Warp, Weft, and Way

A Group Blog of Chinese and Comparative Philosophy

Buffalo iscp international conference on Chinese philosophy

18th ISCP International Conference on Chinese Philosophy


Chinese Philosophy and the Way of Living

State University of New York at Buffalo,

July 21-24, 2013


Conference Program



July 21, Sunday


Afternoon: Conference Opening

Venue: Screening Room, Center for the Arts, University at Buffalo


1:30 -2:00  Inaugural Session and Welcome Remarks

Opening address:      Professor Jiyuan Yu (President, International Society for

 Chinese Philosophy)

Welcome remarks by university administrators and main sponsors


2:00-3:00  Plenary/Keynote Speaker Session 1

Chair:              Ann Pang-White 庞安安 (University of Scranton)

Speaker:          Robert C Neville 南乐山 (Boston University)

Philosophy’s Fight Between Engagement and Distance:

A Confucian Resolution


3:00-4:00  Plenary/Keynote Speaker Session 2

Chair:                          Xiaomei Yang杨小梅 (Southern Connecticut State University)

Speaker:                      Michael Slote (University of Miami)

Updating Yin and Yang


4:00-4:20  Coffee/Tea Break



4:20-5:20        Plenary/Keynote Speaker Session 3

Chair:           Yolaine Escande 幽兰 (CNRS, CRAL, EHESS, Paris)

Speaker:          Chung-ying Cheng 成中英 (University of Hawaii at Manoa)

Benti-Ethics in Chinese Philosophy as a Way of Life: From   Creativity to Practice


5:20-6:20  Plenary/Keynote Speaker Session 4

Chair:     Aaron Stalnaker (Indiana University, Bloomington)

Speaker:   David Wong (Duke University)

                                                On Learning What Happiness Is


6:30                 Welcome Reception /Dinner

Atrium, Center for the Arts, UB




July 22, Monday

Venue: Ramada Hotel and Conference Center


8:00 Breakfast: Ramada Hotel Ballroom


Session 1: 8:30-10:30


1A:  Learning to Live Through Li

Chair:             Cheryl Cottine (Indiana University, Bloomington)

Speakers:       Aaron Stalnaker (Indiana University, Bloomington)

Dependence and Autonomy in Early Confucian Teaching Relationships

Cheryl Cottine (Indiana University, Bloomington)

Moral Exemplars in Confucian Role Ethics

John Ramsey (University of California, Riverside)

Embracing Virtue and Norms: The Polysemy of the Confucian Li


1B:  Why People Kill Themselves:  

                     A Multidisciplinary Perspective

Chair:             Jie Zhang 张杰 (SUNY College at Buffalo)

Speakers:       David Lester (Richard Stockton College, New Jersey)

                                                The Logic of Suicide

Steven Stack (Wayne State University)

Religion and Suicide in Modern China

Shuiyuan Xiao (Central South University, China)

The Daoist Way of Life and Its Implication in Modern China

Yang Liu (Renmin University of China)

Confucianism and Youth Suicide in Rural China


1C:  Daoist Way of Living

Chair:              Ping He 何萍 (Wuhan University ) 

Speakers:        Juntao Li李俊涛 (Sichuan Normal University)

The Way of Harmony: The Wisdom and Practice of the Taoist Alchemy Diagrams


Lincoln Rathnam (University of Toronto)

                                          Skepticism, Tolerance, and the Diversity of Ways of Life

in Zhuangzi and Montaigne

Yanling Xu徐艳玲and Qi Zhou 周琦 (Shandong University)

The Value of Laozi’s Philosophy for Life in Contemporary China



1D:  Mencius and Moral life

Chair:              Maria Teresa Gonzalez Linaje迈德 (University of Veracruz, Mexico)

Speakers:        Rafal Banka (Jagiellonian University, Poland)

Philosophy of Action and Ethics Intersections in Mencius

Dobin Choi (University at Buffalo)

Three Steps of Extension: Mengzi 1A7 Revisited

Anthony Fay (University at Buffalo)

American Culture and Mencius’ Way of Living


10:30-10:45 Coffee/Tea Break



Session 2: 10:45-12:15


2A:  Music and Its Moral Significance

Chair:      Huaiyu Wang王懷聿 (Georgia College & State University)

