Philosophy, Daoist and Confucian Studies


Isaiah Berlin -  The Russian-British philosopher and political thinker.  Though not writing about China, Berlin cuts through the enthusiasm for meritocracy as a determinant of ability to govern.  On Political Judgment.  New York Review of Books, October 3, 1996.  On Political Judgment


Lucian W. Pye – Political scientist, taught at MIT.  Known for political psychology, using history and culture to inform domestic and foreign policy.  Sample work -  China: Erratic State, Frustrated Society.  Foreign Affairs Magazine, Fall 1990.    Erratic State, Frustrated Society  and  International Relations in Asia: Culture, Nation, and State.  Sigur Center for Asian Studies,  George Washington University,  July, 1998  International Relations in Asia   and  Civility, Social Capital, and Civil Society: Three Powerful Concepts for Explaining Asia.  Journal of Interdisciplinary History XXIX:4 (Spring, 1999)  Civility, Social Capital, and Civil Society  and  The Spirit of Chinese Politics.  Harvard University Press, 1992.


David Hall and Roger Ames – Individually and together, authors of primary reference works on Confucianism and Chinese philosophy.  Roger Ames is professor of philosophy at the University of Hawaii.  David Hall is professor of philosophy at the University of Texas.  Chinese thinking as ars contextualis.  Some sample work –Section 1 in Chinese Philosophy.  Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.  Routledge

David Hall and Roger Ames.  Anticipating China:  Thinking Through the Narratives of Chinese and Western Culture.    SUNY Press, 1995. 

David Hall and Roger Ames.  Chinese Philosophy.  Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.  Article Summary  Routledge Summary



Useless Tree – Ancient Chinese Thought in Modern American Life - Sam Crane's Blog – A wonderful site for serious thought about Taoism and Confucianism in China and the US, now and long ago. Sam also writes at the Los Angeles Review of Books China Channel   Sample work – The Continuing Decline of Filiality.  Useless Tree blog, at Decline of Filiality  September 09, 2011    and  Further to a Critique of "The China Model."  Useless Tree blog, December 9, 2015.  Further to a Critique of "The China Model"


Warp, Weft, and Way – A group blog addressing Chinese and  comparative philosophy, managed by Stephen Angle and Manyul Im.   Warp, Weft, and Way


Tu Weiming – Tu is probably the best known Confucian scholar in the US.  He has written and lectured extensively in the US.  Certainly the most recognized current thinker on New Confucianism.  Articles, books, and videos are readily available and easily readable.  Tu   Sample work -   Confucianism and Liberal Education for a Global Era, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, Georgetown University, October 1, 2013  Berkley lecture  and   Confucian Humanism as a Spiritual Resource for Global Ethics, Peace and Conflict Studies, 16:1, August 1, 2009   Confucian Humanism


Stephen Angle – Professor of Philosophy at Wesleyan University    University site   Sample work - Pluralism in Practice: Incommensurability and Constraints on Change in Ethical Discourses. Varieties of Ethical Reflection, Michael Barnhart, ed.  Lexington, 2002.   Abstract


Ci Jiwei – Ci does not have a personal blog or web site, but he is an very influential writer on political philosophy in China.    Many of his papers can be found at  Ci Jiwei papers   Sample work –

What is in the Cloud?  A Critical Engagement with Thomas Metzger on “The Clash Between Chinese and Western Political Theories.”  Boundary 2, 34:3(2007)  Ci-Metzger

His book Moral China in the Age of Reform, Cambridge University Press, 2015 is the indispensable source for understanding moral freedom and its lack in China.   Moral China in the Age of Reform


Joseph Chan – Chan does not have a personal blog or web site.  He teaches at Hong Kong University.  His recent book, Confucian Perfectionism, is a must read for applying Confucian ideas to western culture.  University CV   Confucian Perfectionism


Haiyan Lee – Professor of languages and literature at Stanford.  Further discussion of moral lacunae in current day China.  The Stranger and the Chinese Moral Imagination.  Stanford University Press, 2014   The Stranger


Guy Alitto – Professor of history and east Asian languages at University of Chicago.  Further work on moral freedom.  Sample work - The Meaning of Freedom:  Yan Fu and the Origins of Chinese Liberalism (review).  China Review International 18:2, September 19, 2011.  Available at  Chinese Liberalism


Michael Sandel - Sandel teaches the famous Justice course at Harvard.  He does not claim to be a Confucian or a communitarian, but he is certainly a fellow traveler in virtue ethics.  Sample work – all the videos of the Justice course are available at Justice course lectures, starting with lecture 1 from 2015.  Starts with the trolley car story.


George Orwell.  1984.  Signet Classic, 1961. Origin of doublethink and related.  Available at Orwell 1984


Thomas A. Metzger  - Metzger taught philosophy at the University of California – San Diego for many years.   Sample work – The Western Concept of the Civil Society in the  Context of Chinese History. Hoover Essays, Book 21.  Hoover Institution Press, 1998.   Western Concept of Civil Society

His 2005 book, A Cloud Across the Pacific : Essays on the Clash between Chinese and Western Political Theories Today explains quite clearly the how and why of political differences between China and the west.  A key distinction is that between Asian epistemological optimism and faith in leaders, and western epistemological pessimism and belief in the Lord Acton provision. The Amazon source -  A Cloud Across the Pacific


Wm. Theodore de Bary – scholar of Confucian studies at Columbia; died 2017.   National Endowment for the Humanities Medal   Sample work - The Great Civilized Conversation: Education for a World Community (CUP, 2013)  and

Asian Values and Human Rights: A Confucian Communitarian Perspective. Harvard University Press (2000)  and  The Trouble with Confucianism, (Harvard University Press, 1991)  Lecture format  Tanner Lecture





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Philosophy, Daoist and Confucian Studies

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