Philosophy & Chinese Studies Seminar - Jesse Ciccotti

When:18 Sep 2017, 3pm - 4:30pm
Venue:Morven Brown 310 (map ref C20)
Who:Jesse Ciccotti (Hong Kong Baptist University)
Jesse Ciccotti

Putting New Wine into Old Wineskins: How Comparative Philosophy Can Lead to New Readings of Texts


Readings of texts with a long interpretive history can become entrenched. When 10 out of 12 voices are saying, "you can't do that!", it can be hard to courageously follow the minority. In this presentation I will demonstrate how comparative philosophy can be a way to generate new readings of texts that breaks out of entrenched reading patterns, and yet remains faithful to the text. I will illustrate this by comparing Marcus Aurelius's Meditations with Mengzi's the Mengzi, showing how the Meditations can be read as a source for political philosophy. While it is commonplace that scholars recognize the significance of Marcus being an emperor with a strong philosophical bent, extended discussion of the Meditations as a fruitful source for political philosophy are not yet forthcoming. By reading the Meditations in comparison with the Mengzi, I will demonstrate how the Meditations can lead to fruitful political philosophy, and thereby demonstrate how comparative philosophy can generate new readings of old texts.

About Jesse Cicotti

Jesse Ciccotti is beginning his third (and hopefully final) year as a PhD student at Hong Kong Baptist University. He has three Masters degrees from three continents: one in Intercultural Studies from the U.S., one in Chinese Philosophy from China, and one in Ancient Philosophy from the U.K. (Scotland). He is a lover of wisdom, his wife and two sons, old things, books, hand-crafted things, the outdoors, and cultural learning.

Jesse Ciccotti will be speaking at Sydney University on “Mengzi and Civil Society” on Sept 14 @ 3:00pm

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