Speakers:        So Jeong Park (Nanyang Technological University of Singapore)

What Music Ought to be – The First Debate on Music in Early China

Mei-Yen Lee李美燕 (National Pingtung University of Education)

The Moralizing Significance and Practice on the Nurturing of Culture through Music


2BConfucianism and the Way of Living

Chair:              Tim Connolly (East Stroudsburg University)

Speakers:      Xiaoli Guo (郭晓丽, University of Inner Mongolia)

Liping Ding (丁利平, Inner Mongolia Normal University)


Confucianism in the Civil and Secular World: The Concern with Life in Taigu School

Nina Brewer-Davis (Auburn University)

Confucianism and the Problem of Insiders and Outsiders


2C Contemporary Chinese Philosophy

Chair                  James D. Sellmann (University of Guam)

Speakers:        Guorong Yang杨国荣 (East China Normal University)

                                          Meaning and Spiritual Level意义与境界

Weiwu Li李维武 (Wuhan University)

Opening the New Path in Contemporary New-Confucianism Towards the Way of Living 开辟现代新儒学走向生活世界之路


2D: The Rituals, Literature and Aesthetics

Chair:              Johanna Liu 刘千美 (University of Toronto)

Speakers:        Kristin Stapleton (University at Buffalo)

The Gao Patriarch: Ba Jin’s Critique of Family Ritual in the Turbulent Stream Trilogy 高老太爺:巴金《激流》三部曲對家禮的批評

Yi Wang (Sichuan International Studies University)

Confucius’ Ideology of Li and Yue and Its Decline



12:15-1:30      Lunch:  Ramada Hotel Ballroom



Session 3: 1:30-3:30


3A: Way of Living: China and Greece

Chair:              Michael Slote (University of Miami)

Speakers:        Chi-Shing Chen 陈起行 (National Cheng-Chi University)

Sincerity Based Proper Relationship: Socrates and Confucius

Tim Connolly (East Stroudsburg University)

                                                Socrates and the Early Confucians on the Examined Life

R.A.H. King (University of Bern, Swiss)

Life and the Determination of a Way of Life in Aristotle and the Lüshichunqiu呂氏春秋


3B: Confucian Ethics: East and West

Chair:                 John Berthrong 白詩朗          (Boston University)

Speakers:        Dorothy Oluwagbemi-Jacob (University of Calabar, Nigeria)

Igbo Republicanism and Confucius’s Ideals of the Superior men

T. K. Chu (Princeton University)

Empowered by Missing a Conceptual-Space Link: Kant’s Rejection of Confucian Ethics

Yinghua Lu卢盈华 (Southern Illinois University)

Value and Feeling in Max Scheler and Wang Yangming


3C: Confucian Learning of Living:

Qi, Human Mind, and Moral Luck

Organizer/Chair: Suck Choi (Towson University)

Speakers:        Jung-Yeop Kim (Kent State University)

The Confucian Philosophy of Qi as a Learning of Living

Suck Choi (Towson University)

Neo-Confucian Reflection on Qi and Human Mind

Bongrae Seok (Alvernia University)

Moral Luck and Confucian Philosophy


3:30-3:45   Coffee/Tea Break


Session 4: 3:45-4:45 Plenary/Keynote Speaker

Venue:  Ramada Hotel Ballroom

Chair:              R.A.H. King (University of Bern, Swiss)

Speaker:                      Vincent Shen 沈清松 (University of Toronto)

Ethical Praxis in the Process of Globalization:

From Philosophical Foundation to a Way of Life 


5:00 pm           Bus to Niagara Falls





July 23, Tuesday

Venue: Ramada Hotel and Conference Center


8:00   Breakfast: Ramada Hotel Ballroom


Session 1: 8:30-10:30


1A: The Good Life: Chinese and Western

Chair:              David Wong (Duke University)

Speakers:        Van Norden, Bryan W. 万百安 (Vassar College)

What Do Good Lives Have in Common? Chinese and Western


Maria Teresa Gonzalez Linaje迈德 (University of Veracruz)

Daoism and Romanticism: approaches to Nature and the way of living through art in East & West

Abdelmadjid Amrani (Batna University, Algeria)

An Appeal to One Civilization to One World and the Way of Living


1B: Women and Family in Cross-cultural Philosophies

Chair:              Xiaowei Fu傅晓微 (Sichuan International Studies University)

