China Institute

Existential Concerns: A Comparative Study of Modern Science and Chinese Science

Monday, November 14, 2016 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Sierra Tower 503, Philosophy Conference Room

Presented by Prof. Wenyu Xie
Professor of Philosophy, Shandong University, China
& Professor of Historical Theology, China Evangelical Seminary, West Covina


Abstract: Fung Yu-lan had made a strong suggestion that Chinese philosophers did not want modern science. I will attempt to provide a justification for this statement through an existential analysis of Chinese concept of nature, and demonstration of Chinese existential concerns prevailing in Daoism and Confucianism, which distaste for scientific study in the sense of modern science. The textual analysis will be based on the Zhuangzi and the Zhongyong. I will defend a claim that the Chinese contain an ultimate concern different from the one that sustains modern science. A brief comparative discussion of Xu Guanqi and Galileo Galilei will be used to support the claim. It raises a question that, to have a better understanding of the development of modern science in China, we have to penetrate into the religiosity that has been sustaining modern science.

About the Speaker: Prof. Xie was a philosophy professor at Beijing University before he came to USA for a Ph.D. degree from Claremont Graduate University. Prof. Xie is one of the leading philosopher in contemporary China, and has published 7 books and more than 100 papers, in both Chinese and English.

This lecture is sponsored by CSUN China Institute and the College of Humanities. It is free and open to the public. Campus map is available at this link,, and public parking is available on campus (  Please contact Dr. Weimin Sun at (818-677-6461) for more information.