Universiteit Leiden

nl en


“The Origins and Legacies of Moral and Political Thought in China: A Book Discussion with Tao Jiang.”

Wednesday 23 March 2022
P.J. Veth
Nonnensteeg 1-3
2311 VJ Leiden

The talk is being sponsored by both the Leiden University Centre for Intercultrual Philosophy and the Leiden University Centre for Political Philosophy.


The recent book by Professor Tao Jiang of Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, entitled Origins of Moral-Political Philosophy in Early China (Oxford University Press, 2021), exhaustively details Jiang’s hypothesis of how Chinese philosophers during the Warring States Period (475-221 BCE), from Confucian, Mohist, “Proto-Daoist” and Legalist persuasions argued over whether humaneness or justice should be the guiding virtue of political thought. The debate raised a wide range of fundamental questions. Should the state be envisioned as an extension of family relations or as an impartial bureaucratic structure?  Does the normativity of social ethics come from the natural order or from historically constructed human adaptations? How do different depictions of human nature underlie competing approaches to proper governance? In this session, LUCIP Director Douglas Berger will conduct a discussion with Professor Jiang about these broad-ranging questions in early Chinese thought, as well as explore their relevance to modern Chinese political society. The discussion will then be open to all participants.

About the Speaker

Professor Tao Jiang, originally from Chengdu in China, received his Ph.D. from Temple University in Philadelphia in 2000, and is currently Chair of the Religious Studies Department and Co-Director of the Center for Chinese Studies at Rutgers University. He is also the Co-Director of the Neo-Confucian Studies Seminar at Columbia University. He specializes in Classical Chinese Philosophy, Mahayana Buddhist Philosophy and Intercultrual Philosophy. Along with the new title from him we are discussing, he is the author of dozens of essays and book chapters as well as the author of  Contexts and Dialogue: Yogacara Buddhism and Modern Psychology on the Subliminal Mind (University of Hawai’i Press, 2006) and co-editor of The Reception and Rendition of Freud in China (Routledge, 2013).

Professor Tao Jiang
This website uses cookies.  More information.