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

Call for Papers: 9th Annual Midwest Conference on Chinese Thought (Submission Deadline Extended)

9th Annual Midwest Conference on Chinese Thought

University of Dayton/Wright State University

Dayton, OH

May 10-11, 2013




The Midwest Conference on Chinese Thought was created to foster dialogue and interaction between scholars and students working on Chinese thought across different disciplines and through a variety of approaches. Submissions are invited for papers on any aspect of Chinese thought, as well as papers dealing with comparative issues that engage Chinese perspectives. Possible themes for submissions include: examining how recovered texts reframe familiar issues and debates in early Chinese thought; texts, movements, and figures from neglected eras and traditions; the current renaissance of philosophy and religious studies in China.


This year’s MCCT will be held on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11 at the University of Dayton and Wright State University, in Dayton, OH. 


To facilitate blind review, please submit abstracts of 1-2 pages in length to Patricia Johnson at pjohnson2@udayton.edu by MARCH 15th.  For further inquiries about this year’s MCCT, contact Alexus McLeod at gmcleod1@udayton.edu or Judson Murray at judson.murray@wright.edu.

February 20, 2013 Posted by | Chinese philosophy | Leave a comment

Columbia Society for Comparative Philosophy lecture this Friday (02/15) @5:30pm


Welcomes JONATHAN C. GOLD (Princeton University)

With responses from Robert Wright, Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, and and prize-winning author of such books as The Evolution of God, Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny, The Moral Animal, and Three Scientists and Their Gods: Looking for Meaning in an Age of Information.

Please join us at Columbia University Department of Religion on February 15, 2013 at 5:30 for his lecture entitled,

Accepting the Conditions: The Ethical Implications of Vasubandhu’s Buddhist Causal Theory

This paper presents a view that I call “Buddhist Causal Framing,” which is characterized by the following four doctrines: (1) the reality and significance of entities or events are indexed to their roles in causal series; (2) causality itself is a relativistic mode of explanation, since it is only known via framing structures that reflect the interests and capacities of the knower; (3) entities judged “substantial” by causal criteria are thus ultimately subjective constructions; and yet (4) entities judged “substantial” by causal criteria are not entirely unreal, for, in a properly formulated causal explanation, the subjective frame allows one to test for objective patterns of dependence. Buddhist Causal Framing is an abstracted and formalized version of the philosophical position advocated in works attributed to the great 4th/5th century Indian Buddhist philosopher Vasubandhu, and the paper locates this view within Vasubandhu’s Abhidharma arguments and the Yog?c?ra doctrine of The Three Natures. The main focus of the presentation, however, is on the philosophical significance of Buddhist Causal Framing itself.

The paper argues that Vasubandhu’s view, which is fundamentally bound to the interpretation of scripture, resembles the view of James Woodward, a modern philosopher who theorizes causal explanation on the structure of a scientific experiment. This similarity, it is argued, accounts for certain oft-noted resonances between Buddhism and a modern scientific worldview. An ethical consideration of the relativity of frames helps to explain the well-known Buddhist discomfort with moral absolutes and justice-talk. It is argued that the requirement that substantial significance be granted only to events with causal consequences within subjective frames amounts to a Buddhist moral ground for the social sciences. Such a view would in principle counter (disprove) dogmatic and ideological positions that are inconsistent with their own historical/conceptual-constructedness (such as nationalisms and essential rights). It would also seek to “right” moral wrongs through carefully uncovering, explaining, and intervening in their causes and conditions, rather than seeking retributive punishment.

5:30-7:30 pm
Rm. 101 in the Department of Religion 80 Claremont Avenue


February 12, 2013 Posted by | Comparative philosophy, Lecture | Leave a comment

International graduate student scholarships at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

These are generous scholarships–3 years’ duration for a PhD and 2 years for an MA–which pays the tuition fee and an annual stipend of $24,653 to successful applicants.

The scholarships are for PhD and Masters research. Closing date: 1st March 2013.

