Recent Workshop: Happiness and the Dao

Update: The web page for the workshop is here.

The Department of Philosophy of the University of Hong Kong will be holding a workshop entitled “Happiness and the Dao: Ancient Greek and Chinese Approaches to Ethics,” March 25–26, 20111. The workshop is organized by Patrick Hawley, Chair of the Department of Philosophy. Presenters will include A. A. Long, Nicholas D. Smith, Lisa Raphals, Yong Huang, Chad Hansen, Siu-fu Tang, Timothy O’Leary, and myself. My talk will be entitled “Rational Souls or Virtuoso Performers? λόγος versus Dào-dé 道德 in Ancient Greek and Chinese Thought.”

The workshop announcement follows.

Happiness and the Dao: Ancient Greek and Chinese Approaches to Ethics

Ancient Greek ethics focuses largely on the theory and practice of eudaimonia, the happy or flourishing life. Classical Chinese ethics similarly focuses on the theory and practice of the dao, the proper way of life. The workshop will inquire into how these two ethical orientations compare and contrast with each other. How might the two central concepts of eudaimonia and dao relate to each other? What conception of a flourishing life is implied by various Chinese views of the dao? What conception of a practical, normative way is implied by various Greek views of eudaimonia? What insights into contemporary ethical life might be provided by reflection on these ancient ethical themes? These are among the questions that the workshop will address.