Current Events

Please be sure to review the below schedule to view the Spring 2024 semester Philosophy events. You may also click the "add" button to add the event to your calendar. 

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FR 115 - Berman Conference Room

Envy and Antidote

Tom Cavanaugh, philosophy, explores how we all seek happiness. Being social animals, in figuring out how happy we are, we often look around to see how happy our neighbor is. Admiration and emulation of our neighbor tend to make us happier while envy and its allies tend to make us unhappy. Relying on classical philosophical resources and contemporary empirical insights, this talk examines envy and antidotes to it with a view to increasing our happiness.

Sponsored by Fleishhacker Endowment








McLaren 250

Tai Chi Workshop

Dr. Mike J. Ng is the founder of the "Mike J. Ng Tai Chi & Bagua institute. If you would like to attend the Tai Chi Workshop, please bring comfortable clothing for Tai Chi Practice.

Sponsored by Fleishhacker Endowment




Fromm Hall 110 - Maier Conference Room Philosophy Colloquium - Sungmoon Kim

Tough Compassion: Chŏng Yagyong’s New Vision for Humane Government

Chŏng Yagyong 丁若鏞 (1762-1836, Tasan 茶山) is generally understood as one of the most prominent Korean Confucian scholars during the Chosŏn dynasty (1392-1910) who tried to radically reform the Korean state, firmly grounded in Cheng-Zhu Neo-Confucianism, into one that protects the well-being of the people effectively through various practical reform plans. In highlighting the practical side of Chŏng’s moral and political philosophy, scholars have concentrated on the notable difference between the Neo-Confucian orthodoxy and Chŏng’s interpretation of Confucian classics, but little attention has been paid to the distinctive characteristics of Chŏng’s vision for good government relative to the traditional Confucian ideal of humane government. In this talk, I show that what is central to Chŏng’s political thought is the institutional system of the government, which is motivated by the ruler’s “tough compassion” for the well-being of the people. Instead of appealing to the ruler’s “heart-mind that cannot bear the sufferings of people,” which Mencius famously declared as the locomotive of humane government, tough compassion is mainly concerned with (re)establishing an enduring governmental system that can promote the overall well-being of the people by making the state rich and strong. Chŏng’s statecraft of tough compassion, in which law figures centrally, may make him look like a Legalist, but Chŏng believed he was rekindling the original spirit of Confucianism, which had long been eclipsed by the dominant version of Korean Confucianism. 

Sponsored by Fleishhacker Endowment