The Center for Comparative Philosophy (CCP) at Duke was inaugurated in 2014 and is dedicated to teaching and research into the philosophies that animate different traditions. We live in multicultural, multiethnic, cosmopolitan worlds. Different traditions rest on different philosophies — different metaphysics, epistemologies, and ethics, sometimes different views of the nature of persons and the human good. Understanding alternative philosophies that are lived by different people is a necessary condition for tolerant living. But more importantly it is a wonderful tool for philosophical imagination, for exploring the resources in other traditions for better thinking about the nature of things, human knowledge, the good life, and politics.
The Center works to bring distinguished scholars who work in comparative philosophy to Duke, to hold seminars and roundtables and to teach classes on cross-cultural philosophy, and to produce scholarship that advances cross-cultural philosophy. Our current interests and talents are primarily in Chinese and Indian philosophy. But we are branching out at every opportunity and recently completed and new projects involve work in African, Amerindian, and Islamic philosophies.
Current and just completed projects include:
- Five lectures on “Metaphor and Analogy in Chinese Thought,” by David B. Wong.
- Owen Flanagan’s latest book, The Geography of Morals: Varieties of Moral Possibility (Oxford 2017)
- A project on “Varieties of Well-Being: A Cross-Cultural Project” awarded by St. Louis University to Owen Flanagan and Wenqing Zhao, post-doctoral fellow in CCP.
- A new undergraduate Dean’s course on World Philosophy scheduled for 2017 to be taught by Owen Flanagan and Wenqing Zhao.
- An Interdisciplinary Workshop Series on Cross-Cultural Approaches to Moral Attitudes and Decision Making (Funded by Kenan Institute of Ethics).
- A project on “Environment and Well-Being: A Cross-Cultural Study” led by Owen Flanagan, Wenqing Zhao, and Jeffrey Nicolaisen awarded by the Global Asia Initiative (GAI) seed grant.