Speakers:        Ann A. Pang-White 庞安安 (University of Scranton)

        The Teaching of Emptiness (śūnyatā), Agency, and Women:

       A Case Study of Buddhism’s Modern Transformation

Hassina Hemamid (Batna University, Algeria)

The Family as a Source of Progress in Both Chinese and Islamic Philosophy

Qiong Wang (SUNY College at Oneonta)

Defending an “Absolutistic” Confucian Familial Morality


1C: Yangsheng Philosophy in Chinese Traditions

Convener/chair: Xinzhong Yao姚新中 (King’s College London)

Speakers:        Chang Qing 释长清 (Buddhist College of Singapore)

A Study on Zhi-yi’s Philosophy of Yang Sheng (養生) on the Condensed Chapter of Cessation and Contemplation (小止觀)

Guocheng Jiao 焦国成 (Renmin University of China)

On the Philosophy of Mind Cultivation in Chapter Neiye of Guanzi (管子内業篇)

Xinzhong Yao 姚新中 (King’s College London)

Nurturing the Body, the Mind and the Nature—Interplay of Yangsheng, Yangxin, and Yangxing in the Book of Mengzi

Yanxia Zhao 赵艳霞 (University of Wales)

Yangzhu’s Yangsheng Philosophy and Its Modern Relevance


1D: Politics and the Way of Living

Chair:                       Chi-Shing Chen陈起行 (National Cheng-Chi University)     

Speakers:        Bangjin Sun孙邦金 Wenzhou University)


The Confucian Dao-Tong Theory and its Political Living Dilemma in Qing Dynasty

Paul Poenicke (University at Buffalo)

The Pencil and the Pu: Illustrating Troublesome Daoist Political Opinions

          Hanmin Zhu朱汉民 (Hunan University)

The Style of the Personage and the Disposition of the SageLife-world and Philosophical Idea of Intellectuals in Chinese Tradition


10:30-10:45 Coffee/Tea Break



Session 2: 10:45-12:15 


2AGongfu and Chinese philosophy

Organizer/Chair: Peimin Ni倪培民  (Grand Valley State University)

Speakers:        Peimin Ni倪培民       (Grand Valley State University)

Implications of the Confucian Gongfu Approach to            Philosophy

Huaiyu Wang 王懷聿 (Georgia College & State University)

Thinking across Authority, Autonomy, and Virtuosity: Toward a Gongfu Interpretation of Confucian Filial Devotion (Xiao)


2BWay of Living: Jewish and Chinese

Chair:      Walter Benesch (University of Alaska)

Speakers:   Xiaowei Fu傅晓微 (Sichuan International Studies University)

The Name Survives Death: the Idea of Immortal Life After Death in Biblical and Confucian Traditions


Yinya Liu (National University of Ireland)

Ethical TransformationA Comparative Approach Inspired by Levinas’s Thought


2CWisdom and Life in the Yijing

Chair:              Chung-ying Cheng成中英(University of Hawaii)

Speakers:        Dajun Liu刘大钧 (Shandong University)

                        The Learning of Yi and Human Living易》学与人生境界

Tze-ki Hon (SUNY-Geneseo)

Divination as Philosophy of Living: Hexagrams and the Genealogy of the Sages of the Yijing


2D:  Dao and Life

Chair:              Yanxia Zhao 赵艳霞   (University of Wales)

Speakers:      Yinlin Guan (The University of Edinburgh)

‘Dao’ in Daodejing and the Comparison Among the Different Interpretations of ‘Dao’

Yitian Zhai 翟一恬 (University at Buffalo)

Dao: The Public and the Private


12:15-1:30 Lunch Ramada Hotel Ballroom



Session 3: 1:30-3:30


3A: Therapeutic Value of philosophy

Chair:                  Jose Antonio Hernanz Moral (University of Veracruz )

Speakers:        George Hole (Buffalo State College)

Just Doing: Therapy According to Chuang Tsu

Andrew Colvin (Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania)

Philosophy as Therapy and the Practice of Philosophy in China

Thiago Rodrigo de Oliveira Costa (University of Brasília, Brazil)

Epicurean Philosophical Therapy and Buddhist Spiritual Practice: Some Points of Contact.

