Eske Møllgaard – Columbia Society for Comparative Philosophy Lecture: “How I Came to Conclude that Confucian Discourse is not Philosophy” Friday Oct 12 at 5:30pm


Welcomes: Eske Møllgaard  (University of Rhose Island)
With responses from: Andrew Lambert (College of Staten Island, CUNY)

Please join us at Columbia University’s Religion Department on FRIDAY, October 12th at 5:30 PM for his lecture entitled:

How I Came to Conclude that Confucian Discourse is not Philosophy

ABSTRACT: The paper follows and elaborates on a line of argument in my book The Confucian Political Imagination, which was published by Palgrave Macmillan this summer. I do not address the main argument of the book, but sum up a line of thought that has gradually taken form since I began to read Confucian texts. I explain what I learned about reading Confucianism from my teacher Tu Weiming, and why I could not follow the philosophical turn in American Confucian studies. I point to the importance of reading in an emphatic sense, and argue that the philosophical approaches to Confucian texts often leads to an impoverished reading of these texts. Then I provide my own suggestions towards a definition Confucian discourse. I briefly point to the historical reasons Confucian discourse is not philosophy, and finally I ask if all this really matters.

Friday, October 12th, 5:30-7:30 PM

Rm. 101, 80 Claremont Ave., Columbia University

Please visit our website:

Professor Jonathan Gold
Associate Professor, Princeton University, Department of Religion

Professor Hagop Sarkissian
Associate Professor, The City University of New York, Baruch College | Graduate Center, Department of Philosophy

Jay Ramesh

One reply

  1. Those attending this event might want to swing by 306 Milbank Hall at 4:30pm where I will be lecturing as a part of the Tang Center’s early China lecture series. I will be speaking on my recent book (_The Vulnerability of Integrity in Early Confucian Thought_); reviews of which Steve has generously linked to in recent posts.

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