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The 21st International Conference of the International Society for Chinese Philosophy (ISCP) was held at the University of Bern, Switzerland, from July 2nd to July 5th, 2019.   

“Reality, Argumentation, and Persuasion:
Metaphysical Explorations and Epistemological Engagements in Chinese Philosophy”

University of Berne, Institute of Philosophy, Switzerland

Host Organization Website

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

The 20th International Conference of the International Society for Chinese Philosophy (ISCP) was held at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore on 4 – 7 July 2017.

Conference Theme: Chinese Philosophy in a Multicultural World (click for website)

Conference Programme 會議議程

In the 21st century, cultures that originated on different continents are in close contact and people from various philosophical and religious traditions interact on multiple levels. How can Chinese philosophy position and present itself in this multicultural and intercultural world? How does a globalized world affect the study and development of Chinese philosophy? What does Chinese philosophy contribute to the making of a more harmonious and prosperous world? How can Chinese philosophy more effectively interact and communicate with other traditions? What can Chinese philosophy do to further renew and enrich its own traditions? This conference explores such questions, directly and indirectly, from a wide range of perspectives.

Under the general theme of “Chinese Philosophy in a Multicultural World,” the subthemes of this conference include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Chinese philosophy as a cultural tradition
2. Contemporary challenges for Chinese philosophy
3. Continuing relevance of Chinese philosophical ideas
4. Buddhism and the contemporary world
5. Confucianism and the contemporary world
6. Daoism and the contemporary world
7. Chinese philosophy as a world philosophy
8. Chinese philosophy and philosophies of other cultures
9. Comparative approaches to Chinese philosophy
10. Pluralism and diversity in Chinese philosophy
11. The model of Confucian-Daoist complementarity
12. The harmony of the three teachings (Buddhism-Confucianism-Daoism)
13. Society and politics in Chinese philosophy
14. Multiculturalism in Singapore, East Asia, and Southeast Asia

Program is available at

Charles Wei-hsun Fu Foundation: ISCP Essay Contest in Asian Philosophy

The Charles Wei-hsun Fu Foundation and the International Society for Chinese Philosophy are pleased to announce the 2017 ISCP Essay Contest in Asian Philosophy.

A total of three prizes of $2,000 each are offered for the best essays in the area of Asian 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 2017 biennial ISCP conference.

All awardees are required to attend the 2017 Singapore 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 young scholars beginning their careers, such as graduate students or assistant professors within five years of graduation), and senior scholars who require funding to attend the conference.


All submissions should be sent to, 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, 2017.


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 programs:








所有參賽論文請發送至,在郵件標題上注明“Fu Contest Essay”。由國際中國哲學會的會員所組成的委員會將分組評出競賽結果。已經發表的論文概不接收。英文論文不超過5000詞;中文論文不超過7000字。截止日期是2017年3月1日。




  1. 創造性:原創的哲學洞見,例如對比分析的深度。
  2. 融貫性:有說服力的、論證充分的陳述。
  3. 學術性:處理哲學文本的詮釋能力。


Organised by ISCP image Philosophy Programme
Nanyang Technological University

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