ISCWP Founding President’s End-Of-Term Report

June 30, 2005; modified on July 6, 2005

On behalf of the 2002-5 term of the ISCWP Board, I would like to present this end-of-term report to the membership. The report consists of three parts: (1) academic activities, (2) service to members and organizational affairs, and (3) acknowledgments and appreciations, though the contents of the first two parts are more or less related (e.g., those academic activities organized by the ISCWP can be viewed as academic service to the members by providing them with opportunities of academic exchange and forum).

I.            Academic Activities

During this term, the ISCWP’s academic activities have been carried out primarily through its two distinct but complementary ISCWP international conference / workshop series and its various panel sessions at the APA annual meetings and at some other international conferences.

1.            ISCWP “Constructive Engagement” international conference series

To effectively implement the ISCWP’s missions and agenda as specified in the ISCWP Constitution, one major ISCWP international conference series has been established, i.e., the ISCWP “Constructive Engagement” international conference series. During this period, two terms of the ISCWP “Constructive Engagement” international conferences have been held: (1) the 1st ISCWP International Conference on “Davidson’s Philosophy and Chinese Philosophy: Constructive Engagement” (June 8-9, 2004; Beijing, China), co-sponsored by the Institute of Philosophy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (Conference Host) and the Committee on International Cooperation (CIC) of the American Philosophical Association (APA); (2) the 2nd ISCWP International Conference on “Searle’s Philosophy and Chinese Philosophy: Constructive Engagement” (June 14-15, 2005; Hong Kong), co-sponsored by the Division of Humanities, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Conference Host) and the CIC of the APA. The conference participants have rendered both conferences highly successful in regard to the fulfillment of expected goals and the quality of discussion for the sake of constructive engagement.

The 1st one came a long way. It was originally planned to hold in July 2003 with the Institute of Foreign Philosophy, Peking University, as the Conference Host. Because of the SARS outbreak in Beijing and China in the spring of 2003, the conference had to be postponed to the summer of 2004. It was a sad loss that Professor Donald Davidson passed away on August 30, 2003. Indeed, Davidson’s passing away left us unable to carry out live engagement with Davidson himself on the unique theme of the conference. However, with the firm support from almost all of the project participants, the Organizing Committee decided that the conference project would continue both as an effective way and unique way to honor Davidson’s important contribution to the philosophical enterprise that has crossed cultural and national boundaries, and as a good way to fulfill the mission of the ISCWP. In response to this sad loss and its impact on the format and style of the conference, some due adjustments were made while the original theme of the conference maintained. The conference host for the re-scheduled conference was the Institute of Philosophy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). The speakers at this conference were these: Stephen Angle (Wesleyan University, USA), Bo Cheng (Peking University, China), Chung-ying Cheng (University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA), Kim-chong Chong (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology), Wan-Chuan Fang (Academia Sinica, Taipei), Yiu-ming Fung (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology), Yi Jiang (Institute of Philosophy, CASS, China), Michael Krausz (Bryn Mawr College, USA), A. P. Martinich (University of Texas at Austin, USA), Bo Mou (San Jose State University, USA), Koji Tanaka (Macquarie University, Australia), Samuel Wheeler (University of Connecticut, USA), David Wong (Duke University, USA), Yang Xiao (Kenyon College, USA), Chuang Ye (Peking University, China) and Yujian Zheng (Lingnan University at Hong Kong); the session chairs are Lian Cheng (Peking University, China), He Li (Institute of Philosophy, CASS, China), Jian Li (Institute of Philosophy, CASS, China) and Xiwen Luo (Institute of Philosophy, CASS, China).

