Metaphysical Foundations of Knowledge and Ethics in Chinese and European Philosophy

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In the history of Chinese and European philosophy, metaphysics has played an outstanding role: it is a theoretical framework which provides the basis for a philosophical understanding of the world and the self. A theory of the self is well integrated in a metaphysical understanding of the totality of nature as a dynamic process of continuous changes. According to this view, the purpose of existence can be conceived of as the development and realization of the full potential given to the individual by its nature. In regard to human nature specifically, this idea of self-realization includes the development of all cognitive faculties as well as of the moral character.
Metaphysics has, however, suffered a loss of importance in current debates, especially in ethics. As a result, we observe the emergence of such philosophical views as moral skepticism and even nihilism. The consequence of this tendency has been the renunciation of a claim to understanding and to providing a solid ground for ethics.
Yet an intercultural dialogue can provide us with some hope as the consolidation of debates on crucial topics of our traditions might indeed serve as the basis for a more powerful philosophy in the future.

Friday, 24.06.2011

9:30 Adress of Welcome
9:45 Guo Yi (Beijing/Cologne)
Dao and Daoic Philosophy – a General Introduction
10:00 Richard Stichler (Philadelphia)
Human Nature and Cultures of War
10:50 Hans-Georg Müller (Cork)
Emotions and Morality in Confucianism and Daoism

11:40 Coffee Break

12:00 Sasa Josifovic (Cologne)
Figurations (Morphomata) of Freedom
12:50 Paul Cobben (Tilburg)
Recognition as Unity Between Theoretical and Practical Reason

13:40 Lunch

15:10 Günter Zöller (Munich)
The Value of Knowledge and the Knowledge of Value.
A Modernist Reply to Guo Yi
16:00 Tilman Borsche (Hildesheim)
To Be Announced

Saturday, 25.06.2011

10:00 Asuman Lätzer-Lasar (Cologne)
The Guodian Manuscripts in Their Archaeological-Historical Context
10:50 Arran Gare (Melbourne)
Daoic Philosophy and Process Metaphysics: Overcoming the Nihilism of Western Civilization.

11:40 Coffee Break

12:00 Christian Krijnen (Amsterdam/Tilburg)
Rational Foundations of Knowledge and Values
12:50 Ralph Weber (Zurich)
Making the Implicit Explicit – An Analysis of Some Comparative Claims in Guo Yi´s Discussion of Chinese and European Philosophy

13:40 Lunch

15:10 Andreas Speer (Cologne)
What wisdom? On the (dis-)connection of metaphysics and ethics in Western philosophy
16:00 Chung-Ying Cheng (Hawaii)
Onto-Generative Epistemology (本体知识论)
16:50 Guo Yi (Beijing/Cologne)


Concept: Guo Yi, Sasa Josifovic, Dietrich Boschung
Organisation & Contact: Sasa Josifovic (sasa.josifovic(at),Phone: +49 221- 470 6365; Asuman Lätzer-Lasar (asuman.laetzer(at)
Venue: Internationales Kolleg Morphomata, Center for Advanced Studies, Weyertal 59 (Back Building), Third Floor, 50937 Cologne

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