Professor Sun Wei received his Ph.D. in Chinese philosophy from National University of Singapore in 2008. He is now an associate professor at the Philosophy Institute, Beijing Academy of Social Sciences. He was previously a Master’s student (2000-2003) in the Department of Philosophy, Renmin University of China. He has published the books Reconstructing the Confucian Way: A new investigation of Xunzi’s thoughts (People’s Press, 2010), The Way to the Confucian Ideals: Xunzi’s Responses to the Problems of Confucianism in the Late Warring States Period (Lambert Academic Publishing, 2010), Dao and Happiness: The Comparisons between Xunzi and Aristotle’s Ethics (Peking University Press, 2015). He has also published more than 20 journal articles in both English and Chinese. He is a member of the Beijing Philosophy Association and the International Society for Comparative Studies of Chinese and Western Philosophy (ISCWP).
The body of this course consists in studies of five ethical schools in ancient China: Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, Mohism and Legalism. Since the course is a philosopher’s approach to those schools, the emphasis is upon the philosophical ideals contained in them, rather than upon any extended exegesis of the texts themselves. Specifically, the following structures govern the interpretation of each school: (1) a general introduction of each school: the text, most important characteristics, and influences; (2) central ethical ideas in each school; (3) the role of each school in the formation of a value system in the tradition; and (4) modern meaning of Chinese ethics: a transformation of a Chinese traditional value system into what is called Asian values during the industrialization of Asian countries. Comparison between Chinese and Western ethics will be encouraged.