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[CCP Workshop] Zhu Xi on the Motivation for Moral Action (Kai-chiu Ng, CUHK)

Invited Workshop Series

Zhu Xi on the Motivation for Moral Action

Time: 12pm – 14pm 31st Aug (Lunch Provided)

Location: West Duke 08C

Speaker: Dr. Kai-chiu Ng (Chinese University of Hong Kong)



Zhu Xi (1130–1200) said, “The mind/heart is a thing of action, and naturally has both good and evil [in its actions]. For example, compassion is good; seeing a child falling into a well without compassion is evil. To depart from good is [to perform] evil. While the original state of the mind/heart is not yet not good, we nevertheless cannot say evil is entirely unrelated to the mind/heart. If not the mind/heart, what undertakes it?” (more…)

[Call for application] Interdisciplinary Summer Seminar on the Morally Exceptional

“Character and the Morally Exceptional: Empirical Discoveries and Moral Improvement”

June 18-28, 2018

Wake Forest University

Seminar Leader: Dr. Christian B. Miller

Becoming a virtuous person is one of the central goals of the ethical life. But how good of a job are most people doing in becoming virtuous? And are there any strategies for cultivating the virtues and becoming morally exceptional which can help us to do better? This seminar will examine these two questions in detail. In the first half, we will see whether character traits even exist in light of various results in psychology. If they do exist, how good do they tend to be? Here we will look at the situationist literature in philosophy, drawing on the work of Gilbert Harman and John Doris. We will also consider the cognitive-affective personality system approach in thinking about character traits (Nancy Snow, Daniel Russell), as well as the whole trait approach (William Fleeson) and my mixed trait approach. (more…)

Owen Flanagan to be Honored at Conference: “The Natural Method–Ethics, Mind, & Self”

Professor Owen Flanagan, the co-director of the Center for Comparative Philosophy (CCP), is to be honored  by his former students and colleagues with a conference, The Natural Method–Ethics, Mind, & Self, on September 28-29. Please see details by clicking here. The event is free, but you must RSVP.



David Wong’s Interview at 3AM: “The Pluralist”

David Wong is the Susan Fox Beischer and George D. Beischer Professor of Philosophy at Duke University.

the pluralist

Interview by Richard Marshall.

Click here for the whole interview!

I think that all moralities adequately serving the function of fostering social cooperation must contain a norm of reciprocity—a norm of returning good for good received. Such a norm is a necessity, I argue, because it helps relieve the strains on motivation of contributing to social cooperation when it comes into conflict with self-interest. I also identify a constraint I called “justifiability to the governed,” which implies that justifications for subordinating people’s interests must not rely on falsehoods such as the natural inferiority of racial or ethnic groups or the natural incapacities of women.


[CCP Workshop] Democratic Equality or Confucian Hierarchy? (Joseph Chan)

The Center for Comparative Philosophy Invited Workshop Series

 Democratic Equality or Confucian Hierarchy?

Prof. Joseph Chan


Time: May 19th (Friday) 12:00-14:00*

Location: West Duke 204

Commentator: Dr. Alex Oprea

 * Lunch is provided!





Abstract: (more…)

[Kenan Institute Sponsored Cross-Cultural Workshop] “‘Soft’ and ‘Hard’ Power in Islamic Political Thought” – Dr. Vasileios Syros

Kenan Institute Sponsored Cross-Cultural Workshop
‘Soft’ and ‘Hard’ Power in Islamic Political Thought
Dr. Vasileios Syros
Time: April 27th (Thursday) 12:00-14:00 *
Location: West Duke 08C
* Lunch is provided!
Dr. Vasileios Syros is currently a Maurice Amado Fellow at the Katz Center for Advanced
Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and a Senior Research Fellow at the Academy
of Finland.


David Wong gave a public lecture, “Soup, Harmony, and Disagreement” at Muhlenberg College

Our scholar David Wong was a Mellon Foundation Humanities Scholar in Residence at Muhlenberg College. There he visited three classes, gave a public lecture, and held a seminar with philosophy faculty on diversifying the philosophy curriculum.

His public lecture is titled, “Soup, Harmony, and Disagreement” (Click the link for the video)


[CCP Workshop] Moral Virtue and the Promotion of Human Welfare: A Confucian Approach

The Center for Comparative Philosophy Invited Workshop Series

Moral Virtue and the Promotion of Human Welfare:

A Confucian Approach








Justin Tiwald

Time: 13:30–15:30 pm  6th April Thursday*

Location: West Duke 101

Commentator: Songyao Ren (Phd Student in Philosophy)


* Lunch is provided!

Justin Tiwald is Associate Professor of Philosophy at San Francisco State University. His recent works include “Zhu Xi’s Critique of Buddhism: Selfishness, Salvation, and Self-Cultivation” (2017) and Neo-Confucianism: A Philosophical Introduction (with Stephen C. Angle, 2017). With Eric L. Hutton, he is co-editor of the translation series Oxford Chinese Thought.



[CCP & GAI Joint Workshop] Nishida on Well-Being: Reflections from Medieval Buddhist Philosophy

The Center for Comparative Philosophy & Global Asia Initiative Joint Reading Workshop

Nishida on Well-Being: Reflections from Medieval Buddhist Philosophy

Time: 12:00 – 14:00 Thursday Oct 13th

Location: West Duke 204

Main SpeakerTakushi Odagiri (M.D. Tokyo, Ph.D. Stanford).
He is a postdoctoral research fellow for the Global Asia Initiative at Duke University and a visiting faculty member for the Asian & Middle Eastern Studies department.

** The Center for Comparative Philosophy will provide a light lunch for the workshop. The room will open from 12:00 for people to serve themselves and take a seat.


[CCP Workshop] Empathy Beyond the Near and Dear

The Center for Comparative Philosophy Workshop

Empathy Beyond the Near and Dear: 

A Study on Mencian Moral Cultivation and a Response to Prinz

Time: 12:00 – 13:30 Thursday 30th March

Location: West Duke 204

Main Speaker: Jing Hu 
Jing Hu is an instructor of philosophy at Seattle University
* Lunch will be provided.
Abstract: Empathy is an essential moral emotion with many celebrated functions; it is also viewed as an emotion that hinders our ability to be non-biased moral agents by some philosophers. In this presentation, I aim to defend the value of empathy in morality. I do so by responding to the classic criticism that has recently been put forth systematically by Prinz: empathy is highly selective and it is biased towards the near and dear. I argue that empathy can not only go beyond the near and dear but also help one to perceive some of the less common objects as if they are near and dear. I do so with the help from Mencius.