Danqiong Zhu (Xidian University)

Political Frustration, Trauma, and Self-therapy from Nature: Life and Freedom


3BKnowledge and Life

Chair:     Chenyang Li李晨阳 (Nanyang Technological University)

Speakers: Walter Benesch (University of Alaska)

THE PARADOX OF THINKING AND THE UNTHINKABLE: A Synthesis of Chinese Aspect/Perspective Philosophy with Hans Vaihinger’s Philosophy of ‘As if’’ and His View of Knowledge as ‘Fictions’

Henrique Schneider (University of Graz, Austria)

Between Pragmatism and Coherentism: Hanfei and truth

Kuo-Hsiung Lin 林国雄 (Tsyr-Jen College of Taiwan)

Trial Wu-Hsing Explanation of Hydrological cycle



3C: Basic Activities of Man, the Confucian Ideal, and the Daoist Harmony

Organizer/Chair:  Shin Kim (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies)

Speakers:  Shin Kim (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies)

Aristotle and the Basic Activities of Man: HeoriaPoiesis, and Praxis

Won-Myoung Kim (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies)

Aristotle on the Confucian ideal of 內聖外王

Jiwon Yun (Korea Military Academy)

                             Tang Junyi (唐君毅) Moral Self(道德自我))

   Jucheol Shin (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies)

                             Daoist Imagination Within Contemporary Korean Poetry



3DSelf and Individual in Chinese philosophy

Chair:    Suck Choi  (Towson University)

Speakers:  Ao, Yumin and Ulrich Steinvorth (George Mason University)

The Self in the Chinese Tradition

  Oleg Benesch (University of York, UK)

The Cultivation of the Modern Japanese Individual Between Chinese and Western Philosophy

       Winnie Sung (University College London)

                                                Hypocrisy: An Alternative Kind


3:30-3:45  Coffee/Tea Break



Session 4: 3:45-5:45


4A: Special Session: Fu Foundation Essay Contest Winning Essays

Chair:              Sandra Wawrytko (San Diego State University)

Speakers:        Xiaodong Zou邹晓东 (Peking University)

学庸研究:七家批判与方法反思The Studies of Daxue and Zhongyong: Seven Critiques and Reflecting on the Methodology

Jesse Ciccotti (Wuhan University)

The Mengzi and Moral Uncertainty: A Ruist Philosophical Treatment of Moral Luck

Chan Wang Elton (Hong Kong University)

Ritual Propriety as Discipline—a Foucauldian Reading


4B Heidegger and Chinese Philosophy

Chair:              Kah-kyung Cho (University at Buffalo)

Speakers:        Qingjie James Wang 王庆节 (Chinese University of Hong Kong)

   Heidegger's reconstruction of Metaphysics and three major understandings of Dasein in China

Chenyang Li李晨阳 (Nanyang Technological University)

Truth-Creativity-Reality: A Heideggerian Interpretation of Cheng ()

Wing-cheuk Chan 陈荣灼 (Brock University)

A Heideggerian Interpretation of Zhuangzi: Focused on ‘The Equality of All Things’


4C A Memorial Session Dedicated to

勞思光(Sze-Kwang Lao) and 唐力权(Lik-Kuen Tong)

Chair:              Weiwu Li李维武 (Wuhan University)

Speakers:        Jenkuen Chen陈振崑(Huafan University)

Sze-Kwang Lao’s Theory of Virtue (勞教授的德性論)

Vincent Shen沈清松 (University of Toronto)

                                                The Interculturality in Sze-Kwang Lao and Lik-Kuen Tong’s

                                    Chung-ying Cheng 成中英(University of Hawaii)  

Professor Lau’s Methodology of Doing History of Chinese Philosophy


4DRhetoric, Aesthetics and Art

Chair:              Yi Wang王毅 (Sichuan International Studies University)

Speakers:        Sandra A. Wawrytko (San Diego State University)

Sedimentation in Chinese Aesthetics and Epistemology: Synthesizing Confucian and Buddhist Perspectives

Shirley Chan陈慧 (Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia)

Oneness (Self Cultivation and Political Idea) in the Fan Wu Liu Xing (凡物流形) Text.

