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Distinguished Lectures on Chinese Culture and Religion - Theorizing “Persons” for Confucian Role Ethics: A Good Place to Start

by Professor Roger Ames, Humanities Chair Professor, Peking University

Date                 12 October 2018
Time                 4:30pm-6:00pm
Venue               HJ304
(The talk will be conducted in English.)

One of the most difficult problems in any philosophical investigation: ''where to begin'' will be discussed. In this lecture Prof. Roger T. Ames will argue that the appropriateness of categorizing Confucian ethics as role ethics turns largely on the conception of person that is presupposed within the interpretive context of classical Chinese philosophy. If our goal is to take the Confucian traditional on its own terms and to let it speak with its own voice without overwriting it with our own cultural importance, we must begin by first self-consciously and critically theorizing the Confucian conception of person as the stating point of Confucian ethics.

Biography of Speaker
Roger T. Ames is Humanities Chair Professor at Peking University, a Berggruen Fellow, and Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Hawai’i. He is former editor of Philosophy East & West and founding editor of China Review International. Ames has authored several interpretative studies of Chinese philosophy and culture: Thinking Through Confucius (1987), Anticipating China (1995), Thinking From the Han(1998), and Democracy of the Dead (1999) (all with D.L. Hall), and most recently Confucian Role Ethics: A Vocabulary (2011). His publications also include translations of Chinese classics: Sun-tzu: The Art of Warfare(1993); Sun Pin: The Art of Warfare (1996) (with D.C. Lau); the Confucian Analects (1998) and the Classic of Family Reverence: The Xiaojing (2009) (both with H. Rosemont), Focusing the Familiar: The Zhongyong (2001), and The Daodejing (with D.L. Hall) (2003). Almost all of his publications are now available in Chinese translation, including his philosophical translations of Chinese canonical texts. He has most recently been engaged in compiling the new Blackwell Sourcebook of Classical Chinese Philosophy, and in writing articles promoting a conversation between American pragmatism and Confucianism.

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