January 26, 2022 “The Confucian Philosophy of Family Feeling as a Resource for a New Geopolitical Order”

Wednesday January 26, 12 noon – 1:30 pm, via Zoom
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Research Presentation
Understanding China Series Event 6:

“The Confucian Philosophy of Family Feeling asa Resource for a New Geopolitical Order”

The seismic sea change in the geopolitical order of the world that has accelerated over the first two decades of the 21st century requires nothing less than the reformulation of the world’s geopolitical order. The international anarchy of the zero-sum Westphalian model of a modern state system with sovereign and equal nation states each playing to win has proven woefully inadequate to resolving the complex human predicament of our time. The perceived isomorphism among family, state, and world in Confucian philosophy gives rise to an alternative conception of the political in which governance is firmly rooted in personal cultivation within the institution of family. In looking to Confucian philosophy as a possible resource for a new geopolitical order, I begin by joining Michael Walzer in common cause in his search for a universal minimalist morality that can provide a basis for a limited but important solidarity and for mutual critique among the world’s peoples and cultures.

Roger T. Ames 安樂哲 is Humanities Chair Professor at Peking University, Academic Director of the Peking University Berggruen Research Center, and Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Hawai’i. He is former editor of Philosophy East &West and founding editor of China Review International. Dr. Ames has authored several interpretative studies of Chinese philosophy and culture, and his publications also include translations of Chinese philosophical classics like The Analects of Confucius (论语) and Sun Tzu’s Art of War ( 孙子兵法). His most recent monograph is Human Becomings: Theorizing ‘Persons’ for Confucian Role Ethics (2021). He has most recently compiled the new Sourcebook in Classical Confucian Philosophy with its companion A Conceptual Lexicon of Classical Confucian Philosophy, and is writing articles promoting a conversation between American pragmatism and Confucianism. While at UHM, Dr. Ames served as Director for the Center for Chinese Studies from 1991 to 2000 and played a key role in making the university the hub for non-Western and comparative philosophy and intellectual exchange in the US. An internationally famous expert in Sinology, he has received many awards, including the Confucian Culture Award at the 2013 World Congress of Confucianism, the John Dewey Society Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019 and the Chinese Government Friendship Award in 2021.