“Explore Thyself”——A Dialogue between Confucius and Thoreau on What it Means to be Human

Event status:

China Studies Seminar Series

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Date:
Friday 24 August 2018 02:30 pm until Friday 24 August 2018 04:00 pm (Add to calendar)
Contact:
Jean Zhang
03 94793889; csrc@latrobe.edu.au
Presented by:
Dr Zhonggang Tang
Type of Event:
Seminar/Workshop/Training

*This seminar will be presented in Chinese*

Confucius (BC. 551 - BC. 479) and Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) were both concerned about humanity and the relationship between humans and nature. Moreover, both pursued the goal of understanding life through an introspective approach. Whereas Thoreau is a deist and transcendentalist, however, Confucius’ view of mind and nature can be characterized by the idea of "returning the whole world to benevolence" (天下归仁). Despite this difference, in this presentation I will argue that they shared much in common: the mutuality between nature (heaven) and humans (天人相感); the emphasis on human subjectivity; care for living creatures, ahimsa; simplicity of lifestyle; cultivation of virtue; the pursuit of learning; justice and human rights; as well as opposition to instrumentalist and hedonistic views.

探察自我:孔子和梭罗人学思想的对话与启示

孔子(BC.551-BC.479 )和美国人梭罗(Henry David Thoreau 1817- 1862)都是有世界性影响的思想家,他们隔世相知,其哲学都关注人,都关注人和自然(天)的关系,都开拓了向内心探求生活真理的进路,虽然梭罗仅仅是一种自然神论和超验主义(“超灵论”)的立场,远没有达到孔子“天下归仁”为特质的心性论思想的深度,但这并不影响他们在诸如天人感应、人的主体性、惜物不杀、简朴生活与美德修养、求知与教育、公义与人权、以及反功利主义和纵欲主义等思想上多有异曲同工之妙。二者的结合补益,对人类发展一种尊重本真、亲近自然、简朴闲适、理智又具有美感的现代生活方式必将大有启发。

About the speaker

Zhonggang Tang Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Huaqiao University of China, and a visiting scholar in the China Research Centre. His research focus is modern New Confucianism.

Map:

Room 318, Education 2 (ED2)

La Trobe University, VIC 3086

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