Category Archives: Philosophy

The Debate over the Garfield-Van Norden Essay in The Stone

From Jay Garfield and Bryan W. Van Norden’s “If Philosophy Won’t Diversify, Let’s Call It What It Really Is,” http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/11/opinion/if-philosophy-wont-diversify-lets-call-it-what-it-really-is.html :

The vast majority of philosophy departments in the United States offer courses only on philosophy derived from Europe and the English-speaking world. … Continue reading

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Bibliography of Essential Readings on Chinese Philosophy

Essential Readings on Chinese Philosophy
Compiled by Bryan W. Van Norden
(version of August 5, 2015)
 This list represents one opinion on the essential translations and secondary readings in English on Chinese philosophy. This is not a comprehensive list, and it focuses on … Continue reading

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Should the Ethics of Presidential Candidates Matter?

The classical view on the relationship between ethics and rulership can be traced back to Plato (424-348 BCE), whose Republic argues that a state will never be well governed unless its rulers are virtuous.  Plato’s student Aristotle challenged his master … Continue reading

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Zhuangzi and Peirce on Truth and Rationality

If Western readers are familiar with any Taoist text, it is probably the Classic of the Way and Virtue, attributed to Laozi.  (Ronald Reagan even cited it in a State of the Union Address.)  However, cognoscenti are aware that the Zhuangzi … Continue reading

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Review of Iris Murdoch’s Novel, The Nice and the Good

This is a review of Iris Murdoch’s novel, The Nice and the Good (1968).
Iris Murdoch (1919-1999) was one of the greatest English novelists of the 20th century, and also an important figure in philosophy.  In fact, she was a professor of … Continue reading

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Obituary for David S. Nivison

David Shepherd Nivison, emeritus professor of Philosophy, Religious Studies, and East Asian Languages and Cultures at Stanford University, passed away peacefully on October 16, 2014, aged 91.
Nivison had a career trajectory that would be almost impossible in the contemporary academic … Continue reading

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The McDonalds-ification of Higher Education

There is an approach to learning that is corroding education, especially higher education, in the US: I call it the “McDonalds-ification of Education.”
“Fast food” has been around for a long time. The ancient Romans had it. But McDonald’s raised it … Continue reading

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Comments on Hansen, A Daoist Theory of Chinese Thought, Chapter 2

Summary and Comments on Hansen, “The Context of Chinese Philosophy,” Chapter 2 of A Daoist Theory of Chinese Thought
B.W.V.N.
11 June 2014
 I was invited to attend and present at a conference on Daoism and paradox at CUNY in May.  Each … Continue reading

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Chinese Philosophy Rankings of the Philosophical Gourmet Report

Because I am on the Advisory Board for the Philosophical Gourmet Report (PRG), I received an inquiry about the potential impact of its Chinese philosophy rankings on the field of Chinese philosophy.  I thought I would share my reply in case … Continue reading

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在美國研究孔子的學說:三個學派

I found an old memory stick and discovered something interesting.  Namely, I sound even more fatuous in Chinese than I do in English!
在美國研究孔子的學說:三個學派
(c) 2007 萬百安
在美國主要有三個學派研究孔子的學說。 (A)第一個是用所謂新儒學的觀點來研究孔 子。(B)第二個是用後現代主義的觀點來研究 孔子。(C)第三個則是用所謂美德倫理的觀點 來研究孔子。關於每個學派,今天我要解 釋:(1)第一:␣這個學派的特點是什麼?(2)␣第 二:這個學派對儒家有什麼看法?(3)第三:␣ 這個學派的優點和缺點是什麼?
(A)我首先要講新儒學。(1)新儒學是什 麼?為了瞭解新儒學的特點,我們必需先知 道新儒學是反對什麼看法的。新儒學反對什 麼看法?在二十世紀的前半段,當時有很多 人說孔子的思想沒有價值。這些人覺得孔子 的思想不過是封建社會的思想。跟現在社會 的民主主義,資本主義,以及科學方法不合適。可是新儒學家不同意這種看法。他們認 為即使在現代的世界,孔子的思想還是有價 值。所以新儒學第一個特點就是:(i)他們認 … Continue reading

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