Release Date: July 18, 2013
BUFFALO, N.Y. – The University at Buffalo will host the 18th International Conference of the Society for Chinese Philosophy (ISCP) July 21-24 in the Center for the Arts, North Campus, and in the Ramada Hotel and Conference Center adjacent to the North Campus in Getzville.
“Using a cross-cultural comparative approach, the conference will explore in detail and depth the Chinese conception of philosophy as the ‘learning of living’ to enrich our understanding of this field and contribute to its revival,” says conference director Jiyuan Yu, UB professor of philosophy.
“This is one of the largest conferences ever held by the ISCP and will feature 106 speakers representing every continent, including Africa, where once the teaching of Chinese philosophy was rare. Among our speakers are many of the finest scholars in this field.
“Today,” Yu says, “the ISCP is in every corner of the world, promoting the study of Chinese philosophy. Many colleges and universities are adding this to their curriculums, are hiring instructors in this field, an encouraging sign. This conference is meant to further promote the development of the study of Chinese philosophy in the U.S.”
Yu says that one major characteristic of Chinese philosophical tradition is that it is not just a matter of theoretical pursuit, but a more practical enterprise. Philosophy is considered to be a “learning of living” and “doing” philosophy is to practice a way of life that one chooses in order to cultivate and transform character
“The central question of the Chinese philosophy is, ‘what is the Dao?’ — that is, what is the road we should follow in leading our lives?” Yu explains. “This conception of philosophy differs from the prevailing modern university conception of philosophy, which holds it to be a theoretical discipline and considers philosophical reflection peripheral to life.”
Conference sub-themes will include practical wisdom; moral psychology; formation of self, character and virtue; philosophical discourses and their practicality; happiness, death and suicide; politics and the way of living; philosophical therapy and spiritual practice; comparisons between the “way of living” as conceived of in the Chinese, Greek and Jewish traditions; and a presentation of the methodology of comparative study in this field.
The program is available on the conference website. http://iscp.philosophy.buffalo.edu/ch/program.shtml
Among the distinguished presenters and keynote speakers:
Welcoming addresses will be presented by Stephen Dunnett, vice provost for international education; Bruce E. Pitman, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; David Herschenov, chair of the Department of Philosophy; Jorge Gracia, SUNY Distinguished Professor and Samuel P. Capen Chair in Philosophy at UB; and Jie Zhang, director of the Buffalo State College Center for China Studies.
Conference sponsors are the UB Department of Philosophy, the Samuel P. Capen Chair in Philosophy and Comparative Literature at UB and the Buffalo State College Center for China Studies. Co-sponsors are UB’s Confucius Institute, Humanities Institute, College of Arts and Sciences, Office of the Vice Provost for International Education, Department of Classics and Asian Studies Program.
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