Chinese Philosophy

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28/05/2019 (Tuesday)

8.00 - 9.30 pm

The Adelaide

A Presentation by Iain Orr


This talk on Chinese Philosophy will concentrate on a few of the central figures in the Chinese philosophical tradition and the texts associated with them: Confucius, Mencius, Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, the Legalists and Master Mo. I will try to identify key concepts, problems and patterns of exposition and argument, illustrated by a range of short quotations. I will then – far more tentatively- start to explore the extent to which differences in language, history and social institutions may or may not mean that there is a useful distinction between “Philosophy” (in “Western” intellectual and scientific traditions) and “Chinese” philosophy. Is there a useful analogy with “Medicine” and “Chinese Medicine”?  Obligatory references will be included to Joseph Needham and Rudyard Kipling (“East is East…”).”


Most of the key texts are in print in the Penguin Classics series – see especially pages 12 to 14 of Henry Eliot’s treasure-house The Penguin Classics Book (2018).