Universiteit Leiden

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Yuanping Shi

PhD candidate

Drs. Y. Shi MPhil
+31 71 527 2727

Shi Yuanping is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Philosophy at the Institute for Philosophy of Leiden University since the September 2020.

More information about Yuanping Shi

Fields of interest

Neo-Confucianism, Contemporary Neo-Confucianism, Comparative Philosophy, Phenomenology


Rnspired, or more specifically, stimulatedby western philosophy, a bunch of Chinese intellectuals immerses themselves inabundant ancient Chinese literature, aiming to find the most typical anddistinguishing Chinese culture characteristics. Many profound thinkers payclose attention to the theory of Inter-affectivity/ Inductance (感通/感应), regarding it as the biggest and the most essential difference compared with western philosophy.

However, this ancient set of ideas is facing a much more complicated situation in modernsociety than expected. For one thing, Inductance theory links closely to Needham's Grand Question, that is, it may be one of thereasons why ancient China didn’t develop modern technology. Therefore, it seems that this idea is somewhat inconsistent and out of step with the age of modernization. For another, although lots of Chinese thinkers highly value the statement of affectivity(感) in ancient works, today’s Chinese citizens, having been influenced or impoverished by modern western culture, seemingly feel unfamiliar with it. Namely, their daily life basically disconnects with this Chinese cultural way of life. So there is a challenge to every serious Chinese scholar: whether this theory should be abandoned or retained. And more essentially, how Confucianism bridge the huge gap between classical scholarship and modern society?  

What’s more, from another perspective, it seems that ancient Chinese theory does not have the gap between the inside and the outside, which is exactly the main challenge for philosophers in western cultural tradition. Some scholars even argue that this theory could provide a possible solution to some difficulties encountered by western culture. For example, it is hard for them to handle problems like suffering from a detachment from being. So how is it possible for Chinese culture to unite the inside and the outside? The answer to this question may also enlighten the western culture.

Basically, my research focuses on the above two aspects: first, how does Confucian Inductance theory respond to the challenge of modernity; second, whether this theory can provide possible solutions to the dilemmas in Western philosophy.

Grants and awards

  • National Scholarship (the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China Grant, 2014 & 2019)
  • National Inspirational Scholarship (the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China Grant, 2015)
  • First-class University Scholarship (Nanjing University Grant, 2017, 2018 & 2019)
  • Second-class Scholarship for Exchange Students (Southwest University Grant, 2015)
  • Academic Excellence Award (Southwest University Grant, 2014)

Curriculum vitae

  • M.A., Chinese Philosophy, Nanjing University of China, 2020 Concentrations: Confucianism (especially Neo-Confucianism) Thesis: An Analysis of the Meaning and Dilemma of the Cheng Brothers’ Internal Affectivity. Thesis Advisor: Prof. Hong Xiuping, Ph.D.
  • Dec.2018 Fordham University (visiting student)
  • Feb. 2019– Jun. 2019 National Taiwan Normal University (exchange student)
  • B.A, Chinese Language and Literature, Southwest University of China, 2017
  • Sep. 2014 – Feb. 2015 National Taiwan Normal University (exchange student

Key publications

Presentations, Proceedings, and Papers:

Yuanping SHI (2018). “Individual nature、Renaturation and no self-nature: A Research on Cheng Hsuan-Ying's Theory of nature.” Academic Journal of Laozi, vol. 12, 112-126.

Yuanping SHI (2018). “From Non-Being to Neither Being nor Non-Being: Research on Guoxiang and Cheng Hsuan-Ying's Theories about Being and Non-Being”. Hong Dao, vol. 72, 46-56.

Yuanping SHI (2018). Cheng Yichuan on Inner Affectivity. Paper presented at the Second Forum of Doctoral Students of Chinese Philosophy, Beijing.

PhD candidate

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Instituut voor Wijsbegeerte

Work address

P.J. Veth
Nonnensteeg 1-3
2311 VJ Leiden
Room number 2.03


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