Guest Lecturers

Upcoming Speakers



Guest Speaker: Dr. David B. Wong

The Philosophy Department invites you to a presentation by Dr. David B. Wong, the Susan Fox Beischer and George D. Beischer Professor of Philosophy at Duke University on Friday April 5th at 2:30 – 4:00pm via Zoom.

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Click here for Zoom Meeting link

Meeting ID: 850 1579 0309         Passcode: 452024

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Lecture Topic:  Zhuangzi on Not Following the Leader

 I begin with identifying Confucian metaphors of leadership for the way the mind (or the heart-mind) should lead the whole person. I then discuss how the Daoist text Zhuangzi criticizes this conception of the mind's leadership as too fixed and rigid--unresponsive to the fluidity and unpredictability of the world. The text suggests as an alternative a way that the whole embodied person can fluidly respond to the world. This alternative ties into some contemporary work, scientific and philosophical, of how the whole person and not just the deliberating mind processes information from the world. I end by discussing how the critique of the fixed and rigid mind can suggest alternative models of political governance that distribute and integrate guidance throughout the body politic. 

Bio: David B. Wong is the Susan Fox Beischer and George D. Beischer Professor of Philosophy at Duke University.  He has written essays in contemporary ethical theory, moral psychology, and on classical Chinese philosophy. His books are Moral Relativity (University of California Press, 1984) and Natural Moralities: A Defense of Pluralistic Relativism (2006, Oxford University Press), and Moral Relativism and Pluralism (2023, Cambridge University Press). He co-edited with Kwong-loi Shun Confucian ethics: A Comparative Study of Self, Autonomy, and Community (2004, Cambridge University Press).