The 2nd ISCWP international conference on “Searle’s Philosophy and Chinese Philosophy: Constructive Engagement” (June 14-15, 2005; Hong Kong) proceeded with the kind and generous support and careful arrangements made by the Conference Host (the Division of Humanities, HKUST). Searle gave his keynote speech “On Globalization of Philosophy”. A total of 20 papers were presented, each of which was followed by Searle’s comments and other participants’ critical discussions. The speakers other than Searle at this conference were these: Robert Allinson (Chinese University of Hong Kong), Chung-ying Cheng (University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA), Kim-chong Chong (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology), Wan-Chuan Fang (Academia Sinica, Taipei), Dingzhou Fei (Wuhan University, China), Christopher Fraser (Chinese University of Hong Kong), Yiu-ming Fung (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology), Gang He (University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, China), Soraj Hongladarom (Chulalongkorn University, Thailand), Joel Krueger (Purdue University, USA), Joseph Lee (Hong Kong Society for Analytic Philosophy), Jianyou Lu (Xi’an Jiaotong University, China), Jeannie Lum (University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA), A. P. Martinich (University of Texas at Austin, USA), Bo Mou (San Jose State University, USA), Anh Tuan Nuyen (National University of Singapore), Avrum Stroll (University of California at San Diego, USA), Marshall Willman (University of Iowa, USA), Kai-Yee Wong (Chinese University of Hong Kong), Min Zhang (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology). The session chairs are Kim-chong Chong, Qingjie Wang (Chinese University of Hong Kong), Simon Wong (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology), Kam-ming Yip (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology), and Yujian Zheng (Lingnan University at Hong Kong).

2.            ISCWP’s panel sessions at external conferences

The ISCWP regularly makes “Call for Proposals” for its prospective group panels at the APA Pacific Division meeting and the APA Eastern Division meeting. When interests warrant, the members are also encouraged to make ISCWP panel proposals to the Board for some other relevant international or local academic conferences to be held in other geographic regions such as Mainland China, Hong Kong, Europe and Australia. The ISCWP’s regular panels at the APA Pacific and Eastern Division Meetings constitute a major regular forum of ISCWP on various relevant subjects. It is one of the major tasks of the ISCWP to form quality panels to implement the Society’s missions and agenda. The current Board together with the association’s APA panel organizing coordinators has made various serious efforts to improve the work in this respect. Steve Angle assumed the APA panel organizing coordinator during the 2002-3 and 2004-5 academic years while Alan Fox assumed the coordinator during the 2003-4 academic year.

During the year of 2002, the following ISCWP panel session was held at the APA Eastern Division 2002 meeting (December 28, 2002, Philadelphia, USA): “Author Meets Critics: Dale Wright: Philosophical Meditations on Zen Buddhism”, Chair: Ellen Zhang (Temple University, USA); Commentator: Youru Wang (Rowan University, USA), Tao Jiang (Southern Illinois University Carbondale, USA), John Krummel (LaSalle University, USA), Jacques Fasan (Temple University, USA); Responding: Dale Wright (Occidental College, USA).

During the year of 2003, the following three ISCWP panel sessions were held at some external conferences. (1) The panel session “Comparative Approaches to Classic Asian Text” at the APA Pacific Division 2003 meeting (March 27, San Francisco, USA). Chair: Son Le (Mission College, USA); speakers: Christian Jochim (San Jose State University, USA) and Youzheng Li (Institute of Philosophy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences); commentators: Esther Su (Foundation for Studies of Chinese Philosophy and Culture, USA) and Bo Mou (San Jose State University, USA). (2) The panel session “Comparative Ethics: Confucianism versus Liberalism” at the 21st World Congress of Philosophy (August 13, Istanbul, Turkey). Chair: Bo Mou (San Jose State University, USA); speakers: Ho-mum Chan (City University of Hong Kong) and Julia Tao (City University of Hong Kong); commentator: Sor-hoon Tan (National University of Singapore. (3) The panel session “Daoism and Contemporary Philosophy” at the APA Eastern Division 2003 meeting (December 29, Washington DC, USA). Chair: Linhe Han (Peking University, China); speakers: Chad Hansen (University of Hong Kong), Robert Allinson (Chinese University of Hong Kong), Alan Fox (University of Delaware, USA), and Bo Mou (San Jose State University, USA).

