Human Nature and Governance
-- Politics and Political Philosophy in Later Northern Song (960-1127)
How the governance of human affairs is designed is premised on a view of how humans are by nature. An exercise in historically grounded comparative political philosophy featuring close reading of classical commentaries, my dissertation reconstructs the political philosophies of Wang Anshi 王安石 (1021-1086) and Su Shi 蘇軾 (1036-1101) in the context of mid- to late-eleventh century politics, focusing on their opposing approaches to governance based on two distinctive views of human nature. Despite the formidable amount of scholarship on each of these two major figures, this is the first work that truly integrates their political and philosophical thought. Through this holistic approach, it produces new knowledge on Wang and Su respectively, thereby refreshing our understanding of Northern Song intellectual and political history. Through rigorously contextualized reconstruction, it also seeks to add momentum to a much-needed historical turn in the rapidly developing new field of comparative/global political philosophy.
Supervisors: Prof. dr. Hilde De Weerdt en prof. dr. Wilt Idema
MA - RSEA, Harvard University
2012-14, Harvard-Yenching Institute Fellowship