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Call for Papers

  ISCWP International Conference / Anthology


Philosophical Engagement:

Davidson’s Philosophy and Chinese Philosophy


Conference: July 10-11, 2003

Conference Site: Beijing, China

Call for Papers: January 15, 2003


International Society for Comparative Studies of Chinese and Western Philosophy (ISCWP)


Institute of Foreign Philosophy, Peking University, China (Conference Host)

The Committee on International Cooperation of the American Philosophical Association

Theme: How Davidson’s philosophy and some thoughts and strands in Chinese philosophy could jointly contribute to the common philosophical enterprise in complementary or other interesting ways.

It is widely agreed among many philosophers who are familiar with both Chinese and Western philosophies that Chinese philosophy and Western philosophy (including its mainstream traditions) are not essentially alien to one another: they have common concerns with a series of fundamental issues and have taken their characteristic approaches to them. They thus could learn from each other and jointly contribute to the common philosophical enterprise through constructive dialogue and engagement. The International Society for Comparative Studies of Chinese and Western Philosophy (ISCWP) takes this as one of its missions. In cooperation with some other due academic institutions as co-sponsors, the ISCWP will sponsor a series of international workshops/conferences on philosophical engagement between Chinese philosophy and Western philosophy (especially its mainstream traditions).

One effective way to carry out such comparative studies of Chinese and Western philosophy is to focus on one philosophically significant figure or one significant movement of philosophical thought in either Chinese or Western tradition in constructive comparison with various relevant thoughts in the other tradition. The first effort in this series is to focus on Donald Davidson’s philosophy in the analytic tradition of Western mainstream philosophy (for the reason to be mentioned below) to investigate how the constructive dialogue and engagement could be carried out between his philosophy and Chinese philosophy.

Donald Davidson (1917-) is known as one of the most important philosophers in the twentieth century whose works involve a series of fundamental issues in philosophy. “There is no more creative or systematic philosopher at work in America today than Donald Davidson…Davidson has already constructed one of the most remarkable pillars of sustained philosophical reasoning to be found in any era” (Ian Hacking). Both those philosophers who endorse Davidson’s views and those who oppose (some of) his views have unanimously agreed that Davidson’s philosophy is one of the most creative sources to stimulate their philosophical reflections in depth. And it has been considered that the issues and topics to which Davidson and various thinkers in Chinese philosophical tradition have somehow made their distinct contributions include (but not limited to) the following: (i) the relations among language, thought, and reality; (ii) philosophical issue of truth; (iii) meaning and reference; (iv) understanding and interpretation; (v) knowledge, skepticism, and objectivity; (vi) actions and events; (vii) philosophy of mind; (viii) problem of human rationality; (ix) irrationality and practical reasoning; and (x) issue of metaphors. Prospective contributors might consider contributing their papers on those issues/topics in regard to constructive dialogue and engagement between Davidson’s philosophy and Chinese philosophy.

Keynote Speaker: Donald Davidson (University of California at Berkeley, USA)

Submission of Papers: Papers (together with abstracts) for consideration may be submitted electronically (as a MS Word attachment) to: or sent (three hard copies and one disk copy in MS Word format) to: Bo Mou, Department of Philosophy, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA 95192, USA. All submitted papers will be judged anonymously by the review team which consists of scholars who are familiar with both Chinese philosophy and Davidson’s philosophy. Submitted papers should be approximately 3000 words (10-12 pages), to be presented comfortably in about 30 minutes; their abstracts will be less than 150 words. The author’s name, institutional affiliation (when appropriate), postal address, and email address should appear on a separate cover page and nowhere else in the manuscript. The deadline for submission for consideration is January 15, 2003. Notifications of the acceptance decision will be sent out no later than April 1, 2003. If paper is accepted, the deadline for final version is June 1, 2003.

The scholars with their papers accepted for presentations will be provided with free lodging and meals during the conference period by the conference host.

The anthology “Philosophical Engagement: Davidson’s Philosophy and Chinese Philosophy” (tentative title), though an independent project instead of the conference proceedings, will consist of selections from the submitted papers for the preceding conference and/or the anthology as well as some invited contributions. The anthology volume will be published by a respected publisher.