During the year of 2004, the following four ISCWP panel sessions were held at the APA conferences. (1) The panel session “Contemporary Issues in Chinese and Comparative Philosophy” at the APA Pacific Division 2004 Meeting (March 26, Pasadena-Los Angeles, USA). Chair: Bo Mou (San Jose State University, USA); speakers: Chung-yin Cheng (University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA), Marina Carnogurska-Ferancova (Slovak Academy of Science, Slovak), and JeeLoo Liu (SUNY at Geneseo, USA); commentator: Hui-chieh Loy (UC-Berkeley, USA) and Bo Mou. (2) The panel session “Variations on Daoism” at the APA Eastern Division 2004 meeting (December 28, 2004; Boston, USA). Chair: Weimin Sun (California State University at Northridge); speakers: Jay Goulding (York University, Canada), Sun Qiong Wang (University of Connecticut, USA), Hai-ming Wen (University of Hawaii, USA), Ma Lin (Leuven University, Belgium). (3) The panel session “New Meets Old: New Looks at the Old Problems” at the APA Eastern Division 2004 meeting (December 28, Boston, USA). Chair: Alan Fox (University of Delaware, USA); speakers: Wan-Chuan Fang (Academia Sinica, Taipei) and Anh Tuan Nuyen (National University of Singapore).

During the year of 2005, there were the following two ISCWP panel sessions at the APA Pacific Division 2005 Meeting (March 22-27, 2005; San Francisco, USA). (1) Roundtable Panel Topic: “Gongsun Long’s ‘White-Horse-Not-Horse’ Argument and Contemporary Philosophy”. Chair: Steve Angle (Wesleyan University, USA); speakers: Chung-ying Cheng (University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA), Yiu-ming Fung (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology), Chad Hansen (University of Hong Kong), Bo Mou (San Jose State University, USA). (2) Topic: “Language, Mathematics, and Comparative Philosophy” (March 26). Chair: Bo Mou; Speakers: Lin Ma (University of Leuven, Belgium) and Masato Mitsuda (University of San Francisco, USA); Discussant: Fern Alberts (San Jose State University, USA). There are two forthcoming ISCWP panel sessions at the APA Eastern Division 2005 Meeting (December 27-30, 2005; New York City, USA). (1) “On the Constructive-Engagement Methodological Strategy in Comparative Studies of Chinese and Western Philosophy”. Chair: Xianglong Zhang (Peking University, China); speakers: Manyul Im (California State University at Los Angeles, USA), Xiaofei Tu (Syracuse University, USA), Bo Mou (San Jose State University, USA); discussant: Weimin Sun (California State University at Northridge, USA). (2) Topic: “Double Effect or Beyond: Comparing Double Effect, Quan, and Upaya”. Chair: Manyul Im; speakers: Josef Boyle (University of Toronto, Canada), Jinfen Yan (University of Toronto, Canada), Dan Goldstick (University of Toronto, Canada); discussant: Xiaomei Yang (Temple University, USA).

3.            ISCWP’s “Beijing Roundtable on Contemporary Philosophy”

To promote the constructive engagement between Chinese and Western philosophical traditions on the front issues of contemporary philosophy and in view of their rich resources, and to provide an effective international channel and forum of academic exchange and critical discussion between interested philosophers in China and from other parts of the world, the ISCWP has established another international conference/workshop series which is complementary to the current “Constructive Engagement” international conference series: “Beijing Roundtable on Contemporary Philosophy,” which is to be held annually or with one/two  year gap depending on need (starting from 2005). The nature and agenda of this roundtable series is also to fulfill the missions and emphases of ISCWP with our broad and engaging understanding of comparative studies of Chinese and Western philosophy, as the ISCWP “Constructive Engagement” international conference series does, but has its own distinctive focus and format-style. This workshop/roundtable series is quite flexible in size and organization style: it could be as small and flexible as a half-day workshop or even an informal get-together around dining table on some theme without formal commentators, etc. or as big as a formal conference, depending on situation and need. With this platform, some good philosophers from outside of China will be brought to Beijing for academic exchange on the up-to-date development of philosophy and for dialogue between Chinese and Western philosophers on the front issues of contemporary philosophy. This forum also provides interested colleagues in China with a good opportunity of academic engagement and getting comments and criticism on their recent relevant works.

