinese philosophy in Chinese universities generally ignore them.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Will. Yes, maybe my originary claim was slightly overblown (not ALL Chinese intellectuals know these Chinese Straussians). But they are important and influential in many places in contemporary China. That’s all what I wanted to say…

    • Thanks for the clarification, Kai. Yes, the two thinkers seem influential in mainland China and Taiwan, at least in terms of the translation and study of their works. It would be interesting to explore the reasons (from not a sociological but an ideological angle) why they have been received like this, however, there seems to be no discussion on this point in your schedule.

  3. These reasons are exactly what we plan to talk about during our conference. If you happen to be in Taipei, just join our conversation!

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