Papers on Philosophy I

Pre-Qin
Tuesday
2:00 pm – 3:45 pm
Room 5

  • Javier Carames Sanchez, “Are qing 情 the Same Thing as Pathos (πάθος) in the Pre-Qin Period?”
  • Jorg Schumacher, “Mengzi: Emergent Nationalism, Chauvinist Propaganda, and a Failed Attempt at School-Internal Criticism”
  • Geir Sigurðsson, “Aging in Classical Chinese Philosophy”

Javier Caramés Sánchez, “Are qing 情 the Same Thing as Pathos (πάθος) in the Pre-Qin Period?”

There is a discussion about the meaning of qing 情. Some scholars as Angus Graham and Chad Hansen argue that qing did not refer to emotions in the Pre-Qin period. Others as Michael Puett said it alludes to emotions. This dissertation will focus on the Xingzimingchu 性自命出 and it will discuss that qing and dao 道 are two characters with a complementary meaning that are very similar to the one that the terms logos (λόγος) and pathos (πάθος) have in the Rhetoric of Aristotle.
The methodology I will use is to analyse the metaphors behind the terms qing and dao. I will argue that the meaning of qing in the Xingzimingchu is a metaphor that identifies what is hidden inside the individual with the state secrets. I will also argue that behind dao there is a metaphor that identifies a path with the correct way through which human behaviour must move. Since qing is an inner entity that needs external guidance, I consider it a term similar to the pathos. In the same way as dao, logos is an external object that can be used to guide human behaviour.

Jorg Schumacher, “Mengzi: Emergent Nationalism, Chauvinist Propaganda, and a Failed Attempt at School-Internal Criticism”

When is a war of aggression a just war? Mengzi gives an unequivocal answer: war is justified when the longed-for future unifier of the empire is a “true” king: namely one who frees the people of another country from its usurper. One may kill an usurper. Of course, the question whether common people of foreign powers actually wanted to be liberated called for justification. Cosmological-religious explanations are offered. Canonical writings provide historical models together with appealing slogans. The deeper they reach into the past, the clearer an ideological gradient becomes apparent between the Middle Countries and peripheral ethnic groups. Spiritual help graciously offered by Zhongguo 中國 is not necessarily welcome, as testified by a case of unsolicited advice on how to perform rituals. My particular interest focuses on a case of chauvinist propaganda through appeal to canonical text. Two characters in one of the authoritative Shu 書, “Documents” are sufficient to justify a vendetta against an insubordinate tribe. The quote is then explained and all suspicion that the true motif could have been “widening the nation’s territory” is wisely dismissed in advance. What makes the case quite extraordinary is that it is criticized from within the school. But that in doing so— here the matter takes on an ironic turn—the cynicism of the propagandists is countered by nothing better than blind ancestor veneration, touching in its innocence, disillusioning in its naivety.

Geir Sigurðsson, “Aging in Classical Chinese Philosophy”

In the history of Western philosophy, scarce attention has been given to the notion of aging. Certainly, death has always been a popular topic, both as a mystical/religious and more recently an existential issue, but, with some notable exceptions, the chronological process leading to natural death has been for the most part neglected. However, in classical Chinese philosophical writings, aging has always featured rather prominently as a natural aspect of life to be pondered and discussed no less than others. In this lecture, I want to outline mainly two seminal approaches to aging by classical Chinese philosophers, which rather neatly portrays the main focal distinction between the Confucian and the Daoist schools. I will argue, first, that the underlying importance of temporality in Chinese philosophy necessarily brings about a keen awareness of aging as a part of life, and, secondly, that the scope and different foci of the Confucian/Daoist views offer together an alluring alternative to the current notion of ‘successful aging.’

Event Timeslots (1)

Room 5
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Pre-Qin