The Board has appointed Linhe Han at Peking University as Coordinator for its 2005 term on the theme “The 20th Century Analytic Philosophy: From the Point of View of Chinese Philosophers” which was successfully held on June 23, 2005 at Peking University. This term is a small size and low budget one in an effective form of workshop with constructive engagement orientation. The core team of this workshop consisted of two feature speakers, Linhe Han and Bo Mou, its chair, Xianglong Zhang, and three discussants, A. P. Martinich from University of Texas at Austin, Chuang Ye from Peking University, and Yujian Zheng from Hong Kong Lingnan University. The title of Linhe Han’s paper was “A Critique of Hacker’s Conception of Analytic Philosophy”, and the title of Bo Mou’s paper was “How to Understand Analytic Methodology and Its Constructive Future”. There were also quite a few students from Peking University attending the workshop; some of them raised good questions and participated in the discussion. The success of this term has also provided some good experience for the future terms.

Some relevant substantial preparation for the 2006 term of “Beijing Roundtable on Contemporary Philosophy” on the theme “Philosophy of Language: Constructive Engagement of Distinctive Perspectives,” has already begun since late 2004 under the coordination by Bo Mou in cooperation with the CIC of the APA. This is a cross-term project which will continue under the leadership of the new Board.

II.            Service to Members and Organizational Affairs

1.            The ISCWP Newsletter. To strengthen the communication/connection and academic information exchange among the members, the ISCWP currently has two issues of the ISCWP Newsletter come out annually: the January issue and the July issue which have distinct focuses. The January issue is the major, regular issue in which the annual “President’s Report” appears together with other updates and the news from members. The July issue was originally designed to be a special supplementary issue on the ‘bibliography updates’, which provides ‘news’ of the updated bibliographies of literature in comparative studies of Chinese and Western philosophy, together with various relevant updates. According to the labor division among the Board members, Tao Jiang, the ISCWP Secretary assumes the editor of the January issue, while Bo Mou was editor of the July issue of 2003 and Xianglong Zhang was editor of the July issue of 2004. During the current term, three regular issues of the ISCWP Newsletter (Jan. 2003, 2004 and 2005) and two mid-year issues (July 2003 and July 2004) came out.

As the internet availability has become more and more widespread and almost all the relevant bibliography information is available on the internet, early on this year the current Board has discussed what would be a more effective way to provide the members with the relevant bibliography information. We have concluded that a more effective way is simply to directly give the members the relevant website addresses which are to be updated each year in the July issue, instead of giving itemized bibliography entries which may miss some relevant information in need. In this way, the current Board suggests that the July issue of each volume is to provide with the updated website addresses concerning the literature of comparative studies of Chinese and Western philosophy, the updates of the relevant academic activities, and some other due contents (e.g., the July issue of the ISCWP election year is to include the end-of-term report by  the president of the previous term of the Board). The current Board also suggests that, with the work load for the July issue significantly reduced, both the January issue and the July issue of the Newsletter be taken care of by the same Board member.

2.            The ISCWP website. For the sake of the effective communication and information-sharing, since 2003, the ISCWP has maintained its website athttp://cfds.sjsu.edu/iscwp. Largely for the sake of efficiency and of saving resources, I myself have assumed the ISCWP Webmaster setting up and maintaining the ISCWP website during the 2002-5 term.

