PEW Blog

explore what resources thinkers from east and west have to offer in times of crisis

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Lee Wilson
Confucianism and Totalitarianism: An Arendtian Reconsideration of Mencius vs. Xunzi
September 27, 2021
Using an Arendtian approach, I consider how key concepts in the texts of the Mencius and the Xunzi might be appropriated for ‘legitimising’ totalitarian regimes. Given an unproblematised relation to a normative History and Nature underlies compatibility, I argue that if any Confucianism would be totalitarian, it might well be Mencian instead of Xunzian.
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Floris Biskamp
„Liberalism is good in theory, but in practice it just doesn't work.” Three immanent critiques of liberalism and possible liberal answers
September 27, 2021
Liberalism is a normative theory centered around the autonomy of the individual, law, and reason. It is the dominant philosophy of Western modernity, and within this modernity, it is hard to think in any other way than liberal today. The presentations discusses liberalism in light of its critiques, considering how valid their arguments against liberalism are and what liberalism has to offer in its defense. Specifically, it will discuss three types of critique: Communitarian critiques emphasize that human society is always dependent on thick, collectively shared traditions, for which liberalism leaves little room. Economic critiques problematize that private property, which is closely associated with liberalism, systematically produces dangerous crisis dynamics. Critics focused on national statehood point out that liberal law cannot exist without a state, which must act illiberally in order to exist. With regard to all three criticisms, I argue that they do have valid arguments against liberalism, but that convincing answers can in turn only be liberal.
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Hauke Behrendt
Perspectives East & West (PEW) Website goes online
July 22, 2021
We are happy to announce that our website "Perspectives East & West" (PEW) went live today. This event page serves as a central hub for the event. The summer school bridges five time zones and brings together scholars from four continents. To achieve this online, we will work with a wide array of formats, including live and pre-recorded keynote lectures, reading sessions, expert panels, presentations from junior scholars and informal exchange in the form of blog posts. You can find a detailed schedule and descriptions of the events on the agenda. If you are interested in making this blog a vivid medium of exchange, please get in touch with us.
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