If you’re interested in submitting a proposal for research in Chinese philosophy, please get in touch with A/Prof Karyn Lai (k.lai@unsw.edu.au) as the proposal will need the support of the supervisor.

More details of the scholarship are available at: http://research.unsw.edu.au/sites/all/files/related_files/regular_page_content/international_scholarship_guidelines.pdf?t=1360177126

February 6, 2013 Posted by | Chinese philosophy | Leave a comment

CFP–Constructing and Interpreting the Daotong

Call for papers
Constructing and Interpreting the 
Daotong (Transmission of the Way) in the Perspective of Chinese and Korean Neo-Confucianism
International conference organised by:
–         The Centre of Chinese Studies (CEC, ASIEs, Inalco),

–         The Centre of Korean Studies (CECO, ASIEs, Inalco)

–         The Institute of Confucian Philosophy and Culture (Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul)

The organising committee is pleased to invite colleagues and Ph.D students interested in Neo-Confucianism to submit abstracts for this international conference regarding the construction and (re-)interpretations of the 
Daotong. Its objective is to re-examine the process through which Neo-Confucian discourse was legitimated by promoting the notion of Transmission of the Way, both in Chinese and Korean contexts. The conference will discuss the following questions: should we distinguish a stage of Transmission of the Way (daotong) from one of Dao Learning (daoxue), as suggested by Yu Ying-shi? How did Chinese and Korean Neo-Confucians develop their doctrine in the lineage of Dao Learning? Why did Zhu Xi’s school dominate Korean Neo-Confucianism? What is the validity of Mou Zongsan’s division of the Chinese Neo-Confucian tradition into two or three branches?
The conference will also be an opportunity to review new methodologies dealing with research on Neo-Confucianism in both philosophical and historical perspectives.  

Working languages
: Chinese, English, French, Korean (Handout in Chinese or English hoped for if oral presentation in French or Korean) 
Organising Committee: Choi Young Jin, Kim Daeyeol, Isabelle Sancho, Frédéric Wang
Contacts: Frédéric Wang (fwang@inalco.fr), Isabelle Sancho (isabellesancho@noos.fr)
Conference Location: Inalco, Salle des Conseils, 65 rue des Grands Moulins, 75013 Paris, France
15th March 2013: submission of abstract
30th May: final program of the conference

1st and 2nd July: Conference dates 

All conference participants will be responsible for the planning and cost of their own travel arrangements to the conference venue.
 Meals will be provided during the conference.

February 5, 2013 Posted by | Call for Papers (CFP), Chinese philosophy | Leave a comment

Second Call for Papers: International Conference on the Philosophy of Criminal Punishment

Second Call for Papers: International Conference on the Philosophy of Criminal Punishment

June 18-20, 2013

Department of Philosophy, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.


Keynote speakers:

Erin Kelly, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy, Tufts University; author of “Criminal Justice without Retribution,” The Journal of Philosophy (2009).

T. M. Scanlon, Alford Professor of Natural Religion, Moral Philosophy, and Civil Polity, Harvard University; author of What We Owe to Each Other, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1998.

Tommie Shelby, Professor of African and African American Studies and of Philosophy, Harvard University; author of “Justice, Deviance, and the Dark Ghetto,” Philosophy and Public Affairs (2007).


– Why Punish? How Much? Punishment and Social Justice

– Punishment and Social Justice

– Should the Death Penalty be Implemented or Abolished?

– Any suggested topic under the Philosophy of Criminal Punishment


– Submissions from philosophy, law, criminal justice, and penology are welcome.

– There will be about 15 papers. No parallel sessions. Each paper will be allotted approximately an hour for presentation and discussion.

– Please submit a long abstract (250-500 words) by March 15, 2013.

– Decision will be made by April 1, 2013, or as soon as an abstract is received.

– Submissions after March 15 will be considered if there is still space.

– Paper will be due by June 1, 2013.

Meals & Lodging:

– Most meals during the conference will be provided.

Lodging in a hotel or guesthouse for speakers will be subsidized.

