Main Research Project

The main research project is a multi-volume work on Confucian ethics initially conceptualized in 1988 as a 30-year 3-volume project (see Mencius and Early Chinese Thought (1997), p. vii). On the initial conception, the first volume will be on early Confucian thought with focus on Mencius, the second on later Confucian thought with focus on Zhu Xi, and the third a primarily philosophical discussion of central themes in Confucian ethics. Subsequent methodological reconsideration led to a methodological approach in three stages (see “Studying Confucian and Comparative Ethics: Methodological Reflections” (2009); “Studying Confucian Ethics from the Inside Out” (forthcoming)). The third volume will now be devoted to a discussion of this methodological approach, illustrated by a discussion of the ethical attribute yi . It is anticipated that the final manuscript for volume 2 will be completed by early 2017 and that for volume 3 by late 2018. Additional volumes will follow leading to the final volume, which will provide a primarily philosophical discussion of Confucian moral psychology.

 

Zhu Xi and Later Confucian Thought (tentative title, volume 2)

This volume discusses the thinking of Zhu Xi and traces the evolution of key concepts in texts dating from pre-Qin to early Song. It then discusses the thinking of Wang Yangming and of Dai Zhen in relation to Zhu Xi’s thinking. Research on primary sources was completed between 1996 and 2006. The project was set aside from 2007 to 2009 during which period work on the third volume commenced. A manuscript based only on primary sources was completed in the first half of 2010, and the project was again set aside while work on the third volume continued. Work on the project will resume in early 2016, and it is anticipated that the final manuscript, which takes into account secondary sources, will be completed by early 2017. The following are published papers written on the basis of research for this volume; those marked with ♦ (including the table of contents of the current manuscript) can be viewed under “Online Papers”.

 

♦ Table of contents of complete manuscript completed in 2010 (based only on primary sources).

 

Zhu Xi, Wang Yangming and Dai Zhen

♦ “Three Kinds of Confucian Thought: Zhu Xi, Wang Yangming, and Dai Zhen,” in Zhong Caijun 鐘彩鈞 ed., Confucianism in East Asian Perspectives: On Its Traditions (東亞視 域中的儒學: 傳統的詮釋) (Taipei: Academia Sinica, 2013).

 

Zhu Xi

♦ “Zhu Xi’s Moral Psychology,” in John Makeham, ed., Dao Companion to Neo-Confucian Philosophy (Springer, 2010).

Zhu Xi on the ‘Internal’ and the ‘External’: A Response to Chan Lee,” Journal of Chinese Philosophy vol. 37, no. 4 (December 2010).

♦ “Wholeness in Confucian Thought: Zhu Xi on Cheng, Zhong, Xin, and Jing” in On-cho Ng, ed., The Imperative of Understanding: Chinese Philosophy, Comparative Philosophy, and Onto-Hermeneutics (New York: Global Scholarly Publications, 2008).

♦ “Zhu Xi and the Lunyu” in David Jones, ed., Contemporary Encounters with Confucius (Open Court, 2008).

♦ “Purity in Confucian Thought: Zhu Xi on Xu, Jing, and Wu”, Kim Chong Chong and Yuli Liu, eds., Conceptions of Virtue: East and West (Singapore: Marshall Cavendish, 2006).

♦ “Zhu Xi on Gong and Si,” Dao, Vol. V (2005).

 

Wang Yangming

♦ “Wang Yangming on Self-Cultivation in Daxue,” Journal of Chinese Philosophy vol. 38, issue supplement s1 (December 2011).

 

Dai Zhen

♦ “Dai Zhen on Nature (Xing) and Pattern (Li),” Journal of Chinese Philosophy 41:1-2 (March-June 2014).

Mencius, Xunzi and Dai Zhen: A Study of the Menzi ziyi shuzheng,” Alan Chan, ed., Mencius: Contexts and Interpretations (University of Hawaii Press, 2002).

