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Chinese Organizing Committee

Chinese Organizing Committee

WELCOME MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENTS OF COC
24TH World Congress of Philosophy
Beijing
13-20 August 2018



Founded in 1898, Peking University marks the beginning of modern higher education in China. On behalf of the Chinese Organizing Committee, we, as the presidents of PKU, the host institute for 24th World Congress of Philosophy, warmly welcome you, philosophers and lovers of philosophy from all over the world. We invite you to one of the most memorable and significant cultural events for the love and pursuit of knowledge in PKU from August 13 - 20, 2018.

In 1912, PKU founded the first philosophy department in China. At this very early phase, our predecessors decided to learn broadly from Western, Indian and Chinese philosophical traditions. From the very outset, philosophizing in China is comprehensive and open toward the world, while at the same time deeply rooted in its own heritage. Modern Chinese philosophers are committed to the construction of contemporary civilization through communication with other cultures and appropriation of all their outstanding thoughts. One of the most ancient Chinese sayings states: “Even an established nation like Zhou still regards self-renewal as its mission”.

Like the rest of the world, China equally maintains a long philosophical tradition. Lao Tze, Confucius, and many others reflect on fundamental issues concerning world, society and human life. They come to be preeminent sources that influence and contribute to shape human civilization. In ancient China, philosophers were respected as sages due to their knowledge, virtue and wisdom. Philosophical cultivation was considered as the most fundamental ground of human education because it “sets one’s heart upon the Way”. Ancient Chinese philosophy not only influenced East Asia but also captured the attention of European intellects. Along with the development of Chinese bonds to the world, Lao Tze, Confucius, Mencius, Chuang Tze, Chu Hsi, Wang Yang-ming and other Chinese philosophers are being made familiar to more and more people. In ancient times, Buddhism was introduced to make a far-reaching impact on Chinese philosophy, religion and social development. In modern times, western ideas are continuously imported and spread to effect considerable changes on Chinese social and value order.

In the past decades, China has become more and more closely connected to the world due to the fast development and continuous progress of economy and society in the country. In the new era, a renewed philosophy is demanded to make better sense of the relation between China and the world. In the meanwhile, the community of mankind where we live together is undergoing all kinds of changes. Such changes likewise call for a globalized philosophy which is capable of communicating multiple cultural and social contexts and responding to the future.

“Learning to be Human” is the theme of the 24th World Congress of Philosophy. We believe that philosophers can identify different dimensions of thinking about humans in response to this theme. Nowadays, the advance of modern science and technology not merely improves human life but also causes unprecedented challenges and crises. Conflicts between civilizations and between nations, tensions between individual and community and between different individuals as well as disquiet in each of us are all in need of philosophical wisdom. It is simply impossible to find out any ready-made solutions. However rational reflection and dialogue may help to create a better world and to gain an individual life more adapted to our times.

We are extremely grateful to the Fédération Internationale des Sociétés de Philosophie (FISP) for the trust and decision to select Peking University as the host institute of the congress. We especially thanks President of FISP, Dermot Moran, the General Secretary, Luca Scarantino, the President of the International Program Committee, Riccardo Pozzo, all the members involved in the International Programme Committee, all the members working hard in the International Executive Committee as well as all the members in the Steering Committee of FISP. They have been working closely with PKU to prepare the expected congress for the last four years. Lastly, but not least, we own our heartfelt gratitude to our colleagues in Chinese philosophical community who are all committed to the success of the congress as their common enterprise.

Once again, we welcome you to the beautiful campus of Peking University in the summer of 2018. We invite you into thoughtful dialogues concerning “Self”, “Community”, “Nature”, “Spirituality” and “Tradition” in the auditoriums, in the lecture halls, by the Weiming Lake and at the foot of Boya Pagoda. The congress will certainly enhance the reciprocal understanding between China and the world in the intellectual domain. We are hoped to shed philosophical lights upon human communal life with a consensus in differences and plurality and a progress through discussion and dialogue.


HAO Ping & LIN Jianhua

PRESIDENTS OF
THE CHINESE ORGANIZING COMMITTEE