Email addresses:

Send your submissions to both Joyce Cheung at mycheung@arts.cuhk.edu.hk and to Hon-Lam Li at hooon212@gmail.com

Practical questions should be directed to Joyce, whereas questions of topics should be addressed to Hon-Lam.


April 1, 2013, or sooner.


January 11, 2013 Posted by | Chinese philosophy | Leave a comment

Call for Papers: 9th Annual Midwest Conference on Chinese Thought

Call for Papers:  9th Annual Midwest Conference on Chinese Thought

University of Dayton/Wright State University

Dayton, OH

May 10-11, 2013

The Midwest Conference on Chinese Thought was created to foster dialogue and interaction between scholars and students working on Chinese thought across different disciplines and through a variety of approaches. Submissions are invited for papers on any aspect of Chinese thought, as well as papers dealing with comparative issues that engage Chinese perspectives. Possible themes for submissions include: examining how recovered texts reframe familiar issues and debates in early Chinese thought; texts, movements, and figures from neglected eras and traditions; the current renaissance of philosophy and religious studies in China.

This year’s MCCT will be held on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11 at the University of Dayton and Wright State University, in Dayton, OH.

To facilitate blind review, please submit abstracts of 1-2 pages in length to Patricia Johnson at pjohnson2@udayton.edu by Feb. 20th.  For further inquiries about this year’s MCCT, contact Alexus McLeod at gmcleod1@udayton.edu or Judson Murray at judson.murray@wright.edu.

December 22, 2012 Posted by | Call for Papers (CFP), Chinese philosophy, Conference | Leave a comment

Comparative Philosophy Seminar

I’m working up a syllabus for a seminar in  Comparative Philosophy for a new M.A. program that we are starting at E.M.U. (not official yet, but almost there).  Below is what I have come up with for my first draft.  If you have taught a course in Comparative Philosophy, or have contemplated doing so, I’d appreciate any feedback you can offer with regard to readings and topics.

As for the readings that have been included, you can see that I construe the overall subject matter fairly broadly (or do I?).

The course is divided roughly into two halves.  The first half covers issues in comparative philosophy.  The second half is broken further into two sections, the first of which covers actual examples of doing comparative philosophy; and the second of which covers classic texts that provide good opportunities for comparative analysis–to give the students an opportunity to practice and thereby realize first hand the many issues and difficulties involved.  The last few weeks are devoted to readings that propose how to use comparative methods to make advances in current philosophy.  I’ll probably swap those readings out for readings from an anthology that I am working on at the moment–the theme of which is using the resources of the Chinese tradition to advance issues in current philosophy.


Philosophy 590 – Comparative Philosophy

Professor: Brian Bruya

Course Description

Philosophy 590 is a course on the methods and methodology of comparative philosophy.  Methodology is the study of the possibility, use, and limits of methods.  Insofar as we will be studying the methodology of comparative philosophy, we will be focusing on the possibility and the limitations of adopting and comparing complex ideas across languages and cultures.  As such, we will consider in detail cultural and linguistic commensurability, hermeneutics, and relativism.  With regard to method, we will be learning how to engage and interpret complex philosophical ideas that originate outside of the contemporary idiom.  We will consider their conceptual and linguistic genealogies and learn profitable ways of comparing them to similar ideas of different origin.

Required Texts

Larson, Gerald James and Eliot Deutsch (eds.). Interpreting Across Boundaries: New Essays in Comparative Philosophy.  Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988.

Kuhn, Thomas S..  The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970





Week 1  What is Comparative Philosophy?