 

From Philology to Philosophy (tentative title, volume 3)

This volume provides a discussion of a methodological approach that proceeds in three stages – textual analysis, articulation, and philosophical construction. It illustrates this methodological approach with a discussion of the ethical attribute yi and of related topics such as acceptance, anger, and equanimity. A number of papers have been written since 2007 as part of the preparation for this volume, and it is anticipated that the complete book manuscript will be finished by late 2018. The methodological approach developed in this volume will become the basis for a more comprehensive treatment of central themes in Confucian moral psychology in future volumes. The following are papers written as part of the work on this volume as well as other papers relevant to the volume; those marked with ♦ can be viewed under “Online Papers”.

 

Methodology

Studying Confucian Ethics from the Inside Out,” (in progress).

Methodological Reflections on the Study of Chinese Thought,” forthcoming in Tan, Sor-hoon, ed. Bloomsbury Research Handbook on Methodology in Chinese Philosophy (Bloomsbury Publishing).

♦ “Nivison and the Philosophical Study of Confucian Thought,” Early China 38 (2015), 41-53.

♦ “On Jing : Thinking Through Tang Junyi on Chinese Culture in Diaspora,” in Chinese Studies (漢學研究) 31:2 (June 2013), 35-61.

♦ “The Philosophical Study of Chinese Thought,” in News and Views: The Journal of the International Academy for Philosophy, 3:1-2 (2011). Reprinted in Journal of East-West Thought, 1:2 (March, 2012), 25-37.

♦ “Studying Confucian and Comparative Ethics: Methodological Reflections,” Journal of Chinese Philosophy, 36:3 (September 2009), 455-478.

 

Ethical Self-Commitment, Anger, Purity, Equanimity

Ethics Without Forgiveness,” (tentative title), in progress.

Le in the Analects,” forthcoming in Goldin, Paul R., ed., A Companion to Confucius (Wiley-Blackwell).

Ming and Acceptance,” forthcoming in Xiao, Yang ed. Dao Companion to the Philosophy of Mencius (Springer).

♦ “On Anger – An Essay in Confucian Moral Psychology,” David Jones & He Jinli, eds., Rethinking Zhu Xi: Emerging Patterns within the Supreme Polarity (State University of New York Press, 2015).

♦ “Ethical Self-Commitment and Ethical Self-Indulgence,” in Brian Bruya, ed., Philosophical Challenge from China, (MIT Press, 2015).

♦ “Resentment and Forgiveness in Confucian Thought,” Journal of East-West Thought 4:4 (December 2014).

♦ “On Reflective Equanimity: A Confucian Perspective,” in Li Chenyang & Ni Peimin, eds., Moral Cultivation and Confucian Character: Engaging Joel J. Kupperman (State University of New York Press, 2014).

♦ “Purity, Moral Trials, and Equanimity,” Tsing Hua Journal of Chinese Studies, New Series, vol. 40, no. 2 (June 2010).

 

Other Relevant Papers

Contextualizing Early Confucian Discourse: Comments on David B. Wong,” Dao 14:2 (June 2015).

♦ “Early Confucian Moral Psychology,” in Vincent Shen, ed., Dao Companion to Classical Confucian Philosophy (Springer, 2013).

Concept of the Person in Early Confucian Thought,” David B. Wong & Kwong-loi Shun, ed., Confucian Ethics: A Comparative Study of Self, Autonomy and Community (Cambridge University Press, 2004).

“Self and Self-Cultivation in Early Confucian Thought,” Bo Mou, ed., Two Roads to Wisdom? Chinese and Analytic Philosophical Traditions (Open Court, 2001).

“Ideal Motivations and Reflective Understanding,” American Philosophy Quarterly, Vol. 33 (1996).

 

Papers in Progress

The following are papers currently in progress (titles are tentative):

 

Studying Confucian Ethics from the Inside Out”

Confucian Learning and Liberal Education”

Ethics Without Forgiveness”