Arabella Lyon (University at Buffalo)

               A Comparative Meditation on Imperial Inclusions:

                              Paradox and the Dao


6:00   BBQ Dinner at Ramada Hotel






July 24, Wednesday

Venue: Ramada Hotel and Conference Center


8:00  Breakfast: Ramada Hotel Ballroom


Session 1: 8:30-10:30


1A and 2A: Landscape and Art as a Way of Living

Organizer/chair: Yolaine Escande 幽兰        (CNRS, CRAL, EHESS, Paris)

Speakers :       Vincent Shen 沈清松 (University of Toronto)

Space, Landscape and Cloud: Chinese Landscape Painting and Ancient Cosmology

Kuan-Min Huang黄冠閔 (Academia Sinica, Taipei)

Exploring Landscape, Interrogating Our Existence

Johanna Liu 刘千美 (University of Toronto)

Reading Landscape as Dwelling and Wandering

Yolaine Escande 幽兰 ( CNRS, CRAL, EHESS, Paris)

The Art of Landscape as a Way of Living

Yvonne Yo Jia-Raye  (University of Toronto)

The Manifestation of Landscape: Synaesthesia and Poiesi

                                    Rong Bin榮斌 (CNRS, CRAL, EHESS, Paris)


Contemplation in the Art of Chinese Calligraphy: Art as a Practice of Life. An Understanding in Regards to John Dewey’s Aesthetic Thought.


1B: Modern Chinese wisdom

Chair:              Xinzhong Yao 姚新中 (King’s College London)

Speakers:     Joseph Ciaudo 謝周 (Institute of Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Paris)

Politics, Philosophy and Culture of the Self in Zhang Junmai’s Life and Texts until 1941

Timothy Huson (Lindenwood University)

Lin Yutang and the Chinese Ideals of Human Dignity and Individualism

Ping He何萍 (Wuhan University)


Human Nature, Character, and Human Freedom in Feng Qi’s “Theory of Wisdom”



1C: Language and Xunzi’s Ethics

Chair:              Caigang Yao姚才刚 (Hubei University)

Speakers:        Jifen Li李纪芬           (Nanyang Technological University)

A Comparative Study of Heidegger’s Concept of Language and Xunzi’s      Li

Siufu Tang鄧小虎        (Hong Kong University)

The Capability Approach and Xunzi’s Ethical Thought

Jer-shiarn Lee 李哲賢 (National Yunlin University of Science and Technology)

On the Essence of Xunzi’s Theory of Names and Its Deriving Problem


10:30-10:45  Coffee/Tea Break



Session 2: 10:45-12:15 


2A: Landscape and Art as a Way of Living



2B: Wisdom and Virtue: East and West

Chair:              Wing-Cheuk Chan 陈荣灼     (Brock University)

Speakers:        Kah-kyung Cho (University at Buffalo)

                                                iddle Voice Grammar and the Reciprocal Virtue

Jose Antonio Hernanz Moral (University of Veracruz)

Toward a Convergence of Daoist philosophy and the Lebenswelt of Western philosophy for the Creation of New paths of Wisdom in Our Global World


2C: Dao, Rhetoric, and Ethical Reasoning

Chair:              Jenkuen Chen 陈振崑(Huafan University)

Speakers: James D. Sellmann (University of Guam)

On Valuing What is Fitting, the Guidang (貴當) Chapter of the Lüshichunqiu () and Ethical Reasoning

Caigang Yao 姚才刚 (Hubei University)

Liu Zong-zhou’s Doctrine of Correcting Mistakes and Its Ethical Enlightenment劉宗周的改過說及其倫理啟示


12:15-1:30 Lunch  Ramada Hotel



Session 3: 1:30-4:30


Plenary session:  Methodology in Comparative Philosophy

Venue:  Ramada Hotel Ballroom

Organizer and Moderator:

Kwong-loi Shun信广来 (Chinese University of Hong Kong, ISCP vice President)

Speakers:        Kwong-loi Shun信广来 (Chinese University of Hong Kong)

The Past and the Present, China and the West – Methodological Issues in the Contemporary Study of Chinese Thought

Bryan Van Norden 万百安 (Vassar College)

In Favor of Projecting a Meaning Onto the Text

Yong Huang 黄勇 (Kutztown University)

How to Do Chinese Philosophy in a Western Context

Jiyuan Yu余纪元 (State University of New York at Buffalo)