Staal, Fritz.  “Is There Philosophy in Asia?” In Larson, Interpreting Across Boundaries. 27 pgs

Nakamura, Hajime. “The Meaning of the Terms ‘Philosophy’ and ‘Religion’ in Various Traditions.” In Larson, Interpreting Across Boundaries.  15 pgs

Krishna, Daya.  “Comparative Philosophy: What It Is and What It Ought to Be.”  In Larson, Interpreting Across Boundaries.  13 pages

Cua, A. S. “Reflections on Moral Theory and Understanding Moral Traditions.” In Larson, Interpreting Across Boundaries.  14 pages

Weeks 2-3 Commensurability

Whorf, Benjamin, “The Relation of Habitual Thought and Behavior to Language.” In Language, Thought, and Reality. 18 pages

Quine, W.V.  “Main Trends in Recent Philosophy: Two Dogmas of Empiricism.” 23 pages

Davidson, Donald. “On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme.” 15 pages

Potter, Karl. “Metaphor as Key to Understanding the Thought of Other Speech Communities.” In Larson, Interpreting Across Boundaries. 18 pages

Kuhn, Thomas. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 210 pages

Radiolab, “Words.” http://www.radiolab.org/2010/aug/09/

Weeks  4-5  Hermeneutics

Von Uexkull, Jakob.  “A Stroll through the World of Animals and Men.” In Schiller, Instinctive Behavior. 75 pages

Dilthey, Wilhelm. “The Rise of Hermeneutics.” In Hermeneutics and the Study of History. 14 pages

Gadamer, Hans-Georg.  “On the Universality of the Hermeneutic Problem” in Philosophical Hermeneutics. 15 pages

Deutsch, Eliot. “Knowledge and the Tradition Text in Indian Philosophy.” In Larson, Interpreting Across Boundaries. 9 pages

Smart, Ninian. The Analogy of Meaning and the Tasks of Comparative Philosophy.” In Larson, Interpreting Across Boundaries.  10 pages

Chan, Wing-tsit. “Chu Hsi and World Philosophy.” In Larson, Interpreting Across Boundaries. 35 pages

Week 6  Relativism

Plato: Theatetus, selection.

Feyerabend, “Notes on Relativism.”  In Farewell to Reason. 12 pages

Rorty, Richard, “Pragmatism, Relativism, and Irrationality.” 22 pages

Rosemont, Henry, Jr.  “Against Relativism.”  In Larson, Interpreting Across Boundaries. 35 pages

Scharfstein, Ben-Ami. “The Contextual Fallacy.” In Larson, Interpreting Across Boundaries.  14 pages


Weeks 7-8  Examples

Preston, Beth. “Biological and Cultural Proper Functions in Comparative Perspective.” In Krohs,  Functions in Biological and Artificial Worlds: Comparative Perspectives.  13 pages

Burik, Steven. “Thinking, Philosophy, and Language: Comparing Heidegger, Derrida, and Classical Daoism.” In The End of Comparative Philosophy and the Task of Comparative Thinking: Heidegger, Derrida, and Daoism. 53 pages

Loy, David. “The Deconstruction of Dualism.” In Non-Duality: A Study in Comparative Philosophy.  59 pages

Shaner, David Edward. “Science and Comparative Philosophy.” In Shaner, et. al., Science and Comparative Philosophy: Introducing the Philosophy of Yuasa Yasuo.  76 pages

Yuasa, Yasuo, “Contemporary Science and an Eastern Body-Mind Theory.” In Shaner, et. al., Science and Comparative Philosophy: Introducing the Philosophy of Yuasa Yasuo  47 pages

Yuasa Yasuo, “A Cultural Background for Traditional Japanese Self-Cultivation Philosophy.” In Shaner, et. al., Science and Comparative Philosophy: Introducing the Philosophy of Yuasa Yasuo  36 pages

Week 9 Practice: Philosophy in General

Plato, Last Days of Socrates, selections

Confucius, Analects, selections

Week 10 Practice: Idealism

Berkeley, Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous, selections

Shankara, Crest-Jewel of Discrimination, selections

Week 11 Practice: Skepticism

Hume, An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding, selections

Zhuangzi, Inner Chapters, selections

Weeks 12-14  Non-Western Philosophy as an Avenue to Better Contemporary Philosophy

Bruya, “Rehabilitation of Spontaneity”  43 pages

Jullien, Detour and Access, selections

Jullien, The Propensity of Things, selections

December 2, 2012 Posted by | Chinese philosophy | Leave a comment

When Confucius criticizes Zhu Xi and more stories…

When Confucius criticizes Zhu Xi and more stories…


I have had the chance to come across fascinating interpretations of the Great Learning in a book titled Daxue zhengshi 大學證釋 (Evidential Interpretation of the Great Learning). To be more accurate, the striking part of the story lies less in the philosophical originality of the interpretations than in the identity of the commentators.

