Online Workshop: “One-Many Relations in Chinese Philosophy” (Nov 6)

Workshop Description:

In the worldview of different traditions, we usually find paradoxical articulations of the one-many relations, such as “one is many”, “all in each”, “trinity”, “unity of heaven and the human”, and so on. What are the different strategies employed by different thinkers, especially those from the Chinese philosophical traditions, to account for the diversification of one or unification of many? What would be the foundation for contemplating the one-many relations? This workshop aims to investigate these questions as a basis for intercultural examination and dialogue with a focus on Chinese philosophy.

Zoom ID: 982 3676 8637
Passcode: 526715
Time: Nov 6, 2021
7pm (GMT +8) – Singapore, Hong Kong, and China time; 7am – US time; 12noon – UK time
For more details on the abstract and schedule, please see the official fb events page @

Speakers + Titles:

Zhuangzi’s Challenge to Parmenidean Monism

Cantor, Lea (University of Oxford)

The Oneness that the Genuine-Human is in

Koo, Hao Wei (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)

The Sameness and Difference of One’s Nature (xing) in Guo Xiang

Tan, Christine Abigail L. (Yale-NUS College, Singapore)

How Heaven and Humanity are United as One:Tongas an Alternative toTianren Heyi

He, Fan (Sichuan University)

Origin and Beginning: On the Genealogical Unity of the Things in theDaodejing

Kwok, Sai Hang (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

The Devil is in the Details: Contrasting Metaphysical Worldviews in Zhu Xi’s and Huayan Buddhist Moon Analogy

Chew, Sihao (University of Oxford)

Zhu Xi’s Moral Epistemology: Different Thinking Processes and the Same Moral Truth

Liang, Yuhan (University of Connecticut)

3 replies on “Online Workshop: “One-Many Relations in Chinese Philosophy” (Nov 6)”

  1. Hi,

    This workshop looks fascinating. I am disappointed I only just came across it. Would it be possible to see the recording of this workshop?


  2. I can’t attend but I have something to offer that might be interesting in connection with Kwok Sai Hang’s paper “Origin and Beginning: On the Genealogical Unity of Things in the Daodejing.” I think of DDJ 42 in connection with a text from England in the early 1600s. Charles I ordered to be published a pair of sermons by his chaplain arguing for submission to one of his more notorious decrees, and beginning as follows:


    Unity is the foundation of all difference and Distinction; Distinction the mother of Multitude; Multitude and number infer Relation; which is the knot and confederation of things different, by reason of some Respect they bear unto each other. These Relations and Respects challenge Duties correspondent; according as they stand in distance or dearness, afar off, or near conjoined.

    Of all Relations, the first and most original is that between the Creator, and the Creature; whereby that which is made depends upon the Maker thereof, both in Constitution and Preservation: for which, the Creature doth ever owe to the Creator, the actual & perpetual performance of that, which, to its Nature is most agreeable: which duty is called Natural. And sometimes also is the Creature bound to submit in those things, that are quite and clean against the natural, both inclination, and operation thereof; if the Creator’s pleasure be so to command it…

    The next, is that between Husband and Spouse; a respect, which even Ethnic Antiquity called and accounted Sacred …

    Upon this, followed that third bond of reference which is between Parents, and Children

    In the fourth place, did likewise accrue that necessary dependence of the Servant on his Lord

    From all which forenamed Respects, there did arise that most high, sacred, and transcendent Relation, which naturally grows between The Lord’s Anointed, and their loyal Subjects: to, and over whom, their lawful Sovereigns are no less than Fathers, Lords, Kings, and Gods on earth.

    … Royalty is an Honour, wherein, Kings are stated immediately from God. Fathers they are, & who gave Fathers Authority over their Families, but he alone, from whom all the Fatherhood in heaven and earth is named? The power of Princes then, is both Natural, and Divine, not from any consent or allowance of men.


    (Freud would not be surprised to find transcendent authority featuring in any worldview inspired by young children’s view of their parents.)

    For more on how a sort of family-tree picture of logical relations helped shape anglophone early protestant familistic relational ethics, especially among the New England Puritans, see Edmund S. Morgan’s 1966 Harper Torchbook, The Puritan Family: Religion and Domestic Relations in Seventeenth-Century New England, and Perry Miller, The New England Mind. Or just ask google images for ramist logic diagram.

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