Professor Stephen C Angle: Confucianism as a way of life

24 October 2018 (Wednesday), 6.30pm - 8.00pm
Tan Chin Tuan Lecture Theatre, Yale-NUS College

This talk is organised under the auspices of the Tan Chin Tuan Chinese Culture and Civilisation Programme


What can it mean, in the modern world, for Confucianism to be a way of life? I consider this question at both abstract and personal levels. What are the institutional contexts within which one might live a Confucian life, and do the answers depend on whether one is in East Asia? How can the various functions we might associate with Confucianism – from personal growth to family harmony to socio-political activism – be realised in modern circumstances? I argue that an openness to novel ways of living Confucian lives is endorsed by insightful thinkers throughout Confucianism’s long history, and is a key to Confucianism playing a positive role in the 21st century and beyond.


Professor Stephen C Angle is a Professor of Philosophy and Mansfield Freeman Professor of East Asian Studies at Wesleyan University. He received his BA from Yale University in East Asian Studies and his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Michigan. Prof Angle is a past President of the International Society for Comparative Study of Chinese and Western Philosophy. A philosophy writer and researcher specialising in Chinese Philosophy, Confucianism, Neo-Confucianism, and comparative philosophy, Prof Angle’s research focuses on philosophy’s role in human rights, politics, and ethics both in China and globally. His work is informed by an ongoing exchange of ideas with colleagues in universities in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Germany, and France, and through his international philosophy blog.


The Tan Chin Tuan Professorship in Chinese Studies and the Tan Chin Tuan Chinese Culture and Civilisation Programme were established to honour Tan Sri Dr Tan Chin Tuan, whose legacy of philanthropy is transforming lives even today through the Tan Chin Tuan Foundation. Yale-NUS has appointed Professor Scott Cook, an expert in Chinese history, as our inaugural Tan Chin Tuan Professor of Chinese Studies.

Under the auspices of the Tan Chin Tuan Chinese Culture and Civilisation Programme, which aims to increase the understanding of China and Chinese culture amongst the students at Yale-NUS College, the Foundation has supported the Chinese Language Scholarship Programme and co-curricular activities, which deepen our student’s knowledge of China and Chinese culture.