Updated February 2022

 

Main Research Project

The main research project is a multi-volume work on Confucian moral psychology initially conceptualized in late 1988 as a 3-volume project (see Mencius and Early Chinese Thought (1997), p. vii). On the initial conception, the first volume will be a philological study of early Confucian thought with focus on Mencius, the second a philological study of later Confucian thought with focus on Zhu Xi, and the third a primarily philosophical discussion of central themes in Confucian moral psychology. 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” (2016)), resulting in a reconceptualization in early 2013 of the planned work as a 5-volume project. The third volume will now be devoted to a discussion of this methodological approach, illustrated by a discussion of the ethical attribute yi 義 and of related topics such as anger, acceptance, and detachment. Two more volumes will follow, together providing a comprehensive study of Confucian moral psychology revolving around the idea of ‘no self’ (wu wo 無我) in Confucian thought. The fourth volume will build on the philological studies of the first two volumes and explore the potential philosophical implications of central themes in Confucian moral psychology. The fifth volume will conduct a primarily philosophical study of these themes with reference to related contemporary philosophical discussions and without further reference to the philological details.

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, making use of hardcopies of the primary texts. 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 resumed in 2016, and the manuscript underwent significant expansion and revision, making use of the large body of primary materials now available in electronic databases. The following are published papers written on the basis of research for this volume; those marked with ♦ (including the table of contents of the 2010 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

Qing in Confucian Thought” (in progress)

♦ “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 and the Idea of One Body,” in Ng, Kai-chiu & Huang, Yong eds. Dao Companion to the Zhu Xi’s Philosophy, New York: Springer (2020): 389-444.

♦ “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 義 and of related topics such as anger, acceptance, and detachment. Work on this volume commenced in 2007, and the methodological approach it presents will become the basis for a comprehensive treatment of central themes in Confucian moral psychology in volumes 4 and 5. 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

“Ethical Practice and Ethical Practitioners” (in progress)

“Intellectual Commentators and Ethical Practitioners – Response to Commentators,” forthcoming in Australasian Philosophical Review

♦“The Primacy of Practice and the Centrality of Outlook,” in Panayiota Vassilopoulou & Daniel Whistler eds. Thought: A Philosophical History, London & New York: Routledge (2021): 21-35

♦ “Studying Confucian Ethics from the Inside Out,” Dao 15:4 (Dec 2016): 511-532.

♦ “Methodological Reflections on the Study of Chinese Thought,” in Tan, Sor-hoon, ed. Bloomsbury Research Handbook on Methodology in Chinese Philosophy (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016): 57-74.

♦ “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.

 

Anger, Acceptance, Detachment

“Resentment and Acceptance” (in progress).

“Readiness to Forgive is Not a Virtue,” forthcoming in Lara Buchak & Dean Zimmerman (eds.) The Norton Introduction to Philosophy of Religion.

“Anger, Compassion, and the Distinction between First and Third Person,” forthcoming in Australasian Philosophical Review.

“Intellectual Commentators and Ethical Practitioners – Response to Commentators,” forthcoming in Australasian Philosophical Review.

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

♦ “Le in the Analects,” in Goldin, Paul R., ed., A Concise Companion to Confucius (Wiley-Blackwell, 2017): 133-147.

♦ “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

♦ “Confucian Learning and Liberal Education,” Journal of East-West Thought 6:2 (June 2016): 5-21.

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

A Study of Confucian Moral Psychology (volumes 4 and 5, each with its separate title)

The two volumes together provide a comprehensive study of Confucian moral psychology, the former being addressed primarily to philologists with a philosophical interest, and the latter primarily to a philosophical audience. Dedicated work on these two volumes commenced in 2014, and their main theme was presented in “On the Idea of ‘No Self’”, Presidential Address delivered at the 92nd Pacific Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association in 2018. The following include papers specifically written as part of the work on these two volumes, as well as previously published papers on Confucian moral psychology; those marked with ♦ can be viewed under “Online Papers”.

 

“Anger, Compassion, and the Distinction between First and Third Person,” forthcoming in Australasian Philosophical Review.

“Intellectual Commentators and Ethical Practitioners – Response to Commentators,” forthcoming in Australasian Philosophical Review.

♦ “The Primacy of Practice and the Centrality of Outlook,” in Panayiota Vassilopoulou & Daniel Whistler eds. Thought: A Philosophical History, London & New York: Routledge (2021): 21-35.

♦ “Dimensions of Humility in Early Confucian Thought,” Journal of Chinese Philosophy, 48:1 (April, 2021): 13-27.

♦ “Zhu Xi and the Idea of One Body,” in Ng, Kai-chiu & Huang, Yong eds. Dao Companion to the Zhu Xi’s Philosophy, New York: Springer (2020): 389-444.

♦ “On the Idea of ‘No Self’,” Presidential Address delivered at the 92nd Pacific Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association in 2018, Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 92 (Nov 2018): 78-107.

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

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

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

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):

 

“Ethical Practice and Ethical Practitioners”

Qing in Confucian Thought”

“Resentment and Acceptance”