2016 Beijing Roundtable on Contemporary Philosophy

From Bo Mou… (Updated May 18, 2016)

For your information and possible interest, the FYI description of the 2016 term “Beijing Roundtable on Contemporary Philosophy” workshop series is attached here. The theme topic for 2016 term of “Beijing Roundtable” workshop is “How constructive engagement of epistemological resources in classical Chinese philosophy and contemporary philosophy is possible” (15 July 2016, Beijing).

With consideration that some of the ISCWP new members might be unfamiliar with the features, format and coordination guidelines of the “Beijing Roundtable” workshop series, some distinct characteristic features and its coordination guidelines are highlighted and explained in the appendix below (to avoid the main text of this email too long).

With warm regards,

Bo Mou

coordinator for 2016 Beijing Roundtable


Characteristic features of the ISCWP “Beijing Roundtable on Contemporary Philosophy” workshop series and its coordination guidelines 

Historically, the “Beijing Roundtable on Contemporary Philosophy” workshop series was proposed and designed by the first term of the ISCWP Board and has been implemented in the past years (without resorting to the ISCWP financial resources but self-supported via voluntary coordination) in view of its planned characteristic features and in accordance with its coordination guidelines which are highlighted and explained as follows,

(1) The primary goal of the ISCWP’s “Beijing Roundtable on Contemporary Philosophy” Workshop Series is to explore how comparative studies of Chinese and Western philosophy can contribute to the contemporary development of philosophy and thus to provide the membership with an effective and efficient in-depth critical discussion platform and channel;

(2) It focuses on how those relevant resources in Chinese philosophy and relevant resources in contemporary philosophy can constructively talk to and engage/learn from each other through critical engagement for the sake of the foregoing joint contribution;

(3) it is flexible and portable with regard to its organization strategy and format: it can be formal one or informal one (can be held in a coffee shop or in a small classroom without relying on any external funding, or in a big conference site with host party’s financial support, depending on situations and need); it is not necessarily to be held each year – depending on interest, need and relevant academic resources availability, although in the past this workshop series has been held almost each year. It is also noted that term “Beijing” in the series title is rendered symbolic and kept its constructive emblematic use; the “Beijing Roundtable” workshop series might be held in some other locations than Beijing in case relevant conditions would allow (such as its 2013 term held in Wuhan), and a host party can choose its preferred workshop title as a main title, although it regularly hold in Beijing (in the name of “Beijing Roundtable” as its main title) in view of a variety of its involved convenience.

(4) It is financially self-supported without resorting to the association’s financial resources (to this extent, there is no “competition” for such resources and no need for “approval” in this connection, and its organization can be thus efficiently and effectively taken care of via voluntary coordination) and open to any member’ proposal if he/she is to take care of its financial need (if any) and its specific organization and if the proposal would fit the general expectation of this workshop series (so it could be a multiple-session term on different topics in different locations for one year’s workshop);

(5) It is to emphasize and enhance the substantial critical-discussion contents while reducing non-substantial “formal” elements;

(6) As for specific topic/theme choices, it would be sensitive to the need, especially in view of whether such critical discussion opportunities on some specific subjects have been sufficiently provided through other channels so as to “supplement what is insufficient” (DDJ, ch.77). For example, in view that discussion opportunities on moral and social/political resources in Chinese philosophy are currently sufficient or dominant in other major channels while those Chinese-philosophy colleagues focusing on such main areas in contemporary philosophy as metaphysics, philosophy of language, epistemology, logic, philosophy of mind, etc. have relatively less channels/panels for critical discussion, in the past years this workshop series has set out to emphasize/provide critical discussion opportunities on these topics).

It is hoped that the above highlights can give you a big picture of the “Beijing Roundtable on Contemporary Philosophy” workshop series. To see how the general goal of the “Beijing Roundtable” workshop series is related to the association’s distinct strategic purpose, let me cite the following key passage from the ISCWP’s Constitution concerning its strategic goal and emphases (Item 2) as follows:

” 2. ISCWP is a non-profit, independent philosophical society in the international academic arena. The Society aims at (1) promoting comparative studies of Chinese philosophy and Western philosophy, (2) facilitating academic contact and exchange of ideas and information among interested philosophers in various regions, and (3) providing channels to bring together Chinese and Western philosophers for learning from each other and joint endeavor to contribute to the common philosophical enterprise.

With the preceding general purposes, the Society emphasizes (but is not limited to) the constructive engagement between Chinese philosophy and Western mainstream philosophy (analytic tradition as well as continental tradition in the West in their broad senses); the Society stresses the sensitivity of such comparative studies to contemporary development and resources of philosophy and their mutual advancement; and, through the characteristic path of comparative studies of Chinese and Western philosophy, the Society strives to contribute to philosophy as common human wealth as well as to respective studies of Chinese philosophy and Western philosophy. The Society also emphasizes building up a channel and outlet for the academic exchange and communication between the homeland of Chinese philosophy and the Western world in philosophy.”

(Prepared/presented by Bo Mou in May 2016, based on the relevant documents of the first term of ISCWP Board)

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