School of Chinese Book Launch
Learning for One’s Own Self in the Xunzi: From Nature is Bad to Nourishing the Heart-mind through Sincerity. Beijing: Peking University Press, 2015.
鄧小虎博士 Dr Siu-fu Tang
Date and Time: February 22, 2016 (Monday); 5:30-6:45pm
Venue: Room 730, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU
The book aims to explicate Xunzi’s thought through the theme of “learning for one’s own self.” It shows that two important elements of Xunzi’s thought, an emphasis on the bad nature of human beings and an insistence on the importance of sincerity, are just different aspects of his ethical system of “learning for one’s own self.” By “nature is bad” Xunzi means not that human beings are fundamentally and incorrigibly bad, rather he means that natural feelings and desires of humans have a natural tendency to dominate, leading to bad behavior of us and ultimately to an enslavement of us by external things. Xunzi suggests that we should transform our nature through artifice, so that natural feelings and desires can not only be properly satisfied but also be incorporated into an ethical life of ritual propriety. Such a transformation of nature through artifice is actually an emotive-rational education, the center of which is the nourishment of the heart-mind through ritual propriety, humaneness and appropriateness. Such an emotive-rational education can be encapsulated in the mode of sincerity, which is both the process and the end product of the nourishment of the heart-mind. By sincerity Xunzi refers to a sincere and authentic understanding and realization of one’s own self and one’s own life. Humaneness and appropriateness is used to structure one’s own self and one’s own life so that a person can live a life of integrity, self-determination, goodness and meaningfulness.
鄧小虎 現爲香港大學中文學院副教授，亦兼任《東方文化》學報執行編輯。研究興趣集中在先秦儒家（特別是荀子思想）、中國思想中的倫理學及政治哲學、中西哲學比較、中國思想與現代性等課題。論文發表於《國立臺灣大學哲學論評》、《哲學與文化》、《中國哲學前沿》等期刊，英文專著Self-Realization through Confucian Learning: A Contemporary Reconstruction of Xunzi’s Ethics(《儒學與自我實現：荀子倫理學的當代重構》)將於2016年9月由紐約州立大學出版社(SUNY Press)出版。
Siufu Tang is an associate professor of the School of Chinese at HKU. He is also an executive editor of the Journal of Oriental Studies. His research interests include early Confucianism (in particular Xunzi’s thought), Chinese ethics and political philosophy, comparative philosophy, and the relevance of Chinese philosophy to the modern world. He has published papers in journals such as NTU Philosophical Review, Philosophy and Culture, Frontiers of Philosophy in China. His English monograph Self-Realization through Confucian Learning: A Contemporary Reconstruction of Xunzi’s Ethics is forthcoming in September, 2016 by SUNY Press.
ALL ARE WELCOME!