In this volume, the original Daxue text is commented upon by a series of sages (liesheng qishu 列聖齊述) including Confucius, Yan Hui, Zengzi and Mencius… Zhu Xi was also a contributor to this volume and provided a nice self-criticism piece about his problematic Song-dynasty interpretations of the text. He finally admitted that he got it completely wrong with his former discussions on the “extension of knowledge lying in the investigation of things” (zhizhi zai gewu  致知在格物), etc…  Among the other contributions, the one of Confucius was interesting but I doubt that Zhu Xi enjoyed it much because it happens that he was wrong again ! Kongzi’s line of argument was the following: basing himself on Zhu Xi’s edited introductory sentence of the Daxue (大學之道,在明明德 , 在親民,在止於至善) he criticized Zhu’s replacement of the original 在親親 , 在新民 by 在親民  (understood as: 在新民). He posited that these changes did not reflect “the entirety of Confucian doctrine” (fei rujiao jiaoyi zhi quan yi 非儒教教義之全矣) and highlighted the fact that ideas such as “ruling the country primarily requires to regulate the family” (zhi guo bi xian qi jia 治國必先齊家) or “the foundations of the country lie in the family” (guo zhi ben zai jia 國之本在家) all originated from the “affection to the kindred” (親親), that is, from characters cut off  by Zhu Xi….

I will skip my comments on these comments and concentrate on some background information that might be more interesting. Documents gathered in this volume were obtained in the course of spirit writing sessions that are said to have taken place in different parts of Mainland China approximately between 1910 and 1930 (nothing is indicated in the book, I was told this during interviews). They originate from the Way of Pervading Unity or Yiguandao, a sectarian movement  (or “redemptive society”) inheriting from an ancient syncretistic and millenarian tradition and that is nowadays sometimes sociologically described as a “new religious movement”.

Spirit writing (fuluan 扶鸞, fuji 扶乩) is a very ancient practice that is not specific to the Yiguandao — it has been popular in China for centuries and may be for instance performed in Daoist circles. It consists in communicating with the spirits of xianfo 仙佛 and in letting them convey their instructions or messages to the living. It is performed by three persons (san cai 三才), nowadays generally young women, who are especially selected and trained. One of them (called tiancai 天才) uses a wooden planchette thanks to which she writes characters in the sand. The characters are supposed to be dictated by “saints and buddhas” and the tiancai basically only channels their messages through her body. Her personality is supposed to be put aside during the session and her action (that is, the concrete activity of writing in the sand) is seemingly totally devoid of any intentionality and willpower. The second girl (dicai 地才) reads loudly what the first writes quickly in the sand whereas the third one (rencai 人才) records the character on a paper (or, sometimes now, in a computer).

“Saints and Buddhas” providing instructions and comments in the course of spirit writing sessions are many. More often than not, texts produced within this context do not have the somewhat academic flavour of detailed commentaries on the classics. But as was illustrated here these commentaries also exist and they nowadays continue to be produced. If we add that movements such as the Yiguandao claim a strong Confucian identity (even though syncretism is definitely prevailing), closely associate texts such as the Daxue with concrete self-cultivation practices and also refer to sets of (non spirit-writing) sectarian scriptures influenced by Song – Ming neo-Confucianism, we have here a fascinating case of creative popular and religious appropriation of “the mainstream Confucian tradition”.

