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« A Summer Course: "Confucianism in America" | Main | More on Teaching Confucianism in China »

July 09, 2014

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Very cool, Sam! I like the idea of "question time" about anything related to America at the beginning of class. A good way to hear from people who might not otherwise speak up during class. I might try that this semester with my American Foreign Policy students.

Very cool indeed, Prof. Crane! (;-)

When you write that the students had not previously thought much "about how ideas from these texts might relate to other philosophic or political concepts," you allude to one of the chief strengths of a certain style of education (by no means limited to the US, but rumored to be uncommon in the PRC).

If you continue to blog about this most interesting experience, I hope you can continue to raise these wider educational implications.

Have you considered asking your students in what ways is "Confucianism" in contemporary China similar to the various Confucianisms of the past?

I too hope you continue blogging about your class. This is fascinating.

I wonder to what extent their conception of individualism (non-individualism) is simply about whether each person’s decisions and life conditions are (are not) dictated by others. And what do they take as the most obvious opposite of individualism -- a system in which society is organized into groups each of which is ruled by its one boss? A system of thought in which excellence in society is conceived as whatever gets individual excellence exalted and copied – rather than being conceived as the kind of system of cooperation in decisionmaking that makes the wisest decisions about terms of cooperation?

I have the impression that cooperation in thinking and producing, by way of the fair distribution of power and the free exchange of ideas and goods, is a core ideal of the Western tradition, but not much on the early Chinese radar at all.

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