The IIP Conference (2015) Opened at Peking University

On 16 September 2015, the 2015 Conference of the International Institute of Philosophy (IIP) opened at Peking University (PKU), Beijing, China. The two main sponsors of this Conference are the Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies (IAHS) of PKU and Songyang Academy. The theme of this conference is “Dimensions of the Human.” In addition, nine other Institutes and Departments of Philosophy in China co-organized it. They are from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Peking University, Tsinghua University, Renmin University of China, Beijing Normal University, Fudan University, East China Normal University, Wuhan University, and Sun Yat-sen University.

Founded in 1937, IIP is the highest academic organization and distinguished honorary group of the global sphere of philosophy. It undertakes a significant mission to promote the first class philosophical research and exchange worldwide. It has communication and relation with 102 nations and more than 300 universities. The IIP’s aim is to unite in a common effort of thought and action of qualified representatives from the world philosophical community in endeavoring to improve the welfare of all human beings.

This is the first time for IIP to hold the general assembly of its members in China. 23 international scholars and 40 professors in philosophy from Chinese key universities participated in this Conference. From September 16 to 19, there were 14 academic lectures, all open to the public. Public as well as teachers and students majored in philosophy were all welcome to attend. The special Session for Chinese Philosophy is an unprecedented event for IIP, which demonstrated the sincerity of the international community of philosophy to understand Chinese philosophy. This is surely a great opportunity for Chinese thinkers and philosophical researchers to present Chinese thought and communicate to the world a message of Chinese culture.

At the opening ceremony the following representatives gave speeches: the President of PKU, Professor Lin Jianhua; the Vice President of PKU, Professor Wu Zhipan; the Chairman of Chinese Organizing Committee, PKU Chair Professor, Director of IAHS, Professor Tu Weiming; the Chairperson of IIP, Professor Ioanna KUÇURADI and the General Secretary of IIP, Professor Bernard BOURGEOIS. On behalf of the hosts, President Lin Jianhua welcomed all participants and wished a success to the Conference and its participants. Professor Tu Weiming reflected the suffering of China as a nation and the challenges faced by Chinese Culture in the past 170 years. At present, how to be a real human being has become an urgent problem for humanity. People are not passive on this issue, but able to cultivate a full-fledged personality, which is not a romantic vision, but a realistic consideration. People should seek for consensus and solve problems by communication, negotiation, and collaboration. Other values should be tolerated, recognized and respected whole heartedly. People will benefit from this attitude in self-enrichment. We invite philosophers worldwide to China to discuss the topic “Dimensions of the Human” and to explore the human value. Philosophy should not only be a highly selective academic discipline, but should be a wisdom open to all people. The socio-economic development nowadays needs the guidance of the philosophical wisdom. As a specie, whether human being can survive in a long term has been threatened. Our exploitation of natural resources is without regard to the whole earth as a “living being”. Confucian orientation is the life-world of ordinary people, however, it also contains profound spirituality. The ultimate goal can be described by a famous saying in the Confucian Classic text Zhongyong: “only the person as sincere as a sage can fully realize his nature. Once he fully realized his nature, he is able to realize other people’s nature, then, the nature of all things are revealed to him. So he can take part in transforming the lives on Earth and under Heaven. In this way, he stands side by side with the Earth and Heaven.”

This IIP Conference at Peking University will create an academic atmosphere anticipating the 2018 World Congress of the International Federation of Philosophical Societies (FISP) at Peking University. It will also provide opportunities for Chinese philosophers, thinkers, and researchers for learning and academic exchange. This Conference introduces Chinese philosophy to, and promotes the status of Chinese philosophy in the world. The wisdom of Chinese philosophy should be considered as a possible resource in the development of the philosophical theory and in the solution of the existing problems in the world. Chinese civilization should be involved in, as well as contribute to the future of human civilization.

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