Faculty Colloquium (1st term of 2018-19) Faculty of Arts
Speaker: Prof. Benjamin Wai-ming Ng
Date: 30 Nov 2018 (Fri)
Time:  4:00pm
Venue:  G24, Arts and Humanities Hub, Fung King Hey Building, CUHK
Language: English
Abstract:

Professor Benjamin Wai-ming Ng would like to share the major findings of his forthcoming book, Imagining China in Tokugawa Japan (New York University Press, March 2019). His new book is a pioneering and ambitious study of how Japanese in the Tokugawa period (1603-1868) appropriated and transformed Chinese elements to express and reinforce native ideas and values. While current scholarship on Tokugawa Japan tends to see China as either a model or “the Other,” this study aims to provide a new perspective by suggesting that China also functioned as a collection of “cultural building blocks,” as Tokugawa Japanese selectively introduced and then modified Chinese culture to make it fit into the Japanese tradition. Chinese terms and forms survived, but the substance and the spirit were made Japanese. This borrowing of Chinese terms and forms to express Japanese ideas and feelings could result in the same things having different meanings between China and Japan, and this process can be observed in the ways in which Tokugawa Japanese reinterpreted Chinese legends, Confucian classics, and historical terms. This study thus aims to break down the longstanding dichotomies between model and “the other,” civilization and barbarism, as well as center and periphery when defining Sino-Japanese cultural exchange.

 

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Speaker: Prof. Kwok-ying Lau
Date: 9 Nov 2018 (Fri)
Time:  4:00pm
Venue:  G24, Arts and Humanities Hub, Fung King Hey Building, CUHK
Language: English
Abstract:

In contrast to Eurocentric conceptions of philosophy, the present author will explain in what sense and in what way his apprenticeship and practice of philosophy in Hong Kong since the very beginning is an intercultural affair: serious philosophical practice is necessarily a matter of intercultural understanding. Not content with Derrida’s deconstruction of the Eurocentric pretention of Husserl’s Idea of philosophy as “pure theoria”, the present author tries to make sense of the intercultural nature of contemporary philosophical practice by the concept of “interworld” (“inter-monde”) suggested by Merleau-Ponty. The paper will also explain the necessity of intercultural understanding in the establishment of philosophical truth. It will go on to explain the relevance of the concept of flesh (la chair, 肌膚存在) and cultural flesh (文化肌膚) , proposed by the present author, in providing the ontological basis of the inter-world and inter-cultural understanding. The paper will highlight some of the results of the author’s twenty years of research in intercultural understanding in philosophy from the phenomenological approach, published in his recent book Phenomenology and Intercultural Understanding. Toward a New Cultural Flesh (Springer, Contributions to Phenomenology Series, 2016), with which the author received the Research Excellence Award, Faculty of Arts, CUHK, 2017.

 

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