Early Chinese Philosophy Reading Group
The study of Chinese thought in the West has often been mired with misinterpretation. The causes of this misunderstanding range from simple lack of knowledge and accurate translations to blatant ethnocentrism. This reading group proposes to study early Chinese thinkers on their own terms, without imposing Western concepts on them. It is our goal to create a space of exchange and learning that will enable all to join and get something from it. Therefore, everyone is welcome. No previous knowledge of Chinese thought and languages is required, as we will use English translations of the classics. It will however be one of the goals of the reading group to develop an awareness of the particular meaning of certain Chinese terms, so as to not lose too much in translation.
This term, we will be reading the Daodejing 道德經, "The Classic of the Way and Virtue". There are far too many translations, and of too varying outlooks (and quality), to unquestionably recommend any one of them. D.C Lau's 1963 "Tao Te Ching" and Roger T. Ames & David L. Hall's 2003 "Dao de jing: a philosophical translation" are both good starting points, but crossing sources will be very important to grasp all the complexity of this often obscure text.
Everybody welcome! Please contact Thadee Chantry-Gellens for further information.