The Human and the Sciences of Nature: Chinese and Comparative Perspectives


Lecture Series
AY 2016/17-2017/18

The purpose of the lecture series is to bring prominent Sinologists to CEU to speak about a topic that has come to the forefront of scholarly discussion, not only in philosophy but in the study of humanities more generally: namely, what is it that makes humans human? The Lecture Series confronts this topic historically, exploring how and why the “the human” – as both a natural and ethical category – emerged in the early Chinese tradition and developed over the course of subsequent centuries. Its more specific research goal is to probe more precisely, but also more deeply, the way in which forms of human understanding that we conventionally refer to as “scientific” are linked to other domains in our thinking – particularly the ethical, the social and the political – and how these domains come together in our conception of who, and what, we are as human beings.

Confirmed lectures:

AY 2016-2017

January 19, 2017 - Edward G. Slingerland: Body and Mind: Scientific Approaches to the Concept of the Human in Early China

March 23, 2017 - Christian de Pee: Finding Oneself in the City: Nature and Human Subjectivity in the Streets of Eleventh-Century China

April 4, 2017 - Lisa Raphals: Body and Mind in China and Greece: Perspectives from Philosophy and Medicine

AY 2017-2018

November 3, 2017 - Rupert Gethin: Karma, consciousness and cosmology in Indian Buddhist thought

December 8, 2017 - Mu-chou Poo: Experience, Imagination, and the Body of Ghost in Ancient China

March 14, 2018 - Shigehisa Kuriyama (Harvard University): “Humanity and Presence in East Asia and in Europe”

27 March, 2018 - Mark Csikszentmihalyi (U.C. Berkeley): “Between animals and machines: On the exceptionality of human beings in pre-modern China”

April, 2018 - Erica Brindley (Pennsylvania State University): “Creativity and the Science of Being Fully Human in Early China”

28 March 2019 - Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad (Lancaster University): "Disordered subjectivity: A classical Indian understanding of the human in psychiatric illness"

Organizer: Curie Virag

This series is sponsored by a Lecture Series Grant from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange (CCKF) in Taiwan.