It might interest some readers of this blog that the “International Center for Chinese Philosophy” (affiliated with the Philosophy Department at Soochow University, Taipei) has a new website.
The International Center for Chinese Philosophy aims at both fostering philosophical discourse on Chinese thought and disseminating Western Sinology in the Sinophone world. And this is certainly an important task (disclosure: I am one of the two directors of the Center). According to quite a few observers, the Sinophone world sometimes is still rather self-centered, and in particular scholars/intellectuals in the Chinese-speaking world who engage with pre-modern Chinese thought tend to hold rather Sinocentric views about their past and the world in general. And it is certainly no exaggeration to say that Western scholarship on Chinese culture/thought/philosophy is often still not taken very seriously by many Chinese/Sinophone readers. It is one of our goals to change this situation and to foster the dialogue between Western scholars writing about Chinese philosophy and Taiwanese/Sinophone scholars. At the same time, we think that philosophical discourse can flourish only if a society encourages free and open discussion; we also believe that philosophical traditions need open and fair criticism – so it might not necessarily be very helpful to identify Chinese philosophy with a particular culture/civilization/place. Or, as we put in our introduction to the Center: “Taipei is situated between China and the world. In fact, there is an urgent need to reflect on the ongoing internationalization of Chinese philosophy and the possible dialogue thereof with Western modes of thought.”
Scrolling through our website, you’ll notice that we also have established a lectures series on issues relating to Chinese philosophy (in the future, we plan to put these lectures online). Next wednesday (December 26), Prof. Hans-Georg Moeller (Philosophy Department, University College Cork) will speak about “‘Rambling without Destination’: On the Notion of you 遊 in Daoist Philosophy”. So if you happen to be around, feel free to join us!