Symmetrical Comparison

Chenyang Li李晨阳 (Nanyang Technological University)

              Comparative Philosophy and Cultural Patterns

Jorge Gracia (State University of New York at Buffalo)

Bridging the Philosophical Gap between East and West: The History of Philosophy and Comparative Philosophy


4:30-4:45  Coffee/Tea Break


4:45-5:45 ISCP Business Meeting

Chairs:  Professor Ann Pang-White庞安安 (ISCP Treasurer)

 Professor Xiaomei Yang 杨小梅 (ISCP Secretary)

 Professor Jiyuan Yu 余纪元 (ISCP President/Executive Director)


5:45 Closing Reception (hosted by ISCP)

Venue:  Ramada Hotel Ballroom



*All sessions are free and open to the public.

*Meals are for the registered participants only.


July 15, 2013 Posted by | Chinese philosophy | Leave a comment

Buffalo ISCP International Conference on Chinese Philosophy

Call for Papers
18th International Conference on Chinese Philosophy
By the International Society for Chinese Philosophy (ISCP)

Chinese Philosophy and the Way of Living
July 21-24, 2013
State University of New York at Buffalo

Deadline for submission of the abstracts and symposium proposals: November 30th, 2012.
Please send to  buffaloiscpconference@yahoo.com

For details, please visit the Conference website: http://iscp.philosophy.buffalo.edu/

The theme of the conference
One major characteristic of Chinese philosophical tradition is that it is not just a matter of theoretical pursuit, but is more a practical enterprise. Philosophy is thought to be a “Learning of Living” (生命的学 问), and doing philosophy is to practice a way of life that one chooses and to cultivate and transform character. The central question of Chinese philosophy is “what is the Dao?” and dao (literally, road or way) is the way in which human beings should lead their lives. This conception of philosophy differs from the prevailing modern university conception of philosophy, according to which philosophy is mainly a theoretical discipline and philosophical reflection is peripheral to life.
The conception of philosophy is worth studying, keeping alive, and reviving as an alternative way of doing philosophy. It is similar to the idea that philosophy is the “art of living,” which was prominent in ancient Greek/Roman philosophy, especially in the spirit of Socrates. His motto that “the unexamined life is not worth living” clearly shows that what is examined is “life” rather than “knowledge” or “proposition.” The Jewish tradition is also characteristic of the idea that letter and spirit, idea and life, are inseparable. In the West this conception has been marginalized in modern times, but seems to have experienced a sort of renaissance, as can be seen in the works of (to name only a few) P. Hadot, A. Nehamas, M. Nussbaum, and others.
The Buffalo conference is to explore in details and in depth Chinese conception of philosophy as a learning of living. It seeks not only to deepen our understanding of the nature of Chinese philosophy, but also, through a cross-cultural comparative approach, to enrich the conception of philosophy as a way of living and contribute its revival in contemporary philosophy.

Sub-themes of the conference include but are not limited to:

1.    Chinese philosophy as a learning of living
2. Philosophical discourses and philosophical practicality
3.  Justifying a way of living: metaphysics, aesthetics, and rhetoric
4. Practical wisdom
5.  Moral psychology
6. Formation of self, character, and virtue
7. Happiness, death and suicide
8. Politics and the way of living
9.  Philosophical therapy and spiritual practice
10. The Art of Living: Chinese and Greek
11. The Art of living:  Chinese and Jewish
 12. Methodology of comparative study

September 11, 2012 Posted by | Chinese philosophy | 5 Comments

Transmitting 述, Innovating作, and Philosophizing in Confucius

Everyone knows the Master’s saying that he “transmits, but does not innovate” (“述而不作”, Analects 7:1), and usually it is taken to mean
that Confucius is not a creative or original thinker, but only hands down the ancient wisdom. Yet this reading must be shallow, given Confucius’s founding
role in Chinese philosophy. I would like to make a few observations about this saying and wonder whether it makes sense to you.

While the Analects 7:1 seems to establish the “transmitting/innovating” dichotomy, at 7: 28  the Master said, “No doubt there are those who try to innovate [zuo] without acquiring knowledge, but this is a fault that I do not posses.” “盖有不知而者,我无是也.” Accordingly, it is not simply that Confucius does not “innovate” or “create;” rather, he does not do this out of ignorance.

