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Announcement: ISCP 2019


Tuesday 2nd July – Friday 5th July, 2019 at University of Berne, Institute of Philosophy, Switzerland

Chinese philosophy has since its pre-Imperial beginnings been concerned with knowledge – witness Zhuangzi’s argument with Hui Shi about knowing about the happiness of the fish. Furthermore, as this famous story makes clear, there is argument about what people know and what they do not know. And there are things known, in this story, the happiness of the fish, more usually, the character of rulers, the rites, how to act, right and wrong, history, cosmology, the unifying principle of the world, medicine, and mathematics. Yet these aspects of the Chinese tradition have hardly received the attention they deserve from philosophers—questions of what can be known, what the concept of knowledge is taken to be, what role it plays within various conceptual frameworks, as well as the sceptical challenges made to knowledge, beginning, once again, with the Zhuangzi. Scepticism makes room for persuasion, and for clarifying what makes a sound argument, as opposed to mere persuasion. But there are also systematic collections of knowledge (mathematical, medical, cosmological, scientific, for example) which are prominent in the tradition, and they have close connections with philosophy proper. We invite proposals for papers and panels to deepen our understanding of these issues, and carry Chinese philosophy forward into the new millennium.

Invited speakers:

Karine Chemla, SPHERE, CNRS & University Paris Diderot, France
Anne Cheng, Collège de France, France
Karyn Lai, School of Humanities & Languages, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Sir Geoffrey Lloyd, Scholar in Residence, Needham Research Institute, Cambridge, UK
Paul Unschuld, Institute for Chinese Life Sciences, Charité-Medical University, Berlin, Germany
Yang Guorong, Department of Philosophy, East China Normal University, China
Jenny Zhao, Lloyd-Dan David Research Fellow, Needham Research Institute and Darwin College, Cambridge, UK


Venue: Lerchenweg 36, 3000 Berne 12, Switzerland;



Topics include the following:


  • Yin-yang, Five elements, and Yijing (and other similar systems) as systems of classification
  • Chinese ontology (you/wu—being/nonbeing)
  • Chinese idea of the Ultimate Reality: Dao, Li, Taiji, the relation between One and Many
  • Chinese cosmology
  • Philosophical anthropology—Man’s relation to Heaven/Nature
  • Chinese Philosophy of Mind—nature, mind, emotion, desire.


  • Theories of knowledge, perception and experience in Chinese philosophy
  • Epistemic reasoning and justification in Chinese philosophy
  • Theories of truth in Chinese philosophy
  • Concerns over scepticism
  • Knowledge and virtues
  • Knowledge, skills, and values
  • Moral knowledge
  • Early Encounters with Western Sciences: 16th-18th Centuries
  • Modernization and Westernization in the early 20th Century
  • Technology of the 21st Century: Chinese Philosophy and Artificial Intelligence

Argumentation and Persuasion:

  • Argument and knowledge
  • Analysis of particular arguments in philosophical texts from Pre-Qin to Contemporary
  • Persuasion and therapy
  • Persuasion and knowledge
  • Persuasion and power
  • Rhetoric – political, ethical, religious, legal, aesthetic
  • Of particular interest: Mohist Theories of argumentation, Theory of Names, Daoist methodology of debate, and specific argumentation in Buddhism


  • Paper abstract/panel proposal (with all paper abstracts) due (500 words)—English or Chinese: September 15th , 2018 iscp2019@philo.unibe.ch
  • Final version of paper due: February 1st, 2019
  • Hotel registration deadline: March 15th, 2019
  • End of registration for conference: May 1st 2019


Payable on registration:

Registration Fees:

Salaried CHF 200, Students CHF 100.

Salaried Members of ISCP CHF 150.

Student Members of ISCP : CHF 50.

(The registration fee includes drinks on the first evening, tea breaks and lunch on the four days of the conference. The closing dinner is not included.)


R. A. H. King, University of Berne, Institute of Philosophy, Switzerland

JeeLoo Liu, Department of Philosophy, California State University, Fullerton, USA
Ann Pang-White, Department of Philosophy, The University of Scranton, USA
Weimin Sun, Department of Philosophy, California State University, Northridge, USA
Jinli He, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, Trinity University, USA
Genyou Wu, Department of Philosophy, Wuhan University, China
Zemian Zheng, Department of Philosophy, Wuhan University, China

Announcement: ISCP 2019 Fu Foundation Young Scholars Essay Award

ISCP 2019 Fu Foundation Young Scholars Essay Award

The Charles Wei-hsun Fu Foundation and the International Society for Chinese Philosophy (ISCP) are pleased to announce the 2019 ISCP Essay Contest in Chinese Philosophy.

A total of three prizes of $2,000 each are offered for the best essays in the area of Chinese philosophy, including two awards for graduate students or junior faculty within five years of receipt of the Ph.D., one each in Chinese and English, as well as one award for a senior scholar, whose essay can be in either Chinese or English. Funding up to $1000 also will be provided for the winners to travel to the 2019 biennial ISCP conference at the University of Bern, Switzerland.

All awardees are required to attend the 2019 Bern conference of the International Society for Chinese Philosophy conference to present their winning essays.



The contest is open to scholars at all levels, including independent scholars. However preference will be given to junior scholars beginning their careers, such as graduate students or assistant professors within five years of graduation, and one senior scholar who require funding to attend the conference.


All submissions should be sent to iscp2019@philo.unibe.ch, with “Fu Contest Essay” in the subject line. Decisions will be rendered by separate committees of scholars, drawn from the membership of the International Society for Chinese Philosophy.

Previously published papers are not acceptable. Submissions in English should not exceed 5,000 words; submission in Chinese should not exceed 7,000 words. DEADLINE: March 1, 2019.


The purpose of the contest is to encourage young scholars who show promise of making important contributions to the study and development of Chinese philosophy or Asian philosophy related to Chinese thought, and to help senior scholars with financial limitations to present their work at ISCP conferences.

Submissions will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  1. CREATIVITY original philosophical insights, such as comparative analysis.
  2. COHERENCE a cogent, well-argued presentation.
  3. SCHOLARSHIP competence in dealing with philosophical texts and interpretations.

Please visit the Fu Foundation website to learn more about its programmes: http://www.charleswei-hsunfufoundation.net/birth.html