3.            To strengthen the Advisorship and balance its constitution, based on the general guideline in this regard, the Board has decided to invite John Searle and Michael Krausz as ISCWP Advisors. The two philosophers are interested in the ISCWP’s missions and have accepted the invitations to serve as Advisors. John Searle is the Mills Professor of Philosophy at UC Berkeley whose academic works are so well known that there seems no need to say more here. Michael Krausz is the Milton C. Nahm Professor of philosophy at Bryn Mawr College and editor of several fine anthologies on relativism and on interpretation. It is a sad loss that two ISCWP Advisors passed away during the 2002-5 period: they are Donald Davidson and Paul Ricoeur.

4.            The ISCWP membership due and donation. With consideration of the economic and cultural differences among various regions, the ISCWP has currently carried out the policy of the voluntary membership fee. The financial resources now largely rely on the generous donations from the members or from some other sources (either general purpose donations or the specific-purpose donations).

5.            The ISCWP’s non-profit tax exemption status. The Board has completed all the necessary paper work and formally registered with the IRS (the USA Federal Internal Revenue Service) and the State of California’s Tax Bureau for non-profit academic organization with tax exemption status. To complete this process, upon the request by the IRS, the ISCWP amended its Constitution to include a ‘political limitation’ clause, a ‘dedication’ clause and a ‘dissolution’ clause, with approval by the membership via a specially arranged ballot in December 2002. In this way, the ISCWP can legally and favorably (at least in the USA) deal with relevant financial transactions such as donations.

6.            The Election of 2005-8 Term of Board. The ISCWP has successfully completed its election of the new Board members. The ad hoc Election Committee consisted of the following members: Yiu-ming Fung-Chair (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology), Joel Krueger (Purdue University, USA), and Lin Ma (University of Leuven, Belgium). According to the ISCWP Constitution, the president of the next Board is to be assumed by the vice president of the current Board, and the vice president and the secretary-treasurer for the next Board shall be elected every three years. In this way, Xianglong Zhang (Peking University, China), the current vice president, shall assume the president in the 2005-8 term of the Board. Based upon the election result on May 2, 2005, Stephen C. Angle (Wesleyan University, USA) will assume the vice president and treasurer, and Lin Ma (University of Leuven, Belgium) will assume the secretary. The 2002-5 term of the Board is to end on June 30, 2005, and the 2005-8 term of the Board is to assume office on July 1, 2005.

III.            Acknowledgment and Appreciations

On behalf of the 2002-5 ISCWP Board, I would like to express our appreciation to the members of the ISCWP Advisory Board, which is strong and diverse, for their valuable contribution to the ISCWP’s healthy development during the past three years in various way.

On behalf of the ISCWP, I am grateful to the Committee on International Cooperation of the American Philosophical Association, under the leadership of its two chairs, Alan M. Olson (2001-4) and Ernie Lepore (2004-7), for its valuable support of the ISCWP’s two “Constructive Engagement” international conferences (as their co-sponsors) and some other relevant project under preparation.

On behalf of the 2002-5 ISCWP Board, I would like to express my appreciation to all the other members of the ISCWP Academic Organizing Committees for the two ISCWP “Constructive Engagement” international conferences: Linhe Han for his role as the representative of the conference host when the Institute of Foreign Philosophy of Peking University assumed the conference host for the DD-CP conference, He Li for his role as the representative of the conference host when the Institute of Philosophy, CASS, assumed the conference host for the DD-CP conference, Yiu-ming Fung for his role as the representative of the conference host for the JS-CP conference, as well as Xianglong Zhang, Vice President. I am grateful to the members of the review teams for the two ISCWP international confefrences, Yiu-ming Fung and Linhe Han for both conferences while Wan-Chuan Fang for the first one, for their very professional reviews and precious time devoted to the review process. I am grateful to all the participants (speakers and session chairs) in the two ISCWP international conferences for their valuable contribution to the success of the two conferences in various ways. I am also grateful to the members of the organizing team of the conference host for the 1st ISCWP conference, He Li and Jigang Shan, and the member of the executive committee of the conference host for the 2nd ISCWP conference, Charles Wing-hoi Chan, Kim-chong Chong, Yiu-ming Fung, Kam-ming Yip, and Min Zhang.

