1. 思與文-中國現代思想文化研究所

      2019年10月16日“思想與文化”講座回顧

      發布日期: 2019-10-21   作者:   瀏覽次數: 54

       “Thought & Culture” Lecture Review | A Conversation on Classical Chinese Political Philosophy between Two Post-doctorial Researchers


      On the afternoon of October 16, Dr. Hong Cheng  (ECNU) and Dr. Nicolas Le Jeune  (ECNU) made a conversation on classical Chinese political philosophy in Room 5303, Humanities Building, Minhang Campus, ECNU. This Thought and Culture Lecture was chaired by Assistant Professor Lu Kaihua.Many international students of the English graduate programm of Chinese philosophy participated in this lecture.



      Dr. Cheng Hong is now a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of Philosophy & the Institute of Modern Chinese Thought and Culture, East China Normal University, His main areas of research are in contemporary political philosophy and Confucian ethics. Dr. Cheng Hong introduces gives a talk on “Political Equality, Confucian Meritocracy and Democracy” (Supported by Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities 2019ECNU-HWFW012) based on his latest article published on the Journal of Chinese Philosophy (46: 119-141, 2019).



      Dr. Cheng Hong explains a comparative study of Confucian meritocratic ideas, alongside modern democratic theories pertaining to political equality. In their justifications of the democratic procedural view of political equality, many contemporary political philosophers appeal to social equality. He gives three examples: George Kateb argues that the development of modern democracy shows that the requirement of equal relationships can be extended from social relationships to political relationships; Elizabeth Anderson discusses various values related to social equality, which are promoted by modern democracy, such as treating the interests of others as being of equal importance to one’s own; Daniel Viehoof contends that equal opportunities for political participation justify “each citizen’s duty to obey democratic decisions.”


      Furthermore, Dr. Hong argues that the main premises that are often deployed to justify the incompatibility between Confucian meritocracy and political equality from the perspective of a democratic procedural view of political equality and social equality are not self-evidently true. Finally, he philosophically illustrates the value of a Confucian meritocratic view of political equality; such a meritocratic view is founded upon the early Confucian ideas of junzi君子renand the “extension of love.”



      Dr. Nicolas Le Jeune introduces his research on the figure of the intellectual in the Zhuangzi. Dr. Nicolas Le Jeune is now a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of Philosophy at East China Normal University. He obtained his Ph.D. in Philosophy and Religious Studies at the University of Macau. His main areas of research are in Daoist political philosophy and ethics. 

      He argues that the emergence of Chinese philosophy is related to a historical phenomenon: the rise of the class of the shi () as an intellectual elite during the Warring States period. Previously, simple “men of service” who occupied minor positions in the army or the administration, during this period, the shi became associated with the figure of the intellectual who advise kings and develop a new form of philosophical, political, and moral discourse.



      Nicolas Le Jeune argues that the Zhuangzi critiques this figure of the intellectual and his relation with political power. He focuses on a dialogue in which Huizi explains to Zhuangzi that he grew a giant gourd from a seed he received from King Hui of Wei. He shows how the metaphors in this dialogue serve as a critique of the intellectual, in particular on three topics: the disparity between theoretical discourse and political practice, the use of philosophical and moral discourse as instruments of war, and the necessity for intellectuals to free themselves from the servitude of their position of officials.

      Professor Liu Liangjian chaired free discussion, which lasted more than one and a half hour. This lecture was also the activity organized by the Institute of Morden Chinese Thought and Culture to celebrate the 68th anniversary of the foundation of ECNU.



      (Reported by Min Chaoqin)




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