In the West, we often consider Western philosophical discourse to have a degree of universality. This is not always the case, however, when we think about Chinese thought. Why does Chinese philosophy not hold a similar degree of universal applicability that is assigned to thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle, and Kant? Can China’s past be conceptualized as a global heritage beyond individuals who are considered Chinese?
Leigh Jenco is an Associate Professor in Political Theory at the London School of Economics. Her research examines Chinese political thought and linkages in political theory between East Asia and the West, and she is the author of the forthcoming Changing Referents: Learning Across Time and Space in China and the West, from Oxford University Press.
The “Harvard on China” podcast is hosted by James Evans at Harvard’s Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. Listen to more podcasts at the Fairbank Center’s SoundCloud page.