On behalf of the Board, I am grateful to Linhe Han for his coordinatorship and his very good preparation work for the 2005 term of the ISCWP’s “Beijing Roundtable on Contemporary Philosophy”.

On behalf of the Board, I would like to express our sincere appreciation to Steve Angle and Alan Fox for their devoted contribution, serious efforts and precious time in charge of working out the quality ISCWP panels respectively at the APA Pacific and Eastern Division meetings in the past three years. I am grateful to all the participants (speakers, commentators or discussants as well as chairs) in the ISCWP’s panel sessions at the APA Pacific and Eastern Division meetings and at some other conferences during the past three years for their allowing us to share their valuable thoughts and contributing to academic exchange in view of the ISCWP’s agenda.

I am grateful to Tao Jiang for his wonderful work in designing a fine template for the ISCWP Newsletter and impressive typesetting work which are quite demanding when working out the first ISCWP Newsletter and for his serious efforts and precious time spent in working out the three January issues of the Newsletter in 2003, 2004 and 2005.  I am grateful to Xianglong Zhang and his student assistants, namely Zhu Songfeng, Cai Xiangyuan, Li Jun, and Zhang Xiaohua, for their valuable and time-consuming work and precious time involved in his editorship of the “biography update” issue of the ISCWP Newsletter in 2004.

On behalf of the Board, I would like to express our special appreciation to the members of the ad hoc Election Committee for the new Board member election for their excellent work and precious time. The ad hoc Election Committee consisted of the following members: Yiu-ming Fung, Chair (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology), Joel Krueger (Purdue University, USA), and Lin Ma (University of Leuven, Belgium).

The ISCWP Board would like to deliver sincere gratitude to the following colleagues or organization for their generous and valuable donations to the ISCWP during this period (each on the list with at least US$ 100 donation):

  • Kim-chong Chong
  • Wan-chuan Fang
  • Yiu-ming Fung
  • Kenneth Inada
  • Son Le
  • Bo Mou
  • Xianglong Zhang
  • Committee on International Cooperation of the American Philosophical Association

The Board would also like to express gratitude to all those members who have contributed their voluntary membership fees during this period. All these substantial financial contributions significantly aid the ISCWP, a non-profit academic association, to effectively fulfill its missions and implement its academic projects.

Last but not least, I would like to express my personal appreciation to my two excellent colleagues in the Board, Xianglong Zhang, Vice-President, and Tao Jiang, Secretary-Treasurer, for their valuable support, effective collegial cooperation and constructive contributions to various board’s discussions and decisions. I will miss these two able, devoted and collegial colleagues in the Board.

As for myself, indeed, on the one hand, I am pleased that I will be released from almost all the service titles after June 30 to be able to have more time to focus on my own research projects at hand, some of which are long due. On the other hand, I have sincerely valued and missed those days when I was honored to serve you via my ISCWP position and had such opportunity to learn from you. During these days, I endeavored to try my best to fulfill my responsibilities and duties. But I have also clearly realized that the way of dealing with a thing as big as a strategic approach and as small as setting a reasonable deadline would not necessarily meet everybody’s need; if that did happen, I would like to ask for your understanding and forgiveness. Thanks so much to you all: without your valuable trust, sincere cooperation and generous support, none of the abovementioned ISCWP positive things done during the past three years could be really achieved (or at least achieved in an effective way). I have learnt a lot, and will continue learning, from all of you and your scholarship.

Let us continually move forward under the leadership of the new Board which is to assume office on July 1, 2005 while the current Board ends its term on June 30, 2005.

Again, thank you all. Stay in touch.

Bo Mou

ISCWP President (2002-5 term)

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