November 21, 2012 Posted by | Chinese philosophy | Leave a comment

CFP: June, 2012 ISCWP event in Wuhan on Language

(Please note the “Special Note” at the end: even if you cannot take part in this event, if you are interested in the theme you are invited to submit a paper for inclusion in two publication projects.)

Call for Papers

Symposium / 學術研討會Philosophical Issues Concerning Chinese Language and Development of Contemporary Philosophy of Language” “關於漢語的哲學問題與當代語言哲學發展”

2013 Term / Wuhan“Beijing Roundtable on Contemporary Philosophy” 2013届-武漢“北京當代哲學國際圓桌學術研討會”
Wuhan University/Philosophy School “Advanced Forum in Comparative Philosophy” 武漢大學哲學學院“比較哲學高峰論壇”

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November 20, 2012 Posted by | Call for Papers (CFP), Chinese philosophy, Comparative philosophy, Philosophy in China, Philosophy of language | Leave a comment

TOC: Latest issue of Asian Philosophy

Issue 22:4 of Asian Philosophy has been published.

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November 20, 2012 Posted by | Tables of Contents | Leave a comment

Confucius China Study Plan: Significant Fellowship Opportunity

As I understand it, this new program has the potential to provide foreign Ph.D. students studying in China with up to RMB 200,000 per year for six years; and their are other dimensions of the program as well. Some information is below, and on the linked websites. Anyone with specific additional information, please share in the comments. Note that students applying from universities with affiliated Confucius Institutes will apparently receive priority.


Confucius China Study Plan(Trial Version)



In order to foster deep understanding of China and the Chinese culture among young elites from around the world, enable the prosperous growth of China studies, promote the sustainable development of Confucius Institutes, and enhance the friendly relationship between China and the people of other countries, the Confucius Institute Headquarters (the Headquarters) has set up the “Confucius China Study Plan”.

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November 18, 2012 Posted by | Graduate study, Opportunities | Leave a comment

Nishan Confucian Studies Summer Institute

Here is an announcement of a month-long summer program for faculty and graduate students; note that there will be a parallel opportunity for undergraduate students’ more information about that is forthcoming soon.

We are pleased to introduce the Third Annual Nishan Confucian Studies Summer Institute at the Nishan Birthplace of the Sage Academy in Shandong, China, July 6 to August 3, 2013.

This month-long training program for teachers of Chinese culture and advanced graduate students will be led by professors Roger T. Ames (University of Hawaii), Sor-hoon Tan (National University of Singapore) and Tian Chenshan (Beijing Foreign Studies University), with a special series of lectures by Henry Rosemont, Jr. (Brown University), Zhang Xianglong (Beijing University), and Hans-Georg Moeller (University College Cork). Our time together will revolve around careful and critical readings of classical texts and contemporary commentaries, seminars, discussion groups, cultural events and activities, and a number of field trips.

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November 18, 2012 Posted by | Confucianism, Opportunities | Leave a comment

Panels at the Upcoming AAR Conference

Here is an update from Thomas Wilson concerning the American Academy of Religion conference that will be held this weekend:

Please note the two panels sponsored by the Confucian Traditions Group. We especially encourage you to attend the business meeting following the Saturday afternoon session (A17-316). We’ve also listed a few other panels that might be of interest to you.
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November 13, 2012 Posted by | Conference, Confucianism, Daoism, Religion | Leave a comment

CFP: “The Rise of the Asian Century: Trends in Asian and Christian Philosophy”

“The Rise of the Asian Century: Trends in Asian and Christian Philosophy for Building a Just and Sustainable World “

Asian Association of Christian Philosophers Annual Conference 2013
Dates: 10 – 11 April 2013
Venue: Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines


The Asian Association of Christian Philosophers invites abstract submissions for its annual conference to be held from April 10 to 11, 2013, at Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines. The theme of the conference will be: “The Rise of the Asian Century: Trends in Asian and Christian Philosophy for Building a Just and Sustainable World.” The conference language will be English.

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November 13, 2012 Posted by | Call for Papers (CFP), Chinese philosophy, Conference | Leave a comment