(b) The term ‘transmitting’ (shu) also appears in the Doctrines of the Mean to define the virtue of piety. Confucius says there that what makes a son a filial
son is his ability “to continue (ji) the will (zhih) and to transmit (shu) the work of his father.” (夫孝者,善继人之志,善述人之事者也. Ch. 19). If we put this definition of filial piety (xiao孝) together with Confucius’s self-description as a transmitter, it appears that Confucius likens himself to what a filial son does to his father’s work.  A filial son “transmits” his father’s aspirations, causes, and ideals, and seeks to develop and actualize them. Similarly, what Confucius transmits is the spirit, value, and ideals of the tradition. Confucius’s philosophical activity of transmitting traditional values could be regarded as an expression of his piety with regards to the authentic tradition in which Confucius believes the dao of Heaven is embedded.

(c ) More importantly, even the dichotomy of transmission/creation appears in the Doctrine of the Mean. Confucius says: “It is only King Wen of whom it can
be said that he had no cause for grief. His father was King Ji, and his son was King Wu. His father innovated (zuo) it, and his son transmitted (shu)
it.” (子曰:无忧者其唯文王乎。以王季为父,以武王为子,父作之,子述之. Ch.18) . The saying supplements the previous saying about piety in the sense that the son “shu” because his father has already authored or “created”. The father “innovates “(作zuo) and the son “transmits” (述shu), and the sons’ job is to continue pursuing and developing what the father has done.  To apply this to Confucius’ case, he transmits but does not innovate because classical texts have been authored and his work is to pursue that wisdom, to master it, bring it, and develop it.

At this juncture, I would like to recall the original Greek meaning of philosophy. Philosophy by name is the “love of wisdom,” not the possession of wisdom itself. Plato interprets that it is because God has the wisdom, and hence it is more proper to say that we human beings are pursuing it (Plato, Phaedrus, 278d ). This “God possesses wisdom”/ “humans love wisdom” contrast sounds very similar to “father innovates /son transmits” relation in the Doctrine of the Mean. Following this, Confucius’s “transmitting/innovating” contrast could be taken to mean that the real creator is tradition, and what an individual can do is to
transmit, that is, to continue, to extend, to accomplish the ideals in the tradition.

In this way, “shu” in Confucius is strikingly similar to what ‘philosophy’ originally means in the West.

September 18, 2011 Posted by | Chinese philosophy | 37 Comments

2013 Buffalo International Conference on Chinese Philosophy

The 17th ISCP International Conference on Chinese Philosophy was successfully held in Paris, France, participated by about 200 Chinese philosophy scholars around the world. The conference was organized by Professor Yolaine Escande, of French National Scientific Research Centre (CNRS) and Graduate School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences(EHESS), July 3-8, 2011. The subject of the conference was “ Interculturality and Philosophic Discourse—Retrospect and Prospect,” and it was organized around the following seven themes: (1) Comparative philosophy: intertraductibility East-West; (2) Cultural philosophy; (3) Philosophy, art and ethics; (4) Value and art and aesthetic appreciation; (5) The new philosophical discourses coming from interculturality; (6) Openness, self-enclosure, and dialogue with others in Chinese philosophy; (7) Theories of knowledge, argumentation, and consensus in Chinese philosophy.   

Since 1976, the International Society for Chinese Philosophy (ISCP) has been holding bi-annual international conference in different regions of the world.  The conference usually draws large audience and has significantly promoted the interest and development of the study of Chinese Philosophy in the world. 

The 18th International Conference on Chinese Philosophy will take place in summer 2013. My home institution, State University of New York at Buffalo, is honored to be chosen to host this great conference, and I am honored to serve as its organizer. I look forward to welcoming colleagues in Chinese philosophy around the world to the beautiful Buffalo-Niagara region (especially in the summer).  The conference is at its initial stage of planning. With this chance I would like to solicit your suggestions and support.  As a tradition, the subject of the conference is broadly conceived, focusing on the contemporary significance of Chinese philosophy and Eastern-Western dialogues.   You are cordially invited to organize a panel or contribute a paper. Any idea regarding how the conference could be better organized will be deeply appreciated.

August 29, 2011 Posted by | Chinese philosophy | 3 Comments