9 March 2018

Renowned Scholar in Chinese Philosophy Prof. Liu Xiaogan to Present
New Asia College 31st Ch’ien Mu Lecture in History and Culture at CUHK
All are Welcome


The New Asia College of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) is honoured to have Prof. Liu Xiaogan, Distinguished Professor of the School of Philosophy of Beijing Normal University and Professor, Founding and Honorary Director of the Research Center for Chinese Philosophy and Culture of the Department of Philosophy of CUHK to deliver three lectures during his stay in Hong Kong. Prof. Liu is a renowned scholar in Chinese Philosophy and he has conducted extensive researches on different aspects of Chinese Philosophy. He has been awarded many grants and honours internationally through the years.

The lectures will be held on 16, 17 and 19 March under the auspices of the 31st Ch’ien Mu Lecture in History and Culture of the New Asia College and will be conducted in Putonghua. Members of the public are welcome to attend. 

1st Lecture: Human Nature: From Mencius to Scientific Discovery 

It has been widely accepted and well understood in Chinese culture that Mencius promotes the theory of good human nature while Xunzi holds the opposite. In fact, their theories are complicated enough, with various possible interpretations. Among many others, some issues often raised are: How to define human nature? Is there a common nature for human kind? How to prove human nature to be good or bad?  Though doctrines of their theories are stimulating and suggestive, some important aspects should be further analysed and re-examined: What are the foundations of their theories? Should we simply choose one as right? Are there any modern observations and researches providing new perspective on and answers to the issues? This talk presents new approaches and suggestions for further exploration of the issues. 

Moderator  : Prof. Henry N.C. Wong, 
    Head of New Asia College, CUHK
Date : 16 March 2018 (Friday)
Time : 11:30 a.m.
Venue : Sir Run Run Shaw Hall, CUHK

2nd Lecture: Is there such a thing called Human Nature? Normative and Empirical Approaches

Among many studies on Mencius’ theory of human nature, Mou Zongsan and Roger Ames represent two opposite understanding of Mencius’ theory based on different Western philosophies, while both claiming they are trying to understand and interpret Mencius’ concept.  From a serious and close textual reading, it is clear that both of them try to create a new interpretation of Mencius’ theory for the needs of modern society by taking, as their prior aim, what meaning is right or better for the modern world according to Western theories instead of faithfully understanding Mencius ideas. Indeed, their efforts and methodology are respectful and understandable, but they actually divert from the possible meaning of Mencius’ theory. This lecture intends to demonstrate a more faithful understanding of the meaning of Mencius’ theory, as an attempt towards a new theory of human nature in modern societies.

Moderator  : Prof. Lau Kwok Ying,
    Department of Philosophy, CUHK
Date : 17 March 2018 (Saturday)
Time : 3:00 p.m.
Venue : Lecture Theatre, G/F, Hong Kong Museum of History 

3rd Lecture: Repaying resentment by Virtue or Straightforwardness? Confucianism and Daoism 

Laozi once advanced an idea that one should repay resentment with virtue, while Confucius criticises it and promotes a doctrine of paying back resentment with straightforwardness. Instead of directly judging who is right or wrong, this lecture first claims that both theories are right and practical in their own theoretical context, by presenting a comprehensive analysis of their theories. Thus, it becomes clear that the impression of the struggle between Confucianism and Daoism is groundless and false, and we should accept both advocates for divergent and varied situations. By comparing Laozi’s ideas with the modern political theory of toleration, finally we will be able to see the important consequence that Laozi’s theory transcends and accommodates the spirit of the modern concept of toleration, therefore the ancient theory does include useful and inspiring wisdom for modern societies.  

Moderator  : Prof. Wang Qingjie,
    Department of Philosophy, CUHK
Date : 19 March 2018 (Monday)
Time : 4:00 p.m.
Venue : Cho Yiu Conference Hall, CUHK 


About Ch’ien Mu Lecture in History and Culture

To enhance academic and cultural exchanges, CUHK New Asia College has been organising the Ch’ien Mu Lecture in History and Culture since 1978. Every year, a distinguished scholar is invited to deliver a series of public lectures exploring topics on Chinese history and culture. 

All lectures will be given in Putonghua. All are welcome. For enquiries, please contact Ms. Angela Chan of the College Office of New Asia College (Tel: 3943-7601; Email: angelac@cuhk.edu.hk )

New Asia College 31st Ch’ien Mu Lecture in History and Culture
New Asia College 31st Ch’ien Mu Lecture in History and Culture